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Stem Cell Research - Essay Example

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Stem Cells Research Introduction Stem cells are cells in an organism that have the ability to develop into different types of cells. They are the progenitors of all body cells found in both animals and human beings. There are three types of progenitor cell, embryonic stem cells produced from fertilized eggs, adult stem cells found all over the bodies of adults and children and foetal stem found in the umbilical cord and placenta of embryos older than eight weeks…
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Stem Cell Research
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Download file to see previous pages Most criticized is research involving human embryonic stem cells. Most opposition on stem cell research is mainly on moral and religious issues. Most controversies on stem cell research exist, attributed to myths and misconceptions regarding stem cell research. Misconceptions are arising due to the biased nature of reporting from the media as well as error that result especially when reporters are not conversant with facts on stem cell research. This paper is in favor of stem cell research due to the reasons listed below. The important role it will play in cancer treatment, regenerative medicine, repair of destroyed organs, in cure of killer diseases such as leukemia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes treatment, correction of developmental problems in humans even prior to birth, production of clones that could be used for organ harvesting and carrying out drug tests. As opposed to what most critic of stem cell research believes, blastocysts are not human beings thus their destruction does not constitute to killing. Scientifically, an embryo is not human until it is at least two weeks old, at least until the nervous system becomes evident (Mummery and Guido 672-673). In addition, the potential medical benefit from stem cell research is of greater importance compared to moral concerns raised about the embryo. With support and funds from the government, more talented scientist would be willing to get into stem cell research hence accelerate research. This will also enable the government to monitor embryonic research as compared to the privatized research (Mummery and Guido 672-673). In such cases, the government can ensure researchers carry out embryonic stem cell responsibly. Most people opposed to embryonic stem cell research claim that it is without the embryo’s consent. However, the same people are not opposed to organ transplant in children, which only requires parental consent. Embryonic stem cell research should therefore require only the consent of the donor of the embryo since it is not different from organ donation involving children. In addition, it offers the opportunity to extend life or improve life just like in the case of the less opposed pediatric organ transplant (NIH Stem Cell Information 7; Jones, Byrne 75). Both the researcher and those oppose to stem cell research agree that stem cell research could be a possible solution to many diseases. The conflict is on the source and means of obtaining the stem cells. The argument that humans not be subjects for experimentation does not add up. Humans as well as human tissue act as specimens for experiments since time immemorial in both education and carrying out trial tests (Mummery and Guido 672). For example, all doctors have to dissect human cadaver as part of their medical training. In addition, the success in human organ transplant was only possible after several tests and experiments involving human subjects. Drug trials carried out all the time involve using human subjects. The issues discussed above have received little or no objection, yet they involve experimentation with human body just like in case of stem cell research (Mummery and Guido 672-678). From this, it is obvious that success in human medicine is not possible without taking the risk of involving human subject to carry out research. Considering abortion is legal ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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Stem Cell Research
The pluripotent stem cells also referred as embryonic cells have the ability to differentiate into every cell of the body while the multipotent (adult) stem cells can only differentiate into multiple cells but not all cell lineages in the body. Research on stem cells spans a broad range of scientific and medical fields.
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There are three main types of stem cells: embryonic, adult and induced pluripotent stem cells; of which, embryonic stem cells are found in early embryos and can have the potential of developing into any cell in the body. Adult stems are found in populations around the body after birth such as in the bone marrow and can develop into a limited range of cells, while induced pluripotent stem cells are grown in the laboratory and can be modified to be more specialized.
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It is interesting to note that both adults and embryos have stem cells. However, the research of adult stem cells is not what has caused so much furor in the academic and socio-religious circles. The controversy is regarding embryonic stem cells and the research thereon.
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Currently, no research on human embryos can be supported with federal funds because of the controversial origins of these cells (Gerald D. Fischbach, 2004). The root of the argument lies around embryonic stem cells, which enable research that may support the development of medical treatments, but requires the destruction of an embryo to derive.
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Right after the scientific community discovered potential advantages of stem cell research, there was an effort made to ask funding from the government. However, from the past stem cell research received rejection from the Federal Government and one indication of it was withholding of financial support from the state (US Congress, 2011, p.8665).
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Science and technology has developed so much that in the recent years scientists hope to use these cells to develop new tissues, treatments and potentially even organs for transplanting into a patient. First and foremost argument made by the scientific community is that human stem cell research is said to promise new life changing treatments and possible cures for many devastating diseases and injuries, such as Parkinson's disease, diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, burns and spinal cord injuries (Young 2-16).
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Much like its close cousin, human cloning, stem cell research attempts to breach the treacherous chasm between what is scientifically possible and what is culturally allowable. While the need to maintain a moral and ethical balance in any research is always a
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