It is amazing that Stem Cell transplants can replace unhealthy cells. Alice Parks at Time.com reports that Dr. Richard Burt and his team treated diabetes patients with their own stem cells. He further states that they changed the natural history of the disease, leaving patients treatment free of insulin and no immune suppression for almost five years. I would say that is a great accomplishment.Credit: Commons.wikimedia.org, Public Domain, Mikael Haggstrom, April 27, 2009
Experiment-resources.com talks about the pros and cons of stem cell research. Some argue that it can lead to better treatment and cure of diseases such as Birth Defects, play a major role in curing cancer, and heart disease. Others argue humans should not try to play God.
I know of one young person that had the stem cell transplant of this type. She received treatment with her own stem cells. She is surviving quite well now for over a year.
Stem Cells for Dummies
Wikipedia.Org. states bone marrow and umbilical cord blood stem cells treat cancer patients. They further state that stem cells treat Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injuries, infertility, baldness, missing teeth, diabetes, and much more. The treatment for missing teeth is of interest to me, because I know of a child that was born without a permanent side tooth. The dentist discovered it when doing x-rays of the child’s mouth. I had heard of children born with a tooth in their mouth, but never of a child having a missing permanent tooth.
You will find the use of stem cell therapies in animals too. William Ray Fullmer, DVM of Yahoo Voices states that stem cell therapy treats pain and inflammation of arthritis in horses, cats, and dogs.
I recall there was a time the umbilical cord was of no value after the mother had delivered her baby. That has changed drastically now. Erica Lloyd of National Geographic News commented that cord-blood cell transplants are becoming common as a therapy for diseases of the blood. Who would have thought that the umbilical cord could be so valuable?
When I think of human embryonic stem cells having the power to treat infertility, I can just imagine the number of families that want to have children but are not able because of infertility. What are your thoughts on this? Are humans trying to play God? On the other hand, are humans trying to improve man’s health?