"Stem Cell Research" is a term that has yielded plenty of promising results over the past 10 years. Stem cells are tiny cells that contain the information needed to develop a minuscule embryo into a fully functioning living organism. These cells can be extracted from embryos in early stages of development and can be used to grow or regenerate a wide range of tissue. Although stem cell research is a relatively new science, many experts agree that much is to be gained. .
"Stem cells seem to remind the body that is knows how to heal itself," (A) says William Haseltine, referring to the studies in which stem cells are injected into a patient in order to stimulate growth of lost or damaged tissue. Recent studies have shown great progress in treating a wide range of diseases.
The process by which stem cells are used to regenerate tissue is quite complicated. If one were to try to regenerate skin, for example, they would first have to isolate the nucleus of a skin cell of a donor. Then the nucleus must be implanted into an egg and the egg must be allowed to develop. Then in the early stages of development the scientists can pluck out the embryonic stem cells that are genetically identical to that of the donor. They could then culture these cells to in effect "grow" skin. The fact that this skin is genetically identical to that of the donor would eliminate the risk of rejection and the need for immunosuppressive drugs that may lead to complications.
So far, most of the research has been performed on lab mice. Researchers have successfully isolated stem cells that seem to play an important role in the repairing of heat disease. There have also been promising results in treating of diabetes. Stem cell research has not just been limited to the rodents there have been several human studies. For example a woman named Sylvia Elam had undergone several surgeries since her massive stroke in 1992.