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Stem Cell Legislation in the US - Essay Example

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Research using stem cells is a very promising area for assessing possibilities of developing newer cell replacement therapies. A stem cell is defined by its ability of self-renewal and its totipotency. This article covers the history, current status and comparison of US legislation on stem cells with the rest of the world.
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Stem Cell Legislation in the US
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Download file to see previous pages Since 1998, when the scientists in University of Wisconsin isolated cells for the first time from the inner cell mass of the early human embryo, called the blastocyst, and developed the first human embryonic stem cell lines, an enhanced research is being done to understand therapeutic potential of stem cells. Moreover, the interest of scientists is increasing in regenerative medicines so that the stem cell therapy can be brought to clinics. Research efforts have focused on spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and other diseases or conditions. Scientists hope to use specialized cells to replace dysfunctional cells in the brain, spinal cord, pancreas, and other organs. The stem cells are obtained from 2-8 days old embryo created by in vitro fertilization (IVF), 5-9 weeks old foetuses aborted by elective abortion, embryos created by IVF or somatic cell nuclear transfer for research purposes and from adult tissues like bone marrow. Usually the concern is over the removal of stem cells from early stage embryos, because the embryo is killed to extract these cells from their inner cell mass. These cells have the highest potential to give rise to any cell type than the adult stem cells.
Prior to President Bush's stem cell announcement in 2001, federal law had prohibited HHS from funding human embryo research. No federal funds were given to support research on stem cells derived from human embryos. Research was done through private funding. Bush announced that federal funds would be available to support limited human embryonic stem cell research (HESC). A detailed history of 107 to 111 Congress House Bills and Senate Bills are summarized in the table below.
Congress
Bills
Description
107
House
1. HR 2059-The Stem Cell Research Act, 2001
2. HR 2096-The Responsible Stem Cell Research Act, 2001
3. HR 2747-To codify Clinton Administration's guidelines governing research using human pluripotent stem cells
4. HR 2838-To require NIH to conduct human embryonic stem cells (HESC) and repeal the human embryonic research ban contained within the labour HHS, and Education Appropriations Act
5. HR 2863-To require the establishment of an additional FDA advisory committee to make recommendation on the field of cell development, including HESC and therapeutic cloning

Senate
1. S 723- HESC generation and research
2. S 1359-To maintain a stem cell donor bank containing stem cells derived from adult tissue, placentas and umbilical cord blood
108
House
1. HR 534-Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2003
2. HR 801-Cloning of Humans (to prohibit reproductive cloning but allow therapeutic cloning)
3. HR 916-Human Cloning Research Prohibition Act of 2003
4. HR 938-Human Cloning Prevention Act of 2003

Senate
1. S 245-Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2003
2. S 303-Human cloning ban and Stem Cell Research Protection Act of 2003
109
House
1. HR 162-Use of Federal Fund to Research an HESC
2. HR 222-Prohibition of Federal Funding for Research on the Cloning of Humans
3. HR 810-The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005
4. HR 1357-The Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2005

Senate
1. S 471- Stem Cell Research ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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