Stem Cell Research Ahsan Arsalan 0612103
Stem Cells • Present in almost all multi-cellular organisms • No specialized functionality • Can renew themselves • Can differentiate into many cell types
Types of Stem Cells Adult Stem Cells • Present in tissues or organs • Can differentiate into cells of the tissue or organ they are present in • Manipulation into other cell types is the key
Types of Stem Cells (Cont.) Embryonic Stem Cells • Pluripotent cells • Obtained from the blastocyst • Mostly obtained through In Vitro Fertilization • Another potential method is Nuclear Transfer
Stem Cell Research Brief History • At the start of the 20th Century it was discovered that all blood cells came from a “stem cell” • Presence of stem cells was shown in 1963 • In 1968, the first bone marrow transplant was performed • Stem cells were discovered in human cord blood in 1978 • In 1998 James Thompson developed the first embryonic stem cell lines • Today countless research studies are going on. Adult stem cells are being used in treatments.
Stem Cell Research Clinical Treatments • Research on Embryonic stem cells is yet to yield any clinical treatment • Adult stem cells have been used in used in treating over a hundred conditions
Stem Cell Research Clinical Treatments • Repairing Heart Muscles In June 2009 Doctors at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute for the first time used a patient’s tissue to grow stem cells and then inject them back in an attempt to once again grow a healthy muscle which was damaged in a heart attack.
Stem Cell Research Clinical Treatments • Windpipe Transplant In March 2010 a ten year old boy in Britain underwent a windpipe transplant with the windpipe created from his own stem cells.
Stem Cell Research Clinical Treatments • Reversing Multiple Sclerosis Recently scientists been able to find a way reverse the impairments caused by multiple sclerosis using stem cells.
Stem Cell Research Ethical Issues • Main controversy and debate surrounds Embryonic stem cells • Destroying an embryo also means taking away the possibility of life that existed in it • Should a compromise be made on the possibility of life in order for the improvement and help of already existent life? • Does an embryo have a moral status of a human being?
Stem Cell Research in Pakistan • Treatments of Heart Diseases using adult stem cells have been carried out • Liver associated diseases caused by Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C have been treated • Recently in interior Sindh, two doctors were able to treat a patient with lower leg mobility impairment through universal regenerative therapy • More support of the Pakistani Government is required
Role of Bio-Informatics • Identification of stem cells and their nature • Growth of stem cells in laboratories • Matching whether a cell being created is a copy of the original • Databases for storing vast information about stem cells • Helps in knowing the resulting outcome of changes made to a cell
Role of Bio-Informatics (cont.) • An example is the creation of a software by an engineer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) that can not only predict the types of specialized cells a stem cell will produce, but also foresee the outcome before the stem cell even divides.
Future of Stem Cell Research • More treatments for diseases and impairments like Cancer, Diabetes and Brain Damage just to name a few are expected • Ways for eliminating the controversy regarding Embryonic stem cells are being researched for • Amniotic stem cells could become a source for embryonic stem cells • Stem cells could also become the main way of drug testing in the future