This Catalyst article explains the use of stem cells to treat medical problems, and outlines new possibilities for the use of adult stem cells in treatment.
Currently, stem cells used for treatment are embryonic stem cells, since they have the ability to form any cell type in the body. The example of the use of stem cells to treat the damage due to a heart attack is discussed. A possible drawback of the use of embryonic stem cells is the risk of new cancers developing – researchers are developing ways of mitigating this risk. The use of adult stem cells, from bone marrow, presents a possibility that will avoid ethical objections and the chance that new cells may prompt an immune response.
The article is from Catalyst: Secondary Science Review 2012, Volume 23, Issue 2.
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- Gatsby Science Enhancement Programme