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Potential and Ethical Issues of Adult Stem Cells - Essay Example

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In the paper “Potential and Ethical Issues of Adult Stem Cells,” the author provides stem cell research, which is considered as one of the most momentous developments in this area. It has been deemed as part of the specialized field of the community of medicine for nearly 140 years…
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Potential and Ethical Issues of Adult Stem Cells
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Potential and Ethical Issues of Adult Stem Cells

Download file to see previous pages... It has been deemed as part of the specialized field of the community of medicine for nearly 140 years (Nirmalanandhan and Sittampalan 755), but the rapid advances that have been achieved in the field in the past three decades have simply been remarkable and have contributed tremendously to a contemporary approach to regenerative medicine. However, stem cell research is controversial due to the debate surrounding the possible sources of stem cells - embryonic stem cells and adult stem cell. In this sense, the research will focus only on adult stems cells (ASC) and its potential. It asserts that ASC has to address the ethical issues surrounding it as it involves human subjects. It will not be dealing with embryonic stem cells (ESC), which have been the center of numerous debates (e.g. David and Kirkhope 2005; Lavi 2007; Meyer 2008). Focus on ASC is significant as it is considered as the most viable option for stem cell therapy without the inherent ethical issues of ESC (Sutton 1444). In light of this, research will have the following structure. The first part of the research deals is the introduction where the topic of the research is introduced, the significance of the study and the structure of the research is provided. While the second section of the research will deal with the technological status of ASC. The third section will discuss the ethical issues surrounding ASC. Finally, the fourth section will focus on the analysis of the ethical issues of ASC. In the end, it is the hope of the research that this study may provide a better understanding of the ethical issues surrounding adult stem cell research in particular and stem cell research in general. 2. Adult Stem Cells Stem cells have been the considered as important because of its distinguishing characteristics which are 1) it is capable of dividing and renewing itself for a long period of time regardless of its source. 2) It is unspecialized. 3) It can give rise to specialized cells (Stem Cell Basics 3). Due to these properties, stem cells are critical in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and drug discovery and development (Nirmalanandhan and Sittampalan 758). There are two deemed sources of stem cells. These are embryonic stem cells and adult or somatic stem cells. As noted, embryonic stem cells are controversial because of it is taken from human embryos and, robust ethical debates relevant to the value and status of the human embryo is, until now, unresolved. On the other hand, adult/somatic stem cells are taken from human persons after birth (Stewart, Dickerson and Hotchkiss 433). As such, there is the notion that adult stem cells are less controversial compared with ES cells, and as such, more feasible to conduct research with even if it is considered as second only to ES cells in terms of its ability to form specialized organs (Nirmalanandhan and Sittampalan 756). The study regarding adult/somatic stem cells have started forty years ago and it has been found out that somatic cells have the ability to self-renew and differentiate into different cell types within the specific tissue they exist. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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