Stem Cell Research Technology
The life sciences make up one of the most important areas of science currently being studied. While the term “life sciences” is very broad, it usually applies to the fields of biology and medicine, with new, interdisciplinary fields also being created. Life science research products and technology typically are used to cultivate specific cells or substances, allowing the researcher to obtain necessary samples quickly and efficiently. This can be used for many different purposes, such as isolating specific substances to analyze their chemical properties, or examining the effects and mechanics of DNA damage. Right now, a crucial aspect of life science technology is the development of equipment for researching stem cells.
What are Stem Cells?
First, we must determine what exactly stem cells are. Stem cells are found in all multi-cellular organisms and can renew themselves through mitotic cell division, and can differentiate into a variety of different cell types. Researchers are currently analyzing the abilities of stem cells to transform into other cell types. This is the greatest significance of stem cells – they can potentially be used to create healthy cells, in order to combat a broad array of illnesses.
Many types of stem cells, in fact, are already in use by doctors for various therapies. For decades, bone marrow and umbilical cord blood stem cells have been used as treatment for cancer patients suffering from leukemia and lymphoma. During chemotherapy, all sorts of cells are killed, not just cancerous ones; stem cells from donors can reintroduce the healthy cells that the patient needs.
The success of stem cells in cancer therapy has led researchers to look for various other functions they can serve. Stem cell research companies have found evidence that stem cells could be highly effective in other forms of therapy and for treating a variety of ailments:
- Brain damage: Stem cells show evidence of being able to restore brain cells damaged by stroke or head trauma. Stem cells also demonstrate efficacy in treating brain degeneration, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
- Heart problems: Stem cells have many applications for the heart. They can generate heart muscle cells, stimulate growth of new blood vessels, secret growth factors, and more.
- Impaired vision: Corneal stem cells have been successfully transplanted into patients to restore damaged vision. Stem cells introduced into the cornea initiate repair, then eventually restore the vision.
These are just a few of the examples of ailments that can be treated through the use of stem cells. Life science organizations have developed many stem cell research kits that will aid scientists in discovering even more uses for stem cells, or how to use them most effectively. Stem cell research kits allow doctors and scientists to quickly and efficiently produce cells for testing. They have greatly sped up the clinical process and may be responsible for future breakthroughs.