Embryonic stem cell research has become something of a hot topic for news pundits and commentators from all backgrounds. While there are many arguments for and against stem cell research, the basic truth of the matter is that this research does have a real, positive impact on people’s lives. This research leads to some real cutting-edge treatments that can lead to cures in everything from cancer to hair loss. When you are interested in learning more about how you can benefit from this cutting-edge technology, it’s important to ask yourself “what is a stem cell, and how can I benefit from it?”
Most stem cells come from umbilical cords, and are essentially normal human cells that haven’t yet differentiated or “specialized” as one type of cell. Umbilical cord stem cells are young enough to still be in something of a developmental stage. When these cells are harvested, scientists can use laboratory techniques to guide that cell into the development of one specific type of cell they need. Since cord blood stem cells are among the easiest to acquire, they are often the ones used for this research. The acquisition of these cells is really where stem cell treatment initially begins.
Once the cells are harvested, they are used either in research or in the application of actual treatments. When they are stored, stem cells are stored in a secure facility known as a stem cell bank, where they are kept until they are needed. Scientists have found ways to turn these cells into a wide range of useful cells, including skin cells for burn victims. There are even a number of stem cell hair loss treatments out there for people who need such treatments. While these applications are not always geared toward life-saving treatments, the potential for the development of these life-saving treatments is very real.
In the end, there is a lot that can be learned from the studying of stem cells. These cells are among the most important tools being used in modern medical research, and many scientists are looking at them as the potential key for curing many terrible illnesses. Whether that is true or not will be left up to time and science to decide. However, with such a massive amount of real potential, it is very hard for the world of medical science to disregard looking into the benefits of further independent stem cell research.