Stem Cells in Biomedicine

... with a Flavor of Bioethics


Table of Contents

Slide 1 - Stem Cells in Biomedicine... with a Flavor of Bioethics

Slide 2 - Introduction :: Prerequisites

Slide 3 - Introduction :: Images of Different Cells and Tissues

Slide 4 - What are Stem Cells ? :: Definition

Slide 5 - What are Stem Cells ? :: Types of Stem Cells

Slide 6 - The Embryonic Stem Cells :: Totipotent Stem Cells

Slide 7 - The Embryonic Stem Cells :: Image of the Blastocyst

Slide 8 - The Embryonic Stem Cells :: Pluripotent Stem Cells

Slide 9 - The Embryonic Germ Cells

Slide 10 - The Adult Stem Cells

Slide 11 - The Hematopoietic Stem Cells

Slide 12 - Cultivation of Stem Cells

Slide 13 - Where Do The Embryos Come From ?

Slide 14 - Some Bioethical Issues :: Opponents

Slide 15 - Some Bioethical Issues :: Proponents

Slide 16 - The Promises of Stem Cells Research

Slide 17- The Promises of Stem Cells Research :: A Scheme

Slide 18 - Stem Cells and The Blood

Slide 19 - Stem Cells and Nervous System

Slide 20 - Stem Cells and Nervous System :: A Scheme

Slide 21 - Stem Cells and The Heart

Slide 22 - Stem Cells and The Heart :: A Scheme

Slide 23 - Stem Cells and Diabetes

Slide 24 - Stem Cells and The Skin

Slide 25 - Outlook for Stem Cells

Slide 26 - Thank You !

Author: Dr. Mugur A. Roz MD, PhD.
Decision Systems Group, Harvard University
Health Sciences & Technology Division, Harvard - MIT

Embryonic stem cells are cells cultured from early embryos, which renew themselves indefinitely and have the ability to develop into a wide variety of different mature cell types, like the brain, heart, bones, muscles, and skin cells. Embryonic stem cells are the early building blocks of each human being.

Human stem cells are a unique biomedical resource that may help scientists understand complex processes of human development, as well as to treat diverse diseases.

Stem cells are also found in adults but less is known about them, and their developmental potential may be more restricted than that of embryonic stem cells.

The ability to grow human tissue of all kinds may make it possible to cure numerous cell-based diseases like heart failure, diabetes and Parkinson's disease, and to make organ transplants unnecessary. Failing hearts and other organs, in theory, could be brought back to health by injecting stem cells into damaged or diseased tissue.

Along with all these biomedical advances come difficult ethical questions, which have ignited passionate debate.

Research on embryonic stem cells involves destruction of human embryos. Many consider that the human embryo deserves the same respect as any other form of human life and therefore should not be destroyed.

Even more, some consider that embryonic stem cell research will transform embryos into commodities to be sold for a profit.

If the moral issues are to be dismissed, one can hardly condemn past atrocities such the Tuskegee experiments of the 1920's in which black men suffering from syphilis were promised treatment, only to have it denied, so scientists could study the late evolution of the disease.

The goal of this presentation is not to propose nor to oppose stem cells research, but to correctly inform about all its issues. Conclusions are up to the critical thinking abilities of the reader...

Click here for a pdf version of this presentation.

Mugur Roz