The Controversy Surrounding Stem-cell Research

Stem-cell research is a complex subject. First of all you need to know there are three main categories of stem cells. Embryonic, Fetal and Adult; not everyone is for or against all of these types. There are different sets on pros and cons to each of these types and I will address a few for each type. I believe the pros outweigh the cons in each of these and stem cell research is very beneficial for medical purposes.
The term ‘stem cell research was first used by gist Alexander Maksimov, a Russian histologist in 1908. His postulate was made in Berlin at the congress of hematological society and proposed the existence of haematopoietic stem cells. Most was quiet in the way of stem cell research until the 1960s when Altman and Das present evidence of ongoing stem cell activity in the brain called neurogenesis. Their research is widely ignored because it contradicts Cajal’s ‘no new neutrons’ theory. Since then discoveries have been being made increasingly often. Treating SCID with bone marrow transplants, the discovery of stem cells in cord blood, and curing leukemia are only a few of the uses stem cells have been used for.
Embryonic stem cell research is perhaps the most controversial form of stem-cell research. It involves taking cells from aborted fetuses for research and treatment of diseases. Not to say that fetuses should be conceived just to be aborted for this reason but if a woman chooses to abort her baby it is a good thing it could be used for good, to cure diseases plaguing others. Embryonic stem cell lines are from the inner cell mass of a blastoyst, that is, a very young embryo. Probably around four to five days old in humans and consisting of no less than 50 and no more than 150 cells. When given sufficient and necessary stimulation stem cells can develop into more than 200 types of cells in the adult body, this gives then potential to cure numerous diseases.
While there are currently no approved treatments using embryonic stem cells, they remain a theoretically potential source for regenerative and tissue replacement after injury and disease. The variety of cells they can develop into makes limitless possibilities for medicine. Turning ES cells into usable cells while avoiding transplant rejection are some problems scientists will have to work through. But like for organ transplants and anti-rejection drugs it is possible these obstacles could be overcome.
Next, Adult Stem cells do not cause anywhere near as much controversy as embryonic stem cells because no organisms are destructed in the procedures. Also known as a somatic stem cell, adult stem cells are characterized by any cell found in a developed organism that has the ability to divide and create a cell more differentiated than itself. Contrary to the name Adult stem cells can be found in both adults and children. In some situations the needed stem cells can be obtained from the recipient so the risk of rejection is almost non-existent, in this case the procedure is called an autograft,
I believe the furthering of stem cell research will be a good thing for science and medicine. As it progresses it will enable people with life changing diseases to live normally and let people who would otherwise had to have paid and taken medicine their entire lives to lead normal lives. I can see how some people would think stem cell research is morally and ethically wrong and there is definitely a fine line where it becomes gross and cruel but any one person isn’t able to say exactly where it becomes ‘wrong’. I believe conceiving babies solely to be killed for research is wrong. But I also believe that a fetus that would have been killed and tossed away anyway can be used to help someone else’s life.

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