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Ethics of Stem Cell Research

Author: Dalin Try

Editor: Galiba Anjum and Kira Tian

Artist: Serena Yung

There have been numerous attempts in the medical community to find ways to replicate organs as an alternative to organ donation. With a steady rise in demand for these organs, the medical community has been researching ways to incorporate stem cells into its research. Stem cells are unspecialized cells that can continuously divide and specialize into all types of cells and there are four types of these cells: pluripotent, totipotent, and multipotent and unipotent. What differentiates these stem cells are the stages that the cells are at during specialization. Totipotent are stem cells that have not been specialized at all, therefore allowing them to specialize into a variety of different types of cells compared to the other two types. In contrast, pluripotent are stem cells that have already been specialized in terms of their functions, but have not been specialized into a specific cell yet. Multipotent stem cells already have certain genes encoded; and lastly, unipotent stem cells are at the final stage, meaning they can only be one cell. The