The Effects of Climate Change on Coral Dependent Organisms Essay

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The Benefits of Stem Cell Research for Healthcare

Adriana Pagnani
Mr. Roberts
SBI 3UY
22 April 2015
Table of Contents

Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………….….3
What Is A Stem Cell?.....…..…..…..….…………..……………………….…..………………….3 Figure 1: Cross Section of a Blastocyst……..….………………………..…..…...….3
Biodiversity in Coral………………………………………………………………………………4 Figure 2: Food Pyramid of Coral Reefs………………….…………………….……4
Coral Bleaching…………………………………………………………………………………...5 Figure 3: Temperature vs. Time in Relation to Bleaching Thresholds…….….............5
Effects of Coral Bleaching on Biodiversity……………………………………………………….6
Disintegration of Coral Reefs……………………………………………………………………..6 Figure 4: Anthropogenic Carbon Dioxide Concentration in Sea Surface Water………6
Effects of Acidity on Biodiversity………………………………………………………………...7 Figure 5: Chemical Equation of Calcium Bicarbonate…………………………………7
Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………...…8
Works Cited……………………………………………………………………………………….9

Introduction Stem cell research is a fairly recent initiative that has aided in the advancement of biological and healthcare related research. Because of their unique capability to differentiate into any type of cell, stem cells can be used to treat a wide variety of ailments, from simple physical trauma to complex genetic diseases. Stem cells are often derived from human embryos, and thus moral and ethical debates have run rampant when discussing the feasibility of this research. The debate over the point a human life is viable contributes to the turmoil related to the topic, and separate countries have developed their own standards making an international norm inconceivable. Stem cells are imperative to the advancement of medical research, as their full potential has yet to be seen – hundreds of research studies are performed every year using them as subjects. Although the cells have been proven effective in treating a range of blood and immune system illnesses, thousands of other treatments remain in the experimental stage, halted by protest. It is because of these moral questions that the progression in stem cell research has slowed down in recent years while different governing bodies struggle to create comprehensive policies regarding the use of stem cells. Regardless of its many ethical and moral disputes, stem cell research is imperative for the well-being and advancement of the scientific community, medical community, and society as a whole.
What Is A Stem Cell?
Stem cells are simply undifferentiated cells. Typically found in human embryos, the cells are capable of developing into specialized cells when certain gene pathways are altered in order for the ‘blank’ cell to transform into something different. This is called “cell differentiation”. During this process, the genes of a stem cell become altered in such a way that instead of dividing into another stem cell, it will begin to transform into one of more than two hundred different types of cells needed to create human life; for example, brain cells or muscle cells. The process can occur naturally, or be induced by outside forces such as researchers. These cells are typically found in a blastocyst of a human embryo, as seen in Figure 1. On day five of development, the stem cells still at the core of the blastocyst are extracted for research use. The cells from this source are thus called “embryonic” stem cells. It has been observed that stem cells seemingly do not have a limit to their divide; as long as the organism remains alive, stem cells can continue to be generated.
Biodiversity in Coral It is estimated that over 25% of marine life inhabits coral reefs (WWF). Coral reefs get their vibrant colours from organisms called zooxanthellae. These photosynthesizing algae have a symbiotic relationship with the coral they inhabit. The skeletons of the coral provide shelter and…