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Future of medical treatments with Stem Cells (like baldness)
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Stem cell is capable of self renovation and can be very beneficial in treatment of variety of conditions like Baldness, Parkinsons and Diabetes. Stem cells are biological cells capable of cell division through mitosis and can develop into specified cell type and can renew to produce more similar stem cells. There are two types of stem cells found in mammals they are embryonic and another is adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are isolated from inner cell mass of blastocysts and Adult stem cells are found in various tissue. These progenitor cells in adults shows repair system and this is used for repair of any damaged cells or tissue.

Today lot of treatments is being done with the help of stem cells. This is a method in which the new adult stem cells are introduced into the area which need to be repaired or at the site of damaged tissue or injury. The ability of stem cell is utilized here to replace diseased or damaged area of the body while the calculated risk of immunological rejection is being considered and also side effects are taken care of.

With the development of new techniques and improvement in medical treatments, research are believing that diseases like malignant cells (cancers), diabetes, Huntingtons disease , Parkinsons disease and even cardiac failures , muscle damages will be cured completely with the help of stem cells. Apart from this belief, much research is still going on to avoid the side effects, immunological rejections etc.

Today the patients with leukaemia and lymphona are being treated for diseases like cancers more effectively with stem cell or bone marrow. This was previously very difficult due to development of immunology. During chemotherapy, cytotoxins are used but these are unable to differentiate neoplastic cells or leukaemia and the hematopoietic stem cells of bone marrow. This side effect is reduced with the treatment of stem cells for cancers. Damage to brain is lethal due to damage to cell or cell death which further leads to loss of neurons or oligodendrocytes of the brain. The proportion of general stem cell and progenitor cell is maintained by neural stem cells. Stem cells are used for treatment of diseases like Parkinson and Alzheimer where degeneration of brain happens.

Today apart from brain damages, cancers, steam cells are used for treatment of injury to spinal cord which is very critical. In such treatments, the adult stem cells are isolated and then injected into the damaged site of spinal cord. The isolation of stem cell is done from umbilical cord blood. Many experiments have been successful were in paralyzed mice are treated with stem cell and are capable of surviving without any side effects. This was done by transplant methods.

Many heart diseases are treated with the help of stem cells. This type of treatment is being considered safe, efficient and effective for long term. In such cases, the age of patient under treatment is very crucial also the timing of treatment that is time taken for treatment from the time of damage or myocardial infarction. Many other possible treatments include regeneration of muscles of heart, repopulation of damaged tissues of heart and stimulation of growth of new vessels of blood. Increase in secretion of factors responsible for growth .

It is also today being done that adult bone marrow cells are differentiated into muscles of heart.
Hematopoietic cells diseases can be treated with stem cells. Here the success of such diseases treatment depends upon the application of immunology. The trigger of specific immune cell depends upon the specific antigen and this knowledge can be applied along with stem cell application for blood cell formation.

Many other diseases like baldness can be treated with stem cells. The hair follicle contains stem cell. Many researches in this field are proving the complete treatment of baldness with the help of these stem cells regeneration at the site of baldness. Some scientist have cultivated tooth in experimental mice. Scientist believes these techniques will be used soon to completely re-generate broken teeth in human being. A scientist known as Heller has successfully done re-growing of cochlea hair cells using embryonic stem cell. Apart from these various treatments, diseases like Amyotrohic lateral sclerosis, Crohns disease, various neural and behavioral birth related defects, wound healing, fertility related diseases are cured with the help of stem cells.
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Stem Cells and Research

Stem cells also hold great potential for usefulness in the area of research. The following are some of the biological topics stem cell research might shed light on:

Developmental Human Biology:

The study of this topic is constrained by practical and ethical limitations. Human ES cells may allow the investigation of how early human cells become committed to the major lineages of the body, which form the myriad of functional cell types in the adult. This knowledge will help many fields. For example, the field of cancer biology will benefit as it is now thought that many cancers originate from abnormalities in the normal developmental processes. Human ES cells will also help in the study of birth defects.


Pluripotent stem cells could be used to generate unlimited supplies of tissues and organs. These stem cell products could theoretically restore function without immunosuppression and tissue matching. Stem cells derived transplants of the skin, heart, kidneys, and other major organs could make a huge impact on society.

Gene Therapy:

Genetic material that prompts a necessary biochemical process or encodes a missing protein, can be introduced into organ stem cells in order to achieve long term expression and therapeutic effect. The ‘immortal’ proliferative capacity of stem cells could overcome the problems of loss and insufficient expression of a gene, which gene therapy procedures currently face.

Models of Human Disease Constrained by Animal and Cell Culture Models:

ES cells might provide cell and tissue types to study those pathogenic diseases and viruses such as hepatitis C that grow only in human or chimpanzee cells.

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Mature cells could be reprogrammed to become pluripotent again

Until recently, it was believed that only embryonic and autologous stem cells have a potential to differentiate in various cell lineages. Discovery that mature, already differentiated adult cell, can be reverted to the pluripotent stem cell stage brought a Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine to a Dr. John B. Gurdon and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka in 2012. Adult somatic cells turned into stem cells are called induced pluripotent cells (iPS).

During embryonic development, cell differentiation potential is dropping progressively. Once differentiated, cell normally doesn’t undergo changes that will result in new type of cell formation (cell fate switch) or back to a pluripotent stage. Conrad Hal Waddington suggested a model of mountain and the valley to describe a journey and energy demand necessary for stem cell to become fully formed adult cell. You can imagine stem cells as a marbles on the top of the mountain, and differentiation stages as processes that are happening while they are gliding toward the valley, where they will become one of the numerous differentiated cell types. After they reach the valley and fully developed stage, cells can’t climb back to the top of the mountain to regain their pluripotency. Only cells in adult organism having potential to differentiate in a couple of lineages are autologues stem cells (when replacing old or damaged cells). However, scientists were always curious about cell potential and they start experimenting with it in the second half of the 20th century.

Frogs were favorite model organisms because of the large egg size and extrauterine embryonic development. First experimental attempt to develop a tadpole using Rana pipiens species wasn’t successful; embryo failed to develop when somatic nucleus was transplanted to an enucleated egg. Almost one decade passed before another experiment proved this method could be successful. Dr. Gurdon used Xenopus laevis (different frog species) and UV irradiation to destroy egg nucleus. Tadpole intestinal epithelium derived nucleus was transplanted to an egg resulting in a successful tadpole formation. In was shown for the first time that somatic nucleus from the already differentiated cell has a potential to drive embryonic development and give rise to a numerous cell lines after seeded in the egg cell. Today, this technique is known as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) and it’s used for cloning all kind of animal species.

Dr. Yamanaka wanted to discover what factors are essential for cell pluripotency. He knew that fusion of the embryonic cytoplasm and somatic nucleus result in pluripotent cell, so he picked 24 transcription factors from the egg’s cytoplasm as the potential candidates for the restored pluripotent capacity. Using those transcription factors and skin fibroblast, he wanted to see which factor is able to produce cells that will resemble embryonic cells. He eliminated one factor by one and finally ended up with 4 factors that are responsible for cell pluripotency. Combination of the Myc, Oct3/4, Sox2 and Klf4 is what can turn mouse fibroblast to a pluripotent stem cell. Other cells could demand different combination, number or type of transcription factors, but the mechanism of action is now fully revealed. It was astonishing discovery and it opened a gate to a completely new research field.

A lot of medical issues could be solved using iPS cells. That’s the main reason why cell fate switch - result of specific combination of the transcription factors directing cell development, is well studied in various species and different organs. When serious organ damage or malfunction is present, transplantation could be only solution, but immune response is inevitable as well as immunosuppressive therapy. If organ repair could be accomplished using iPS cells, immune response would be skipped as our organism wouldn’t recognize iPS cells as a foreign body. Other interesting medical implementation of the iPS cells is in the investigation of the disease patterns and processes in the rare or severe genetic disorders. After extracting from the patient and turning into iPS cells, they could be used as a platform for toxicology testing or drug development. So far, they are used for successful screening of the drugs for the familial dysautonomia and long QT syndrome. When differentiated in vitro, they could provide novel information on the mechanism of disease and its progress. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Ratt syndrome, type 1 and 2 long QT syndrome, a1 antitrypsin deficiency, spinal muscular atrophy…are just a few examples of the diseases that could be investigated using in vitro iPS cells.

Discovery that mature cell could restore stem cell differentiation potential is one of the biggest revelation in the field of medicine and biology. Those experiments have changed the way we think about fundamental biological processes and I'm sure that they will help in controlling and curing serious illness in the future.
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