Name: Travis Scott______________________ Date: 3/5/10________________
Period: ¾ A _____
Part 2: Exploration of Stem Cells and Research
WebQuest – Stem Cells
CP Biology Unit 5
Using the resources provided, compete the following. Make sure you check multiple sources.
You can supplement your answers with diagrams as needed. You will use this as the basis for
writing your reflection paper in Part 3, so make sure your answers are clear and complete.
1. What are stem cells?
Stem cells have the ability to transform into other cells in the body.
2. Define the following terms
Contain all genetic information to create all the cells of the body
Give rise to any type of cell in the body except those needed to develop a fetus
in the womb.
The deformation of a material undergoing non-reversible changes of shape
d. Regenerative medicine
The process of creating living, functional tissues to repair or replace tissue or
organ function lost due to age, disease, or damage.
The process by which an organism produces others of its kind
3. What is differentiation? Diagram an example of differentiation.
When unspecialized stem cells give rise to specialized cells Diagram? -3
4. Describe how cells become differentiated or specialized.
Due to internal or external stimuli
5. Where do stem cells come from?
There are several sources of stem cells. Pluripotent stem cells can be isolated from
human embryos that are a few days old. Cells from these embryos can be used to
create pluripotent stem cell "lines" —cell cultures that can be grown indefinitely in the
laboratory. Pluripotent stem cell lines have also been developed from fetal tissue
6. What is a stem cell line? How is one made?
A stem cell line is a family of constantly dividing cells, the product of a single parent
group of stem cells. They are made from human or animal tissues.
7. What are the different types of stem cells?
Blastocyst Embryonic Stem Cells, Fetal Stem Cells, Early Embryonic Stem Cells,
Umbilical Cord Stem Cells, Adult Stem Cells
8. What are embryonic stem cells? What are the properties of embryonic stem cells?
Derived from embryos, most capable of dividing without differentiating for a
prolonged period, and are known to develop into cells and tissues of the three
primary germ layers. Embryonic stem cells can turn into ANY cells or tissues, whereas,
adult stem cells can only turn into a variety based on the stem cell that they are.
9. What are adult stem cells? What are the properties of adult stem cells?
Adult stem cells are undifferentiated cells, found throughout the body after
embryonic development that multiply by cell division to replenish dying cells and
regenerate damaged tissues. As stated in question 8, adult stem cells cannot develop
into ANY cell or tissue, depending on what stem cell they are.
10. What are the similarities and differences between adult and embryonic stem cells?
Embryonic stem cells, can develop or turn into ANY cell or tissue, whereas adult stem
11. Why do scientists want to study stem cells/what are the benefits to studying them?
Stem cell research is very important for relieving human disease and suffering.
Because stem cells are the source of all tissues of the body, understanding how they
develop and work will give us a fundamental understanding of human biology in
health and sickness.
12. Why do embryonic stem cells hold promise (why are they so important)?
Research on embryonic stem cells hold promise because research on the cells
represent new hope for millions of Americans. Research on these cells has the
potential to lead to new treatments for a range of serious human sicknesses, including
diabetes, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, heart disease, birth
defects, spinal cord injury and burns.
13. What are some potential uses of embryonic stem cells? (Give specific examples with
background as needed)
Some potential uses of embryonic stem cells are: they can be used in research such
like to develop new treatments for sicknesses.
14. What are some potential uses of adult stem cells? (give specific examples with
background as needed)
Scientists in many laboratories are trying to find better ways to grow large quantities
of adult stem cells in the cell culture and try to manipulate them to generate specific
cell types so they can be used to treat injury or disease.
15. Why use embryonic stem cells vs. using adult stem cells. What are the advantages and
Use embryonic stem cells vs. using adult stem cells for the fact that embryonic can
manipulate or turn itself into any type of cell or tissue there is. Adult stem cells
cannot. Advantages would be the fact that there are more embryonic stem cells than
there are adult cells. Disadvantages would be that adult stem cells cannot be
progressed as far, and also, to use embryonic stem cells you would have to take it
from the embryo, which, in turn, destroys that.
16. What are some of the issues surrounding the debate about stem cell research? Be sure
to include arguments for and against stem cell research.
The National Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote in a letter to Congress in 2001
stating, "We believe it is more important than ever to stand for the principle that
government must not treat any living human being as research material, as a mere
means for benefit to others."
17. What three issues do you see as most important as stem cell research moves forward?
3 issues would be that more and more embryos are being harmed. Also, more and
more people are becoming unhappy with the fact that stem cell research continues.
Also, we are running out of embryos.
18. What are 3 other facts in your search that you found interesting and why?
3 other interesting facts would be the difference between embryonic and adult,
because I honestly never knew it. And I love studying stem cells because I think they
are interesting. I never knew how complex they were. And also, I enjoyed the fact
learning that embryonic stem cells can develop into ANY cell or tissue in the body,
whereas adult stem cells can only turn into some.
Nice work overall. Just be careful with definitions that you are using the definition that pertains
to the topic.