B3 - Stem Cells in Medicine

Information on the use of stem cells in medicine.

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Stem Cells in Medicine

  • stem cells are found in embryos
  • they can also be found in adults too, but these can't be used to turn into any cell
  • stem cells are undifferentiated, and so are very useful to scientists
  • scientists believe that they can use stem cells to cure disorders like brain damage and spinal injuries
  • adult stem cells, like those found in bone marrow, are already used to cure things like leukaemia and sickle cell anaemia
  • however, adult stem cells may only be used to treat blood disorders
  • this is why there is extensive research taking place into embryo stem cells, and how we can use them to cure disorders and medical conditions
  • this could be a huge break-through, and would save thousands of lives
  • however, there are ethical problems with it, e.g. some people think it's wrong to kill an embryo for its stem cells, but others would rather save a human life already in existance than an embryo who hasn't yet turned into a foetus
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