Article Summary – Researchers Identify Key Factors for Reprogramming Adult Cells into Stem Cells

Biology Research Article Summary

This article reports that scientists have succeeded in identifying and characterizing a biological factor that is crucial in transforming adult somatic cells into stem cells(Methodist, 2016). Somatic cells are cells that are not egg or sperm cells whose nucleus can be manipulated genetically to produce specific proteins, a process that alters the normal growth and maturation of adult cells. According to John P. Cooke; the lead scientist of the research, once the genetic alteration have occurred the adult cells are transformed into a new cell type, similar to human embryonic cells that possess the pluripotent quality that allows them to morph into any other cell type(Methodist, 2016).

Discussion

The transformation of adult cells into stem cells has been a challenge for scientists in the stem cell research especially with legislative restriction and moral opposition from civil society regarding the ethics of using stem cells harvested from human embryos(CIRM, 2016). This article caught my attention because of the debates moral and political debates that make the subject of using embryonic stem cells for research a controversial subject not only in the U.S. but also all the world over. This area of research revolves around the concept of genetic technology and is central to biological concepts of cell roles, gene expression, and molecular mechanisms as relates to cell differentiation, regeneration, and renewal.

I feel that stem cell research is very important as it holds the key to finding cures for various debilitating and chronic illnesses such as juvenile diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, and blindness; a subject I care very much about. Despite the fact that there is a substantial amount of funding coming from state budgets, private and public universities and other non-profit organization,I would recommend that Congress pass legislation to allow less restrictive federal funding in this area of research. This is because stem cell research represents groundbreaking discoveries in the field of medicine as regards the improvement of both the quality and longevity of human life.

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