Stem Cells and the Internet

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The words, “Stem cells”, have been all the rage these days. These amazing cells are purported to heal various medical conditions, including those that, as of now, do not have any treatments yet.

Given that stem cell therapies exist in various clinics scattered all over the world, there seems to be a lot of misinformation out there. Most people do not realize that the only FDA-approved stem cell therapy is a bone marrow transplant and nothing else.

That simply means that any type of treatment- whether it is for knees, the heart, brain, or any other part of the body- then those are deemed experimental. Whether you choose to get it or not, it is up to you, but you have to know its implications and potential risks as well.

Stem Cells and Google

Google is the biggest search engine provider out there and it is used by a lot of people all over the world to search for information on a particular topic.

If people suffer from medical conditions that are either not treatable through current means or it is impossible to fix it even with surgery, then they resort to stem cell therapies because information on the interwebs states that it can fix those that are not fixable given our current technology and medicine.

Aside from bone marrow transplants, there are honestly a couple of studies that were approved by the FDA, but they are only approved for clinical trials and not for administering it to the general public.

The FDA, as well as other medical communities, are cracking down websites pertaining to the misinformation of the uses of stem cells. This is to help people not to get in trouble because experimental treatments could potentially lead to further complications, not to mention death.


What Measures Were Taken?

To help track down websites that give false information about stem cell therapies, the FDA and other medical groups used Google as a tool to search for such websites. To help eliminate the possibility for personalized and country-specific search results, the team used www.google.com/ncr as the main link, with ‘ncr’ meaning no-country redirect.

Furthermore, all of the previous browsing data were deleted to ensure consistency in the results.

After using Google to track down websites about stem cell therapies, the team went on to score individual websites based on the consistency and validity of the data being presented. They make use of the four JAMA criteria for judging which includes data of the article, the author, references, and the ownership certificate of the website.

The Source of Stem Cells

It is important for the general public to know what type of stem cells are used in various treatments and therapies that are found or shown on the internet.

For the most part, the results showed a consistently high reference to adult stem cells or cells that were derived from the skin, bone marrow, and adipose tissue of the patient or host.

This is correct since adult stem cells are indeed the ones used in treatments. In closing, most of the websites on the first page of the SERPs do provide valuable and consistent information.

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