On September 10, 2010 the US court lifts the ban on stem cell funding! During his term, George Bush, banned federal funding for research on embryonic stem cells, because religious conservatives believe that life begins at conception and that the research often involves the disposal of embryos. In 2009, Obama pledged to reverse the ban on federal funding for research into embryonic stem cells, which was applauded by the scientific community, who believe that the field may have a huge potential in treating serious diseases like some forms of diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s disease and many more. And now, on the 10th of 2010 the ban was lifted, allowing researches to obtain federal funding for research into embryonic stem cells.
Researchers believe stem cells will provide two significant avenues for medical advancements. These include, primarily, the ability to conduct research that cannot be performed inside the body (due to the risk of death of that person) and secondary, scientists believe that they can also coax the foundational cells into cardiac, pancreatic, brain cells, nerve cells and many more in order to replace damaged or infected cells. This may, ultimately, allow the tissues and organs to rebuild themselves
What types of stem cells are being examined for their potential medical research?
Embryonic stem cells, which are extracted from human embryos. The human embryos are developed in vitro (a laboratory dish), where they are not derived from eggs fertilised in a woman’s body.
Adult stem cells, which are taken from the body or from elements discarded after birth, such as the umbilical cord. Adult stem cells are undifferentiated (which basically means that they have the potential to grow into another type of cell, but haven’t yet). These cells are being found in more and more parts of adult human body, and lead scientists to believe in massive benefits to future transplant development.
Induced pluripotent stem cells – adult stem cells that have been genetically modified to resemble embryonic stem cells. In theory, these cells could be used just as an embryonic stem cell to develop into any other cell in the body, but in clinical practice, researchers still have doubt about their differences to embryonic stem cells and acknowledge that much more needs to be known on the topic.