Pluripotent stem cell lines have also been developed from fetal tissue older than 8 weeks of development. That is, the researcher using the line will not have to go through the rigorous procedure necessary to isolate stem cells again. The question, however, perhaps remains: Why not have the abortion go to a good cause potentially saving an actual human's life. This is one of the main advantages of adult stem cell research. Stem cell replacement therapies require large numbers of cells and the current difficulty in growing large numbers of adult cells means that their use for therapy at present is limited.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Stem cells are thought to reside in a specific area of each tissue called a "stem cell niche" where they may remain quiescent non-dividing for many years until they are activated by a normal need for more cells, or by disease or tissue injury. However, a newer type of reprogrammed adult cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells, has proven to be pluripotent. Another serious consideration is that the idea of using stem cells from human embryos or human fetal tissue troubles many people on ethical grounds. Pluripotent stem cells offer the possibility of a renewable source of replacement cells and tissues to treat a myriad of diseases, conditions, and disabilities including Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal cord injury, burns, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. The Verdict Despite the ethical issues, embryonic stem cells show an overwhelmingly higher potential to Treat Disease.