Blog Five Answering my Main Inquiry Question
Answering my main inquiry question at first was a challenge. It was a challenge because at first I had no idea that we even had to answer it and write an essay about it but after 5 days of really hard work my essay was ready. This is probably my favorite essay that I have ever wrote. I liked it so much because we got to have total control over what it is about. Now you may be thinking “What is so important and rare about being able to choose the topic of your essay?” Well it is a big deal because normally you write your essays about books and other stuff that your teacher assigns. It is not that way for the first time. I got to write mine on stem cells. Here is my finished, edited, and revised essay!:
Stem Cells Today and In The Future
All those people out there in the world that have an incurable disease that is slowly killing them are so sad and desperate for a cure and many people, doctors, and even hospitals don’t think there is a cure, but there could be with stem cells! Stem cells are cells in your body that can turn into any cell that could save your life! Stem cells could also improve your life like help with blindness or a lifelong incurable condition like Cerebral Palsy, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Today I will be talking about how stem cells are used now and how they will revolutionize medicine in the future.
Stem cells are mainly used today in the research phase and in early stages of clinical trials. For example, Stanford Medicine did a clinical trial with 12 patients who were all stroke victims who had survived, but were permanently disabled. Stanford surgeon Gary Steinberg, Chair of Neurosurgery, injected stem cells directly into the brain of patients with a very fine needle and after the surgery they were no longer disabled. One 71-year old wheelchair bound patient walked again after the Stanford surgery. Dr. Steinberg said, “This is not just minimal recovery like not being able to move a thumb and then being able to wiggle it. A single seventy-one year old wheelchair-bound patient was walking again after the surgical procedure.” I think this is amazing because this surgery could potentially help over 5 million people each year. That number is based on my research. I learned that 15 million people suffer from strokes worldwide each year and of those people, 5 million die and another 5 million are permanently disabled. This surgery could help the portion of people that are disabled. Imagine 5 million disabled people possibly being cured each year! So in theory over a hundred years more than 500,000,000 million people around 1/16th of the world’s population today would not be disabled.
That is just part of what stem cells can do. Stem cells are also being used in the research phase when they are being used to regenerate themselves from being specialized cells back into a very pluripotent cell, IPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells) in the chain. These specialized cells are being used today to see if they could be used in a human safely, without the risk of having a blood clot or a stroke. They are doing this so if somebody does not have their stem cells they can also have a chance to have the same life-changing treatment as others who have stem cells and also need the treatment. Hopefully, what stem cells are doing today will carry on into the future to help save and improve many lives.
Stem cells in the future are expected to treat many diseases like Parkinson’s disease, and maybe even diabetes. Now for Parkinson’s disease it could help because it is a neurodegenerative disorder. Stem cells already help people that are paralyzed in a stroke to the point where you cannot talk so maybe just maybe it could do the same thing with part of Parkinson’s disease. It could potentially help with speech, like it did in Stanford Medicine’s small clinical trial of 12 patients, in particular with Sonia Coontz. It might also be able to help with seeing, as well, because in many places around the world clinical trials are popping up for blindness. For example, in Italy a scientist injected stem cells into the eyes of patients who had not seen in many years and then saw again. The doctor that was doing that said “I saw patients who could see again after 20 years of blindness. How could I stop?” Part of this is not so good because some of the clinical trials are backfiring and the patients who got injured and harmed, lost hope because their problem in their eyes was not fixed. On top of that they could not sue the hospital for messing up the surgery. This happened because the doctors who performed the surgery said that they followed the procedure correctly. I don’t know the rest of the story but four other people had the same problem with the same hospital.
For diabetes stem cells could help by producing glucose cells. Now, you are probably thinking what is so important about glucose cells? Well, actually they are really important for diabetes because, according to my research, diabetes is when you have high blood sugar because of a lack of glucose in the pancreas. Therefore, the glucose cells produce the glucose which could stop the “Silent Killer” (diabetes) from killing so many people each year. Did you know that in 2016 diabetes was the direct cause of 1.6 million deaths of the 55.3 million deaths that year?
Overall, stem cells are being effectively used today for stroke victims and are helping scientists research ways to help find cures to be used in the future. Also, after you read this tell your brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, parents, grandparents, and even great grandparents about how stem cells are being used today and in the future and what their potential is and how one day they could even save their lives. You should do this because of all the ethical issues of taking embryonic stem cells from a human embryo. This is a problem because some people believe that life begins at the embryo stage, so experimenting with an embryo is like destroying a human life. They think this because they believe that life starts when the sperm and the egg meet. On the other hand, other people think life begins when people are taken out of the mother’s stomach. Hopefully, you will spread the word about stem cells and their great cause and donate to stem cell foundations like NYSCF (New York Stem Cell Foundation) or Sloan Kettering Stem Cell Lab. I hope you learned a lot about stem cells today and stem cells in the future.