Stem Cell Research May Lead to the Production Of Organs
Start writing a post
Student Life

From Cells to organs: Stem Cells Are A Necessity For The Future

The greater good of granting millions of people a second chance at life serves as an objective that this project wishes to realize.


The controversy embodying the scientific implications of stem cell therapies has created a divide in both society and the research community. It was only in 1998 that James Thompson from the University of Wisconsin isolated cells from an embryo to innovate the first line of stem cells of human tissue. Preceding decades saw light shed on stem cells from hamsters and primates, culminating to this continuity in medical science. The potential to treat neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's or repair histological tissue of organs is unprecedented, until faced with the principal caveat to the opposition of stem cell research; stem cells are primarily extracted from embryos at the cost of the developing life. I hope to discuss the potential stem cells have to further revolutionize medicine as well as discuss how quintessential it is for the future of humanity.

Hiromitsu Nakaichi, MD, PhD, is one of the leading stem cell researchers in the Stanford School of Medicine. His research involves the use of stem cells to produce human organs in sheep and pigs. The stem cells used to make the tissue can be genetically identical to the recipient of the organ, diminishing the potential of rejection.

This could alleviate the critically low number of organs available for transplantation. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), there are currently 114,835 patients in need of an organ transplant, yet 14,780 transplant have been performed as of June 2018. There are a total of only 7,106 donors available for these procedures. Being able to synthesize these organs in a lab would help remove patients from the waitlist. Furthermore, other researchers can use the same organs to test drugs or conduct new surgical procedures instead of using actual patients for human trials. This could catalyze the discovery of new treatments and revolutionize medical research.

One of the ethical concerns of Dr. Nakaichi's research is the use of sheep and other animals to nourish the development of these stem tissues. Pluripotent cells are injected in the embryo of sheep and pigs in order to provide the organ with a supply of nutrients to develop in tandem with the animal. The University of Tokyo had to ban research on experiments on animals that involve internal implantation of tissue at the command of the Japanese government in 2014, prompting Nakaichi to continue his project in Stanford. Then the NIH withdrew funding of the project in the following year due to the ethically thin line of cloning humans and creating chimeras out of these organs. However, Nakaichi's research was sponsored by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine with a $6 million grant.

Whether the use of stem cells invokes controversy in the methods of extracting and conducting research on them, the greater good of granting millions of people a second chance at life serves as an objective that this project wishes to realize. The ability to test medications and surgeries on human tissue without risking human lives can prove to save billions more as research is conducted using these organs as a medium. The act of "playing God" by using stem cells is no different than conducting a surgery on someone in need; both involve the use of modern medicine to prolong an individual's life.

There are many other means where humans have manipulated nature for the betterment of the race, which in its own extent can be considered "playing God." At the end of the day, the objective in life is to live as happily as possible without harming others. Medicine grants people the time to realize this goal to the fullest extent that life grants them. Overall, stalling the advancement of science stagnates the realization of this goal.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments