The pharmaceutical industry strongly encourages the scientific field of stem cell research, to develop and advance modern medicine.
Stem cells are unique among all biological cells in that they alone hold the ability to become any other type of cell in the human body. This ability holds enormous potential for the future of medicine. In today’s world, the number of cell-ravaging diseases is in the millions, and is set to rise as pathogens evolve. As such, the number of medicines needed to specifically combat each pathogen will eventually increase beyond the abilities of Man.
Stem cells provide a simple and effective method to combat this otherworldly problem. They provide a regenerative mechanism for the body to replace any and all diseased cells. The body would be able to regenerate every single cell perfectly, preserving the subject’s health without going into the time-consuming and overly complicated process of analyzing the pathogen. This is the true essence of a “cure”, to eradicate the very ability of the pathogen to harm the body, in contrast to today’s “treatments”, to merely inhibit or slow down a pathogen.
In fact, incurable diseases or handicaps may soon be cured by stem cell therapy. Experimental therapy has already cured the vision of two women, a handicap once assumed to be a given. Such therapy is set to expand into other areas such as the curing of “terminal illnesses” such as cancer, HIV/AIDS and Alzheimer’s disease.
In addition, stem cells open up an avenue of opportunities for drug research and testing. They provide the perfect test subject for experimental drugs with unknown side effects, without going against the ethics of animal or human testing. By monitoring the effects of the drugs on the stem cells, scientists are able to model the possible effects on the human body. Thus, any benefits or harmful side effects of the drugs can be noted in advance, and taken into consideration when deciding to release medicine to the rest of the biomedical and pharmaceutical industry.
The possibilities inherent in stem cells, Nature’s masterpiece, are truly astounding. It should be a priority for research to be done in this field, so as to unlock Nature’s secrets, and seek a utopia free of disease.
By: Amanda Yung (2)