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Stem Cells Rock
By Christopher Weaver

Many injuries and medical conditions used to mean the end of the road for a human life. This is no longer the case thanks to developments in modern medicine. One of the most interesting of these is stem cell research. It has shown extreme promise for being the answer to lots of medical quandaries. Instead of finding a way to artificially repair conditions, we can introduce stem cells that will repair damage naturally. It has been used to regenerate things such as skin, liver, heart, and blood. With stem cells available in all humans they can be taken from a person, grown in a lab, and then used on themselves. This removes the need for a donor in a lot of situations and therefore reduces greatly the risk of transplant rejection. The video below will give you an elementary understanding of what stem cells are.

Doctor Jörg Gerlach of the University of Pittsburgh’s McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine has created a method that has patients regenerating new skin in days using stem cells. He has devised a stem cell spray gun to treat his burn victims. I was shocked to discover that the majority of damage to a burn victim comes from infections, not necessarily from the burns themselves. So it is no surprise that reducing the recovery time from weeks or months to days drastically improves the outcome for these patients. Here’s a video that explains more, and tells the account of the first man to undergo this procedure and regrew his skin in 4 days.

There may be no limit to what stem cells can accomplish for the human race, maybe we can tack on another 100 years to our life cycle. Recreating organs as they fail, or discovering a way to sustain their usefulness much longer. Yet for some reason over the last 10 years the legality and funding for stem cell research has been questionable.  During President Bush’s 2 terms, Congress passed the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act twice, both times it was vetoed by Bush. Thankfully we are under new leadership, and President Obama as of March 2009 lifted the restrictions by an executive order. With 70% of Americans being pro stem cell, it is good to know that our voice is heard. Further legislation will be done to ensure that no restrictions be put in place in the future. If you would like to know more about current stem cell research, Research America has all the answers.


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