AQA Additional Science: Biology (B2): Stem Cells

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  • Created on: 04-05-13 10:39
Preview of AQA Additional Science: Biology (B2): Stem Cells

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Stem Cells
Differentiation is the process by which a cell changes to become specialised for its job.
Animal cells lose the ability to differentiate at an early stage, but plant cells don't ever lose
this ability.
Stem cell is the name given to the cells that are not yet differentiated they have the potential
to develop into any type of cell depending on the instructions given. Stem cells are found in
early human embryos as well as certain places in adults, such as bone marrow, but adult
bone marrow stem cells can only turn into certain ones.
Stem cells can be used to cure diseases. For example, people with sickle cell anaemia (and
some other blood diseases) can be treated by bone marrow transplants. This is because the
bone marrow stem cells can turn into new blood cells to replace the faulty ones. Scientists
can also extract stem cells from very early human embryos and grow them.
Stem cells are controversial. Some people argue that... (Against)
Human embryos are a potential human life, therefore shouldn't be used for experiments.
There should be other ways of curing certain diseases without the use of embryonic stem
We should look for alternative sources of stem cells other than the embryonic stem cells.
Others argue that... (For)
Embryos are only potential life they are not a fully grown baby and might not have a soul
Curing existing people who are suffering is more important than the right of embryos.
Embryos used in stem cell research are usually unwanted one from fertility clinics ­ so they
would be destroyed anyway.


lisa linsdell

Useful revision notes on Stem Cells, Also covers some of the ethical arguments for and against the use of Stem Cells. suitable for OCR and AQA exam boards. 

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