By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: Just think of a world where there's cure for every disease and no one need to donate his or her body parts to save someone else's life. What if kidneys, cornea, heart, liver, mammary glands, lungs and limbs grow in test tubes or petri dish, ready for harvest in a person suffering from some severe organ failure! This will soon become a reality, thanks to the marvellous technological development in stem cell research.
Stem cells provide raw material for virtually every kind of human tissue. It's just a matter of time, before stem cell research can be applied for therapeutic uses.
Here is a small list of benefits stem cells research offer in near future:
One of the promising benefits of stem cell research is treatment for cancer. Research on dogs has shown that adult stem cells are helpful in fighting cancerous tumours. In lab studies stem cells when injected had migrated into the cancerous area and produced cytosine deaminase, an enzyme that converts a non-toxic pro-drug into a chemotheraputic agent. Tumour was reduced by about 80 per cent.
Spinal cord injury:
Spinal cord injuries, which cripple patients, can also be cured through stem cell technology. Korean scientists have demonstrated that multipotent adult stem cells when injected will help patients with spinal cord injuries to walk on their own, without any external support.
Cure for deafness:
British scientists have demonstrated that stem cells will help in curing deafness. They have developed cilia (hair) in internal ear, which will help in curing deafness. Patients will be able to hear once the transplant is done.
If scientists involved in stem cell research have their way, artificial breast implants will soon be a thing of the past. Those suffering from cancer of breast as also those who want to enlarge their mammary glands for better looks can now pin their hopes on stem cell research. Unlike artificial implants, stem cells will give breasts a natural look.
British scientists have developed a technique in which they extracted stem cells from the spare fat on stomach or the thigh region. Later, they are grown in a woman's breasts. But the process is quite slow and takes months for the breasts to grow "naturally" in size.
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