Embryonic stem cells (ESC)are cells cultured in a laboratory through the method of in-vitro fertilization or fertilization of the egg and seed in a glass container. It is a combination outside the mother’s womb, giving rise to a living embryo externally. This medical breakthrough has been one of the biggest leaps of medical science this past century bringing with it supporters and non supporters in great strength.
If embryonic stem cell cultures were to be used for the benefit of the medical world to alleviate suffering, there are many diseases and illnesses that could possibly be healed, cured or repaired based on similar tests done on rodents. Nonetheless, the controversy arising out of its possibilities delays the period for when such possible outcome could be seen. Ignoring the controversies that do exist, here are the possible benefits of embryonic stem cell research. These are predictions based on ESC research done on rodents which could reflect a similar change in human beings too.
# 1. Spinal Cord injuries.
One of the prime areas that medical professionals hope to made a difference is by using ESC to bring about changes in Spinal Cord Injuries. These could be injuries that could be detected prior to birth or brought about by an accident. The intention is to be able to gift paralytic patients with a chance to be mobile.
# 2. Cardiac Conditions
One of the main killers of human existence is the dreaded heart attack. Once a patient gets through the experience of a heart attack, the heart muscles are found to be weaker and damaged, making the patient vulnerable to every little form of stress and exertion. It is the hope that ESC cultures and experiments will find a cure for damaged heart muscles by way of repairing damaging cardiac tissue.
# 3. Parkinson’s Disease.
Parkinson’s Disease is caused by the depletion of dopamine in the basal ganglia of the brain. Studies in mice with Parkinson’s-like symptoms were the basis for the study of ESC. Tests indicated that ESC were able to generate dopamine rich neurons which changed the Parkinson’s patterns in mice when treated. There is a possibility that many features in the human diseases too could be altered or cured based on these findings.
# 4. Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that many fear, especially when it is genetically transmitted. One of the most feared type is the type 1 diabetes in humans. ESC cultures and impact on human medicine could probably alter the diabetes type-1-causing gene to become insulin producing and sugar controlling. This would make a huge impact on many communities at large.
# 5. Arthritis
Arthritis is a degenerative tissue ailment where the tissues and cartilage around joints wear away for good. Repair does not happen although a lot of external or internal forms of treatment can help slow the process. Scientists believe that human ESC can play a major role in providing the necessary gene required for tissue repair.
Much of these speculations are based upon ESC studies done on rodents. There are possible benefits from these studies done on humans although that is a highly controversial and ethically debatable, and moreover, what happens in rodents are not necessarily true in humans. These projected benefits and the hope of many suffering and only time will tell.