Curing Chronic Diseases

Many years of IVF-related research led to the discovery of embryonic stem cells about a decade ago. Embryonic stem cells, which are produced by embryos, have the potential to develop into any type of cell in the body — for example liver, brain or skin — and scientists all over the world are working very hard to find ways of using these cells to repair and regenerate tissue that's affected by chronic disease. Many believe that in time diseases like diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's will be cured using stem cell technology. Apart from relieving human suffering, if stem cell therapy proves successful the health-care cost savings would be enormous. However, the issue is extremely controversial and debates about the ethics of using embryonic stem cells are ongoing worldwide.

Couples at risk of passing on serious genetic conditions to their offspring can take advantage of pre-implantation genetic diagnosis or PGD (refer to Chapter 16) to ensure that only healthy embryos are transferred. If PGD identifies any of a couple's embryos as having a genetic disease, the couple may decide to donate the embryos for research, giving scientists an opportunity to study these diseases. By comparing embryonic stem cells extracted from embryos affected by a genetic condition with embryonic stem cells from healthy embryos, scientists hope to gain insight into how various genetic conditions develop and how they can be treated.

100 Pregnancy Tips

100 Pregnancy Tips

Prior to planning pregnancy, you should learn more about the things involved in getting pregnant. It involves carrying a baby inside you for nine months, caring for a child for a number of years, and many more. Consider these things, so that you can properly assess if you are ready for pregnancy. Get all these very important tips about pregnancy that you need to know.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment