12 August

STEM CELLS : ADVERTISING AND REALITY

cloned Dolly the sheep, the discovery of the human genome - the current advances in science often make you forget about the science fiction novels of the recent past.But any medal has two sides certainly.Often, medications and treatments, having barely pass approbation, immediately become the subject of fashion, or of speculative excitement businessmen from medicine.More recently, even the "ostepenennyh" the doctor had never heard about stem cell therapy, today advertising offers the same ease with their help to get rid of wrinkles and, and the consequences of a heart attack.What are stem cells? The first stem cell in humans is formed after five or six days after the fusion of sperm and egg.It becomes the foundation - "tree" from which, as the branches grow all living tissues.At the earliest stages of development, the embryo is made up entirely of these cells, even without "specialization", that is, not yet become mucosa, muscle or nerve tissue.The construction process of the stem cells of organs and ti

ssues occurs during uterine development.But some part of the original kletok- "bricks" is stored in unmodified form in the bone marrow and blood, and after the birth of man on earth.

Because these cells under certain conditions can turn into cells of various organs and tissues, they act as a sort of "stick-wand" that can help in critical situations.If somewhere there comes the problem, the stem cells are immediately sent back to, transformed into a damaged organ tissue, try to restore its function.

With age, the number of stem cells is becoming less and regenerative capabilities of the organism, alas, has been steadily declining.Many medical scientists are not prone to reckless optimism, talking about new medical technologies.Even today, it is clear that many sensational discoveries regarding stem cells did not survive the test of time.And it is not in bad faith scientists.Rather, it is a more subtle method of research, which takes possession of the science.For example, the published data that the hematopoietic stem cells can turn into cells of the pancreas, were, to put it mildly, does not correspond to reality.After a series of experiments, Professor D. Nelton Harvard dealing with diabetes treatment, has come to the conclusion that in fact, the donor stem cells do not produce insulin, and drew it out of the blood.To clarify this process, Neltonu needed a unique laboratory, bringing together the work of several university research database.Of course, such an expensive examination is not always carried out by those who hurry to announce the opening of a new method of cell therapy.

Today, scientists are developing methods of treatment with stem cells in two main areas.The first - is to use their own adult stem cells - autologous transplantation.The encouraging results in this direction provides the use of stem cells in the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus, certain forms of diabetes, liver damage.Not all prospects of this approach are clear.Thus, until recently, the cells of the patient's own bone marrow tried to enter his heart after coronary stent surgery.It was believed that they strengthen the myocardium.But US scientists have shown that in 70 percent of cases the introduction of stem cells results in the formation of connective tissue, resembling a scar after a heart attack.Thus, coronary stent surgery are inconclusive.

second way - is the use of embryonic stem cells of animals (sheep and cattle).And the third, which found the widest application in medical practice - the use of stem cells derived from fetal tissue obtained at the time of abortion, and the blood contained in the umbilical cord.Most of these cells are used in the transplant skin burn patients, to restore the retina and in cosmetic medicine in patients with signs of premature aging.This technique is called "revitalization" - rejuvenation.Its proponents claim that results in the intense stimulation of tissue repair processes, normalizes the function of the nervous system, improves overall health and fat metabolism.Developed international protocol, which regulates the process of blood collection, separation from her stem cells, their storage conditions.The world has made thousands of successful transplantations of cord blood stem cells.

would seem that humanity has found a wonderful elixir of youth, which always dreamed of scientists and alchemists.However, not all so rosy as it seems in reality.

Medical Centers, embryonic stem cells healing any ailments, it is easy to find in almost every advertising publications.Becoming a patient of such places is easier: pay the appropriate fee, and you do the proper miracle injection.Should we say that the price of such a procedure in the hundreds or even thousands of "conditional units"?

Let's start with the fact that most salons, supposedly applying stem cells to rejuvenate, most often do not even have a license to engage in the practice of medicine.The use here for the rejuvenation of patients - is unclear.As a general rule, advertising claims that embryonic stem cells obtained during the abortion, or umbilical cord blood harvested during childbirth.Although who produce fence material, checks the blood for the presence of human immunodeficiency virus, conducting preservation and storage - these and many other questions remain unanswered.

According to head of the laboratory of Hematology Center of RAMS Professor I. Chertkov, "none of the modern technology of stem cell therapy is not yet ready for use in the clinic."

Stem cells are fraught with unprecedented opportunities: from the regeneration of damaged organs and tissues to treat diseases, not amenable to drug therapy.But how realistic is the immediate implementation of such technologies into medical practice, whether it is possible to obtain stem cells by cloning, learning how to manage the development of such cells after transplantation into the body, who has the right to engage in such operations?These and many other questions yet to answer scientists and engineers.

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