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Embryonic stem cells - Research Paper Example

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Embryonic Stem Cells Embryonic Stem Cells According to Starr et al (2010), Stem cells are self-renewing in nature (Starr et al., 2010, p.449). Stem cells are usually classified into two groups; embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. As the name indicates, embryonic stem cells form soon after fertilization whereas adult stem cells form during adulthood…
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Embryonic stem cells
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Download file to see previous pages Because of this precious ability, embryonic stem cells can be used to treat many of the human diseases. However, isolation of embryonic stem cells is impossible without destroying the embryo and therefore embryonic stem cell isolation and researches are controversial. This paper briefly analyses utility of embryonic stem cells and the ethical issues involved in embryonic stem cell research. Utility of embryonic stem cells According to Dr Rickard (2002), “the culturing of embryonic stem cells holds tremendous potential for the development of new forms of regenerative medicine to treat debilitating or fatal conditions that would not otherwise be curable” (Dr Rickard, 2002, p.1). Starr et al have pointed out that embryonic stem cells have huge importance in the life of a person and it could be used to provide new nerve cells (Starr et al., 2010, p.449). It should be noted that there are many people in this world who are suffering from nerve problems such as Parkinson disease, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, dimenisia Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS etc. These diseases can affect the memory of the patient and normal life is extremely difficult for them. For example, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a disease which affects nerve cells in brain and spinal cord which control muscle movement. Even though genetic defects were reported in some cases, the exact reasons for ALS is still unknown in majority of the cases. (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, n. d.). ALS patients may not be able to move freely because of the problems in the communication between brain and muscles. Nerve cells or neurons which helps brain to communicate with other body organs may become dysfunctional in the case of ALS patients. Embryonic stem cells can do wonders in the case of such patients. As mentioned earlier, embryonic stem cells have the ability to reproduce all the lost cells and it can bring back the patient to his normal state. According to Inou (2010), Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers' is caused by problems in cortical neurons whereas in dementia, Lewy bodies, or frontotemporal lobar degeneration is causing the disease. Parkinson disease is caused by dopaminergic neurons whereas upper and lower motor neurons cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (Inou, 2010, p.2560). As in the case of ALS patients, embryonic stem cells can help patients with neurodegenerative diseases like diseases such as Parkinson disease, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, epilepsy, dimenisia etc. Stem cells are capable of renewing themselves into different types of cells which can be used to replace or repair malfunctioning or inactive cells. Another major feature of embryonic stem cells is its ability to stay secure even after many years, if stored under suitable conditions. Ethical issues involved in embryonic stem cell research Even though separation of adult stem cells is not a worry for medical science, separation of embryonic stem cells is not so. Embryonic stem cells are taken from aborted fetuses. It is impossible to separate embryonic stem cells without killing the embryo. In other words, in order to make the life comfortable for some people, destruction of embryos is necessary. Many people, including believers in different religions have questioned the morality of destroying a human life for saving the life of others. However, there are many others who ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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