Stem found in the blastocyst and somatic stem

 

Stem
cells are cells that have the potential to differentiate into any specialised
cell. There are two main types: embryonic stem cells found in the blastocyst
and somatic stem cells found in the adult’s
tissue. The embryonic stem cells initially start of as an oocyte and after some
division of mitosis, become a totipotent Morula. Then they become into a
blastocyst, and the inner mass cells become pluripotent stem cells. During
their divisions, half of them become differentiate into a specialised cell, and
half of them are self renewed. This is a huge benefit as if extracted, we would
have many stem cells to experiment on, and continue growing them from one
extraction, so we would not be damaging more human foetuses.

 

Embryonic
stem cells only originate from a single cell, at the beginning of the cycle of
life. Therefore, the extraction of embryonic stem cells may be easy but is near
impossible as ethics would not allow this; each blastocyst is a potential life.

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However, interestingly they are totipotent and pluripotent, meaning they can
differentiate into any specialised cell, depending on which germ layer they are
on in the gastrula. The outermost layer is the ectoderm, which will form the
epidermis and neurons. The middle tissue layer is the mesoderm, which will form
the bone and muscle, and the innermost layer is the endoderm, which will form
the GE tract and urinary tract. We can use this to create cells of our own if
extracted, creating vital cells to repair damaged tissue and diseases.

 

As
they are mostly found within niches like bone marrow, in hair follicles and
underneath the epidermis, somatic stem cells are mostly easy to extract. However,
they are multi-potent and have a limited number of cells specific cells to
specialise into. Unlike the embryonic stem cells, they have controllable
growth, meaning the patient may have a lower chance of developing tumours, and
eventually cancer.

 

According
to various sources, I believe that embryonic stem cells are better for
treatment on patient as “the goal of those pursuing
this kind of application is to develop tissues to treat such diseases and
afflictions as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, spinal cord injury, stroke,
burns, and heart disease” 1. They are new and can
be trusted with functioning as specialised cell throughout a patient’s body. Somatic stem cells “function
becomes impaired with age, and this contributes to progressive deterioration of
tissue maintenance and repair” which may
be because of age dependent DNA damage 2. However, if we use embryonic stem
cells in a person’s body, then it may be
rejected and make a person’s immune
system weaker, so that they are more vulnerable to pathogens. However, if all 3
germ layers are genetically identical to the donor patient, then safe
transplantation may be permitted with no immune rejection. The main objective
is the maximise the stem cell characteristics to maximise cell efficacy (proper
stem cell selction) 3

 

 

 

 

References

1 – Mark S Moller, Human
embryonic stem cell research, justice, and the problem of unequal biological
access, https://peh-med.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1747-5341-3-22

 

2 –  Behrens A,
van Deursen JM, Rudolph KL, Schumacher B, Impact of genomic damage and aging on
stem cell function, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4214082/

 

3 – Antonio Liras, future research and therapeutic
application of human stem cells: general, regulatory, bioethical aspects, https://translational-medicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1479-5876-8-131