Controversies Surrounding Stem Cell Research Name: University: Abstract Stem cell research is a scientific practice surrounded by many controversies and critics. Advocates of the approach deem that the method is very useful since it helps in secret treatment of some detrimental diseases…
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It also discusses in favor of stem cell research and gives some benefits of adopting this approach. Introduction Stem cells are those cells with the ability to revitalize all body cells and to specialize into different cell types like nerve, blood and muscle cells despite being undifferentiated cells. For instance, in five-day-old embryos there are embryonic stem cells, which bring about the various cells and organ of the embryo. On the other hand, because of their pluripotent characteristic, the embryonic stem cells are able to single out along each of the three germ layers of cells in the embryo and create the germ line. In addition, the embryonic stem cells are very important for various purposes in biomedical and scientific research. Among the various functions of stem cells, include dealing with basic questions in developmental biology (Hyun, 2008). In addition, for the patients with degenerative disease or have an injury, the cells could replace the damaged or sick cells. Until lately, research has been using the stem cells from excess or rejected embryos stored at in-vitro fertilization clinics (Reaves, 2001). Some studies indicate that it is possible to funnel embryonic stem cells to grow into heart muscle cells that clump together and pulse in spooky unison in a laboratory. Moreover, it is evident that there is improved recovery upon an administration of an injection of heart cells to mice or pigs with heart disease (Weiss, 2011). Another use of the stem cells is in generation of synthetic trachea, where there is no need for death or donation. This means that there can be a drastic move from transplanting organs to manufacturing them for patients. This idea would do best for simple organs like blood vessels, tracheas and ureters (Coghlan, 2011). Nordqvist (2011) adds that stem cells are a remedy for Stargardt's macular dystrophy, which causes progressive loss of vision and macular degeneration. Moreover, the degeneration in the pigmented layer of the retina can cause photoreceptor loss, which could eventually cause blindness. Consequently, human embryonic stem cells can grow to be any type of cell, including retina. There has been use of similar stem cell therapies in the past two years by researchers to create larynxes and ureters. In addition, there are teams working around the globe to develop complex synthetic organs including livers and hearts that are animal- human hybrids (Coghlan, 2011). Conversely, there are demonstrations of surprising adaptability in lab experiments in adult stem cells taken from the blood or organs of healthy adults. Although these cells are slightly useful to scientists, they do not exhibit the same promise as those picked from embryos. Since they are rather set in their techniques, adult cells do not replicate or grow as fast as their younger equivalents (Reaves, 2001). Controversies surrounding the use of stem cell research Although the use of stem cells for research was primarily scientific, it has also turned political causing debates all over the world. These debates threaten the splitting traditional alliances; leave some abortion opponents in an uneasy spot while at the same time challenges our understanding of life. In addition, there is a controversy surrounding embryonic stem cells since they originate from the inner cell mass of a blastocyst, the term for a fertilized egg four days after conception. This fact stirs a huge controversy where many
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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.
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.
Stem Cell Research The issue of ethics has not only crept in our daily lives but has also entered technical aspects of life such as health and medicine. The controversies revolving stem cell research date back to the discovery of stem cells in the late twentieth century.
Stem cell research seeks to develop stem cells to regenerate cells for nonfunctional organs and tissues. Research in stem cell has begun long time ago but has gained popularity recently due to increased scrutiny from the public especially religious organizations.
Before we get into the details of stem cell research, it is important to understand to basics of stem cells and why there are controversies in this field. The basic unit of stem cell research is the cell itself. A stem cell is a kind of cell that has the potential to divide or multiply indefinitely in culture.
The author discusses ethical and moral arguments of using embryonic stem cells. Arguments of groups or sectors opposing the use of embryonic stem cells revolve around the destruction of life because they consider the cell in the embryo as not just a simple cell but life itself or the beginning of a human being.
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).
arch for the wellbeing of human since it believes that stem cell research can find answers to some of the genetic diseases and other serious diseases like cancer, heart problems etc. For example, around 30,800 annual leukemia cases are reported in USA including 10,800
strate the potential benefits of using stem cells to better the human condition, thus the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee voted in favor of a bill designed to end President George H.W. Bush’s federal funding ban involving experiments allowing tissue transplantation