Stem cells are hailed to be a marvel of modern medicine but there are a lot of problems that keep getting brought up. Ethical issues, in particular, are a rather terse subject even though we’ve long since developed ways to get stem cells without ever touching an embryo, so much so that embryonic stem cells are almost always gathered from donated placentas. So, ethical discussions aside, there have been problems about stem cells brought up a time or two.
Still, the benefits of stem cells far outweigh the bad. We can do almost anything with these marvelous cell if only we had the time and funds to research them properly. A lot of the problems we run into today come from a lack of knowledge, so more research is always part of our ever continuing advancement.
Because stem cells have their unique abilities, we can rebuild or replace any cell in the body. Looking back on what causes some diseases, we have the potential to wipe them out for good or, at the very least, undo the harm they cause to our bodies.
For example, Type I Diabetes is an autoimmune disorder where white blood cells attack the pancreas. The injured pancreas cells is what leads to the need for insulin from outside sources. By using stem cells to replace the damaged pancreas cells, we can eradicate the symptoms that come with Diabetes.
Going further, we can reverse damage done if the disease isn’t treatable. Heart disease is a beast in itself, but we have the opportunity to fix the heart after a heart attack. When a heart attack occurs, a lot of tissue in the heart becomes damaged. Stem cells can repair them to be as good as new.
Part of the beauty of stem cells is that it can regrow tissue. For burn victims, this means a possible reversal back to before the burn ever occurred. Skin grafts work great and do their job, but stem cells can work better if given the chance.
Wounds, especially, are a big deal in this stem cell realm. The body has the magnificent ability to heal itself while outside influence is made to promote this work. Adding stem cells to the mix allows us to heal wounds much faster without scar tissue.
We mentioned before how stem cells can grow tissue and even replace damaged cells in an organ, like the pancreas. Well, in lab settings, researchers can grow entire organs ready for use. The process can take a while but it is possible to do even if, like with all things regarding stem cells, there are drawbacks.
However, the idea of growing organs artificially like this drastically changes how organ donations will work in the future. One of the biggest bottlenecks regarding organ donations is in the journey to find a match. Now we can create the organs from stem cells that are already a match.
Though, in cases of replacing organs, it’s much better for stem cells to go in and fix the damaged one rather than creating a new one. Stem cells can repair all of the damaged cells and create more if needed to get the organ working as it should, just like the heart after a heart attack. This option could potentially eliminate most of the need for organ transplants.
Possibilities Outside of Medicine
Because stem cells are in all living matter, we can use them in realms outside of medicine. When we start thinking about all organic matter, suddenly the ideas begin to become limitless.
Artificially Create Meat
Considering we already use stem cells to create living tissue and organs, there’s no reason we can’t artificially create animal meat or some other kind of product completely for the sake of food. Hunger is a big problem in even developed countries, so making plenty from practically nothing is something to marvel at.
Join our Stem Cell Discussion & Information Facebook Group today!
In this same vein, we can consider that animal’s lives will no longer be put into danger, or at least put into less danger for our widespread food consumption. We can even bring this back around to the realm of medicine by introducing stem cells into veterinary clinics to help save animals’ lives, but this practice is still a long way away.
Artificially Create Plants
Creating meat for consumption is great but we can also do the same for plants. Stem cells found in plants are different from those found in animals but no less the same basic concept. We can create any sort of fruit or vegetable in the lab and give this out at a much faster pace than we could with any meat product.
The fun with plants doesn’t stop with food, though. With stem cells, we can artificially create wood. This could drive down prices on many wooden objects, including homes, as well as bring deforestation to a crawl if properly implemented. Thankfully, we have plenty of options to work with where stem cells are concerned.
As said earlier, there are problems with stem cells beyond the ethical issues that can be fixed with more research. More often than not, our own manipulation of them for making use beyond their intended purpose is what causes the problems in the first place. For instance, stem cells causing tumors is a rare but potential side effect when rebuilding organs. However, we know of this side effect and have every means necessary to prepare if it happens in a patient as well as the knowledge to get around this issue with further research.
Usually, the problem comes back to gene engineering, which includes taking the stem cells apart to equip them with new orders. This gets them working on what we want them to do, but we haven’t worked out all of the kinks yet. Still, as time goes on, we make great strides in stem cell research that can combat these problems that researchers are currently facing.
It might seem crazy to call stem cells a cure-all but they very well could be in the coming years. More research is required to keep on the path of this breathtaking, earth-shattering breakthrough that could make advances far beyond our current imaginations. For the time being, we need to spread the word that research in stem cells is beneficial for all, allowing everyone as a human race to advance into era. Until then, we’ll keep learning and working for a brighter future.
Learn More About Stem Cell Therapy
Download our FREE Stem Cell Report
Click below to download our free educational report, Stem Cell 101!