There are many studies that have been done and are still ongoing about the use of stem cells. In this article, I will go over some of its advantages and disadvantages according to what the research suggests so far.
1. Stem cells can be used as a means to test new drugs. This is done because of its ability to turn into any cell of the body.
This eliminates the need to get animal and human subjects which can, in turn, save the researchers a lot of time and money in the process.
2. Organ donors will not be needed anymore since stem cells can actually grow limbs and organs from its raw materials. Again, this is due to the power of differentiation in which, when induced in the laboratory, scientists can grow the different limbs and organs found in our bodies which can be used to transplant in patients who are in need.
3. Stem cells allow us to study the entire human development- from the fertilization of the egg and the sperm to the actual development in a normal and fully-functional human being. This is helpful since we will know exactly how certain diseases can form and so that ample treatment procedures can be made to treat them.
4. Adult stem cells can be used to treat various medical conditions without the fear of using it because it does not carry any ethical implications. This is due to the fact that the said stem cells can be safely harvested either from the person’s own body or from a willing and suitable donor.
5. Embryonic stem cells or induced pluripotent cells can be used to help scientists discover new treatments for previously incurable conditions. This includes blindness, Parkinson’s Disease, Diabetes, and many others.
6. Its many uses help further the advancements in Regenerative Medicine.
1. The use of embryonic stem cells is filled with controversy because these cells are harvested from Blastocysts or embryos that are still in its early developmental stages. These embryos are usually cultivated inside in vitro fertilization labs and the process itself is quite controversial.
2. Many research studies would still be needed to further unlock the full potentialities of stem cells, no matter what type of it we’re talking about. This can take years or even decades to do.
3. There is a possibility that stem cells might not be the key to treating various medical conditions.
4. In some studies, stem cells can cause adverse effects instead of curing the subject. One study, in particular, has shown us that it is possible for stem cells to induce the proliferation of cancer cells in the body.
5. Adult stem cells are “pre-specialized” which means that it doesn’t have the unique characteristic of embryonic stem cells wherein they can change into any type of cell in the body. They only change into the cells from where they came from. For instance, bone marrow stem cells, when transplanted back into the body, will still turn into the said stem cells without the ability to differentiate into other cells.