Imagine two people are listening to music. What are the odds that they are listening to the same playlist? Probably pretty low after all, everyone has very different tastes in music. Now, what are the odds that your body will need the same medical care and treatment as another person’s body? Even lower. As we go through our lives, each of us will have different needs for our own healthcare. Scientists and doctors are constantly researching ways to make medicine more personalized. One way they are doing this by, researching stem cells. Stem cells are cells that are undifferentiated, meaning they do not have a specific job or function. While skin cells protect your body, muscle cells contract, and nerve cells send signals, stem cells do not have any specific function. Stem cells do have the potential to become all other kinds of cells in your body. Scientist can use stem cells to help understand how the body works. Scientist can watch stem cells develop into tissue to understand the mechanisms that the body uses to create new tissue in a controlled and regulated way. Scientists hope that with more research, they can not only develop specialized medicine that is specific to your body but also, understand how your body functions, both when its healthy and when it’s not. There are 3 ways to harvest stem cells Altered Nuclear Transfer, Blastomere Extraction, and a Somatic cell nuclear transfer.
Altered nuclear transfer (ANT) makes it possible for stem cells to be removed from an embryo without destroying the embryo itself in the process. Altered nuclear transfer could offer a way out of the current ethical dilemmas surrounding embryonic stem cell research. Normally, embryonic stem cells have been obtained by growing a human embryo into a cluster of cells that contain an inner cell mass. It is the inner cell mass that is abundant in the embryonic stem cells; after this inner cell mass is removed, the embryo is ultimately destroyed. ANT, however, prevents an embryo from actually being created. The nucleus of the somatic cell is changed, or genetically reprogrammed, before being transferred into the egg. The consequence of the modification is that the somatic cell DNA still produces stem cells but does not generate an embryo.
Blastomere extraction harvest technique is also one potential way around the ethical concerns, which result from the destruction of an embryo. Blastomere extraction is performed on a two-day old embryo, after the division of the fertilized egg into eight blastomere. It was found that embryonic stem cells could be extracted from blastomere, which thus avoids the destruction of the embryo. The cell could be triggered to divide…