Essay on Stem Cells
Replacement organs and limbs are harvested from donors. This means we wait around like opportunistic scavengers for the right set of circumstances to deliver a windfall so that we might have the chance to help others in need. Organ rejection is around 10-15% (Mark Benfield). Not a high percentage; unless you are one of the 10-15%. Embryonic stem cells that have had their original DNA replaced with the DNA of the patient would not experience organ rejection because the immune system would recognize the new cells as “Self”. This procedure is called therapeutic cloning and is being researched (Suzanne Kadereit) .Imagine being able to replace failing organs or missing limbs without having to wait for months for an appropriate donor. We would eliminate the heartbreaking experience of receiving a life saving transplant and having the organ or limb rejected by the body.
The research into stem cells will have a large part of its focus on the manipulation of stem cell genes. The genes control the course of the development of the cells. Since genes are common to all cells, once we understand how to manipulate them in stem cells we will be able to manipulate them in