The Importance of Stem Cell Research

Stem cell research is a topic almost everybody in the world has a viewpoint on. Many view the issue of stem cell research and stem cell therapy as morally wrong and a crime against humanity, others view the study of stem cells as the next step in modern science. What are stem cells? Stem cells are non-specialized cells that have the capability to mature into more specified cells to help with certain functions or diseases. Cells are the basic building blocks of the human body and these tiny structures compose the skin, muscles, bones, and all of our internal organs. Cells are necessary for our body to live, there are over one-hundred specialized cells in our body. Stem cell research should be supported due to the plethora of potential benefits to the medical community and the human race as a whole.
Medicine today is moving quickly to make more effective cures for diseases and new techniques for treating illness. One of the new techniques being practiced today is stem cell therapy. Stem cell therapy can be defined as a group of new techniques, or technologies, that rely on replacing diseased or dysfunctional cells with healthy, functioning ones. ( Langwith 23) These new techniques are being used to treat a wide variety of disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease and Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
To be able to comprehend the importance of the discovery of stem cells, it is crucial to understand the terms and definitions that go along with the topic of stem cells. A stem cell is derived from a human embryo, scientists are able to keep these stem cells alive and have them replicate after extraction. A human embryo comes into existence from the joining of one sperm and one egg, after the embryo is formed it begins to replicate itself. After about five days the embryo is called a blastocyst; it is made up of around 200 cells, some of which are pluripotent cells. Pluripotent cells are those which have the capacity to change into one of more than 200 different types of cells found in the human body.(Langwith 16)
Stem cells, simply put, are “the wild card” of cells, they can be manipulated to be almost any cell type chosen. Stem cells are cells that have not fully developed and when surrounded by a group of specialized cells such as muscle or cardiac cells, the stem cells mature into the cells it is surrounded by. Because of the stem cells ability to be turned into whatever type of cell required, it is key in the research for curing diseases or dysfunctions of the human body. One example of stem cells aiding someone’s dysfunction would be someone who has had damage to their spinal cord and has lost mobility because of it. After the stem cells are injected they begin to mature into other spinal cord cells and the spinal cord begins to improve. After X amount of time and treatment the spinal cord may be fully recovered and the life of the one who had the treatment has been returned to normal. Life changing accidents may be corrected through the help of stem cells.
The reason stem cells are key to the cure for certain diseases such as heart disease is because not all cells are able to reproduce quickly enough to combat the cell destroying disease. An example of a type of cell that can not replace itself fast enough to fight disease is one such as a heart cell, or a cardiac cell. Heart disease destroys the cells faster than they can replenish and eventually leads to the failure of that organ. Stem cells are highly versatile, they are able to be developed into a wide variety of specialized cells. Specialized cells are cells that have grown to perform a specific task such as supply insulin in the pancreas or to allow the heart to beat.
Despite these astounding positive effects, there are many who raise the issue about stem cell research being morally wrong. The reason for this research to raise moral concerns is based around the question of when life begins. Does life begin when the embryo is made? Or does human life begin as a fetus? Stem cells are obtained from human embryos, the product of fertilized eggs . Many people believe that it is wrong to use human embryos in research because these embryos are human beings, and all human beings have a right to life. (Roman Espejo 29) Although stem cells are in fact obtained from human embryos, the embryo is incapable of feeling pain or pleasure, it is devoid of a nervous system and a brain, it can not experience things occurring in the world. Many people see this issue as an issue of “the golden rule”: do to others as we wish them to do to us. In other words, when we destroy and early human embryo in research, a potential baby or person will now not exist. (Roman Espejo 32) The people who choose to sit on this side of the argument would be glad that the embryo they came from was not destroyed in embryonic research.
There is a paradox in the feeling of being glad they were not destroyed as an embryo. That paradox is that at some point during the fertilization process of your life and the formation of the primitive streak, the existence of an individual began, and because you developed from that individual, you are who you are today and any other event, such as a previously destroyed embryo that may have been used for stem cell research, are just as important to the making of you as the non-destruction of the embryo that actually developed into you. The fact of the matter is that the embryo that was previously destroyed before your fertilization is part of the reason you are the individual you are because without that one being destroyed you would have come from a different embryo. Had the embryo you were originally to come from been used in stem cell research you would have never known and would still be glad that the embryo you actually did come from was not destroyed. The issue of when life starts after conception should not even be an issue because of the fact that each person would treasure their lives the same regardless of which embryo they came from.
Although it seems as though using embryos is the only way to obtain stem cells for research, they can be gained from other methods. Stem cells can be obtained from terminated pregnancies and be put to good use instead of letting them go to waste. Another way to obtain stem cells is from adult stem cells. Adult stem cells, or somatic cells, are very different from embryonic stem cells because it is actually a stem cell from the very same person intended to use it. An adult stem cells is an undifferentiated cell found among differentiated cells in a tissue or organ, can renew itself, and can differentiate to yield the major specialized cell types of the tissue or organ. (Langwith 192) The greatest advantage of adult stem cells is that it’s usually possible to use a person’s own stem cells which is the safest stem cell option for people. (Langwith 192)
The adult stem cell may help cure diseases ranging from diabetes to Parkinson’s disease. Although adult stem cells have the potential to cure certain diseases, they are limited in number, where as the embryonic stem cells have an abundance of versatile cells. Regardless of the type of stem cells, stem cells are the future of modern science and should be pursued due to the potential benefits it may bring.
Works Cited
Langwith, Jacqueline, ed. Stem Cells. Farmington hills: Greenhaven, 2007. Print.

Human embryo experimentation. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven, Thomson/Gale, 2002. Print

Stem Cell Therapy for Diabetes

Diabetes, or fully named Diabetes Mellitus is when a person has high blood sugar and that is cause by the lack of insulin produced by the pancreas or it is when the cells do not respond to the insulin produced, it is also according to the type of diabetes that the cause may be different from others. There are two types of diabetes, type 1 and 2. Type 2 diabetes is mostly common found in adults, to reduce the glucose level, the subject can change diet or have a lot of exercise or if that doesn’t work they will usually take a liquid medicine or pill that helps.Type 1 diabetes is mostly found in children and is mostly rare, and diet alone cannot fix this so sometimes the subject has to take doses of insulin to lower glucose levels. Diabetes still have no known cure yet and some people can get diabetes from relativity or may get it from eating or drinking too much sugary items [1].

Stem cells are cells that are special unlike any other cell, stem cells have the ability to change to any cell in the body in the early life or growth of a stem cells. Stem cells have different types, there are two types of stem cells that are being discussed. Embryonic stem cells are one of the stem cells that could grow to different organs and/or cells, as the name suggests the embryonic stem cells comes and are taken from embryos and embryonic stem cells are one of the solution to many uncured diseases in the world such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and the known diabetes disease too. There are still problems with developing embryonic stem cells, since to get embryonic stem cells they have to destroy the embryo and many people will argue about it ending human life, scientist have been discussing about this for a long time and they have been giving pros and cons about developing stem cells. The adult stem cell are stem cells that has the ability to repair damage tissue on organs making them have the ability to reverse heart attacks or any other disease. The difference between adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells are that embryonic stem cells can become any cell or organ in the body while the adult stem cell can only repair damaged tissue in organs, and so each other cannot have each others specialities [2].

Stem cells as solutions or stem cell therapy is a newly founded solution and it is still very newly discovered. The solution is to get embryonic stem cells to replace the pancreas so it
could produce enough insulin to lower the blood glucose level, and it can also help change the cells that could not absorb the insulin. Meanwhile adult stem cells can help repair the pancreases tissue if damaged and like is said in the before paragraph that the embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells have different specialities. Besides diabetes, there are other diseases that can be cured using stem cells. Some diseases can be cured by replacing some cells or organs with embryonic stem cells or in other cases, like heart diseases or heart attacks can be cured by reversing the effect and using the adult stem cells to repair the tissues of the heart. Embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells are part of cell culture which is when a lab grows and/or develops their own cells to be researched or to help cure other people and it would be easier than having different expensive treatments that doesn’t work.

There are certain types of advantages for stem cell transplant/therapy which are much more accurate and reliable than other treatments or cures, since it is new technology and research than it is still quite expensive to get stem cell therapy/transplant. Since the price for one stem cell treatment and therapy could cost nearly to an estimate of $512.000 dollars and it is not a cheap price for a cure and even though it is proven to work it is still too expensive [3].Some reasons that came up because of it’s price, it is because of the lack of labs that encourage cell culture and it could be a little pricey since there are not that many people that could work to make it. Diabetes economy is expensive for a single person since they have to go each month to the lab and check the blood for glucose, and the lab test is quite expensive because of the technology and manpower needed. The medicine can be insulin and can be a tablet, the tablet is to reduce the blood glucose there is also another expense for a device which will help find glucose portably (Glycemic Index Test Device), the diet consists of non sugary items or low glucose items and they also have diabetic rice.

A word “Cell Culture” means when the cells are grown in a lab or any other environment outside their natural environment, and these cells are used to treat patients for diseases such as Parkinson’s, diabetes, alzheimer’s, and other well-known diseases [4]. It is also a well known problem that embryonic stem cells are being protested for to be thought of killing life since to get an embryonic stem cell it is required to kill the embryo and take the stem cell. Scientist themselves have been discussing this matter, and they have been making pros and cons about either side of the problem faced [5]. Some people nowadays may be eating high sugary food or basically food with high glucose levels, and this is what mostly triggers diabetes since the pancreas cannot produce more insulin to cater the other glucose and also lack of exercise may make blood glucose stack up and if we exercise blood glucose and pressure could drop levels.

The point of this essay is to raise awareness about diabetes so as it’s effect and social impacts on the person itself, this essay is also to point out about stem cells and how it can help the world of anatomy gain a better understanding of our cells and us, and the last one is to help people know about a potential cure for diabetes which is stem cells either embryonic stem cells or adult stem cells can help cure diseases. Stem cells can certainly help people either by replacing their organs and cells or by repairing them.

Works Cited

(1)”Diabetes.” BrainPOP. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2013. .

(2)”Stem Cells.” BrainPOP. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2013. .\\

(3) California Stem Cell Report.” : Cost of a Stem Cell Therapy? An Estimated $512,000. N.p.,n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. .

(4)”CELL CULTURE | The Science Creative Quarterly.” CELL CULTURE | The Science Creative Quarterly. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2013. .
(5)”Why Is the Use of Stem Cells Controversial? – Curiosity.” Curiosity. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. .

 

Legalize Stem Cell Research

Imagine waking up from a tragic accident that left you paralyzed from the neck
down, would you have hope that you could ever recover? What if there was research
that the use of stem cells could lead to potential treatments and cures? According to the
National Institute of Health, stem cells in certain organs, have the ability to divide into
other cells that are used to “repair and replace worn out or damaged tissues” (NIH).
Although stem cell research raises ethical concerns, it should be legalized due to the
possibility of medical advancements and cures of numerous diseases.
Stem cell research benefits because it will help enlighten scientists’ knowledge in
the biology of human development which could be helpful to future findings. In “Stem
Cell Research and Applications” by Audrey Chapman, Ph.D., stem cells are stated to be
“unspecialized cells that are thought to be able to reproduce themselves indefinitely
and, under the right conditions, to develop into mature cells, e.g., nerve, skin, pancreas,
with specialized functions” (Chapman). They are different from normal cells because
they are unspecialized, meaning that they are not committed to a specific cell or tissues
function. Another thing stem cells can do that ordinary cells cannot do is divide for long
periods of time. If the stem cell divides and is still unspecialized, then the cells can
usually repair themselves. Also, if the stem cell becomes a specialized cell, it could
potentially become a number of different cell types.
There are three main types of stem cells. They are adult, umbilical cord, and
embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells can become almost any cell type in the
body, and adult stem cells are restricted to the tissue from which they were taken from.
Adult stem cells are also harder to grow in cultures, where embryonic stem cells are
more plentiful in culture. Umbilical cord blood stem cells could be used to help treat
diseases that could potentially be cured through bone marrow transplants.
In addition, stem cell research offers hope to those who suffer daily from
Parkinson’s disease, neurological failures, cancer, and other medical problems.
There are billions of people worldwide who suffer from a wide range of diseases. Stem
cell research could be the key to finding cures for some of these diseases. Adult or
embryonic stem cells can be used to aid in finding cures. This could be done through
scientist researching and understanding why a certain gene may be faulty. According to
the National Institute of Health, scientist have already discovered “ways to treat
diseases like leukemia, lymphoma, and several inherited blood disorders by harvesting
hematopoietic stem cells or HSC’s” (NIH). Stem cells could potentially cure some
disease by either repairing the cell with faulty genes, or by multiplying as new
specialized cells without the genetic defect.
Above all, Stem cells have been tested on animals and have produced promising
results. This can be offered for the benefits of human also, if it were legalized.
Consistently with Jonathan Moreno, Ph.D’s article, “Stemmed Progress,” researchers at
the John Hopkins University have found that the usage of “embryonic stem cells helped
paralyzed mice walk” (Moreno Ph.D). This is significant because humans and mice
have some similar internal functions and are both mammals. With the result that
paralyzed mice were now able to walk due to embryonic stem cells, this could even lead
to finding treatments for people suffering from quadriplegia. With further research with
stem cells, scientists may be able to one day find a breakthrough that could help
these people walk again.
However, the major issues of stem cell research are the ethical concerns about
the moral values involved. Most people who do not agree with stem cell research
believe that the human embryo is regarded as a human being and if we destruct an
embryo, we are destructing a vital life. People who oppose abortion are also against
stem cell research. Some individuals believe that destroying embryos for research is
wrong because there was possibility for life. According to “The Ethics of Embryonic
Stem Cell Research” by Howard Curzer, “research on donated embryonic stem cells is
wrong because research on donated embryonic stem cells, harvesting embryonic stem
cells, and destroying embryos in order to obtain stem cells are all parts of the same
enterprise” (Curzer) This just states that because stem cell research involves embryonic
stem cells, it is participating in the destruction of life, even if not directly. Yet, we cannot
be held accountable for one’s decision to abort an embryo. If this is their decision and
the embryo would have been destroyed anyway, we should make use of it for medical
advancements and benefits. Therefore, we are using what would have otherwise been
destroyed as an advantage to help save lives of those in need. For example, if my
grandparents had lost some cells due to a small accident, the embryonic stem cells that
would have been discarded could possibly help my grandparents recover their lost cells.
Therefore, I would highly suggest making use of every donated embryo before it is
discarded.
Then again, there are also people who are not completely against stem cell
research, but embryonic stem cell research. Hadley Arkes, Ph.D., a senior at the
Ethics and Public Policy Center, believes “embryonic stem cells are not as stable as
adult stem cells” (Arkes Ph.D) But further a due, adult stem cells are restricted from the
body that they were taken from, while embryonic stem cells have the ability to become
any cell type within the body because it is not fully formed yet. Thus, adult stem cells
are limited to what they are specialized for.
Works Cited

Arkes, Ph.D., Hadley. “Senseless on Stem Cells: Why Advocate Research That Destroys Nascent Human Beings?” Leadership University. National Review Online, 24 Aug. 2004. Web. 20 Mar. 2010. .
Chapman, Ph.D., Audrey R., Mark S. Frankel, Ph.D., and Michele S. Garfinkel, Ph.D. “Stem Cell Research and Applications.” Advancing Science. Serving Society. American Association for the Advancement of Science and Institute for Civil Society. Web. 21 Mar. 2010. < http://www.aaas.org/spp/sfrl/projects/stem/report.pdf>.
Curzer, Howard J. “The Ethics Of Embryonic Stem Cell Research.” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 29 (2004): 533-62. Academic Search Elite. Web. 21 Mar. 2010.
Moreno, Ph.D., Jonathan D., and Sam Berger. “Stemmed Progress.” The American Prospect. The American Prospect, 18 July 2006. Web. 20 Mar. 2010. .
National Institue of Health. “Stem Cell Basics: Introduction [Stem Cell Information].” NIH Stem Cell Information Home Page. Web. 21 Mar. 2010. .
Weiss, Rick. “The Stem Cell Divide.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society. Web. 20 Mar. 2010.

 

Stem Cell Research: For Better or for Worse?

For as long as humans exist, optimal health continues to remain vital for a productive life. As new medical discoveries increase through generations, humans become healthier, therefore, their life expectancy rises. Stem cell research, a relatively new field, investigates to improve and lengthen human life. The possibility of stem cells to develop prospering health makes them beneficial to the human race.
Why do stem cell debates create such a large uproar? Stem cells posses the potential to arise into hundreds of different cells in the body- for this reason stem cells are also referred to as undifferentiated cells. Stem cells’ value also comes from their ability to “replicate many times, or proliferate” (“Stem Cell Basics” 1). Scientists suggest stem cells acquire the capability to treat debilitating immune complications such as: Alzheimer’s diseases, spinal cord injury, stroke, burns, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis (“Stem Cell Basics” 1). Scientists obtain these dynamic cells from two sources: embryos and adults.
Embryonic stem cells exist in three to five day-old embryos, also known as blastocysts, but to obtain this type of stem cell causes inevitable death of the embryos (“Stem Cell Basics” 1). This causes concern in people, but scientists aspire to use embryonic stem cells because they are pluripotent- capable of transforming into all types of body cells except for the placenta (Robertson 191). By conducting experiments using these versatile cells, scientists enhance understanding about human development and advance treating illness and disease. While utilizing embryonic stem cells, Hans R. Keirstead found “human embryonic cells allow paralyzed rats to partially regain the ability to walk after their spinal cords had been damaged” (Hall 21). Success with embryonic stem cells in rats instills confidence that scientists can use stem cells to uncover ways to alleviate human injuries too.
Although embryonic stem cells contain abilities to enrich human health, a less controversial source of stem cells remains- adult stem cells. Collecting adult stem cells takes place in numerous locations of the body such as: bone marrow, muscle, the brain, umbilical cords, and adipose tissue (Guinan 308). Goldstein documents of experimental findings how human brain stem cells “can achieve ninety to ninety-five perfect purity in combination with several previous steps” (207). However, scientists remained uncertain about the functionality of adult stem cells because they “typically generate the cell types of the tissues in which they reside” (“Stem Cell Basics” 1), but in 2006 a Kyoto University team discovered the ability to engineer adult stem cells into pluripotent stem cells (“New Method” 4). Recent technology allows scientists to “directly covert somatic cells to pluripotent cells regardless of availability of embryonic cells” (Han 278). This technology may foster the growth of stem cell research because it removes the challenge of accessing to pluripotent cells. Induced pluripotent stem cells potential to “promote patient specific and disease specific drug development” (Manohar 1) makes them even more constructive than embryonic stem cells when considering rejection by the host. Induced pluripotent stem cells attain the same flexibility as embryonic stem cells but lack the controversial aspect.
Researching of stem cells encompasses various advances in human well-being, but the question remains: is the gain worth the loss? Patrick Guinan defines that the ethical standpoint of embryonic stem cell research needs questioning because it terminates a blastocyst that attains the prospective to establish a human being (306). On the contrary, Catherine Waldby and Susan Squier identify the embryo as merely an “idea of human life” (Lauritzen 27) therefore they find no destructive behavior in embryonic stem cell research. Louis Geunin disputes “embryo-destructive experiments could gain justification only if were argued that it is sometimes permissible to kill some persons in order to help other persons” (1). Martha Nussbaum, an opponent of embryonic stem cell research, articulates about the excessiveness of stem cell research and that it may diminish humanity (Lauritzen 30). Geunin defends stem cell research by questioning why embryonic stem cell research displeases people, specifically Christians. He positions ancient religious texts not only provide little guidance, but also possess no knowledge about embryology (1). Even though quarrel over stem cell research continues, sixty-seven percent of Americans support embryonic stem cell research (Hall 18).
Despite the discrepancy, research demonstrates stem cells retain the facility to improve humans. An estimated 50,000 adult stem cell transplants occur worldwide each year (“Rethinking Stem Cell Research” 9). Who wants to be troubled by the sicknesses of life? If research proceeds, stem cells may be the key to unlocking flawless health. 

 

Stem Cell Research Needs to Be Funded

A mother has developed Alzheimer’s, preventing her from having a normal relationship with her family. A newly born baby girl has a spinal cord issue, making for many years of rehabilitation ahead her. A diabetic wife struggles to take care of her household duties because of constantly having to monitor her blood sugar and deal with insulin shots. With the development of stem cell research, and the more controversial embryonic stem cell research, every one of these instances could not only be cured, but prevented, within the next half century. In fact, diseases that are predicted to be treated by means of stem cell research are figured to now plague the likes of 100 million Americans. Looking at the arguments dealing with stem cell research, it is evident that the advantages of stem cell research greatly outweigh the disadvantages that numerous people take the side of. Although those who disagree on the topic of stem cell research have their arguments against stem cell research, not even they can disagree with the fact that stem cell research has the potential to change disease treatment in our world as we know it. Taking my stand on the situation, I declare that the benefits of stem cell research in any form prevail over the moral costs because of the countless benefits it can bring to the medical community.
Stem cell research became a topic of discussion back in the 1970s, just a short while after the Roe v. Wade ruling was made by the Supreme Court. At the time, science was not advanced enough to act on the potential of stem cells, consequently not causing much debate aside from issues over the amount of funding that was appropriate for the research. All that was really known about stem cells was that they had the potential to be reproduced into an unlimited amount of body tissues, which could cure many debilitating diseases. This news was welcome news for the medical society, and those suffering from such a disease. Since the 1970s, stem cell research has been funded to study, but not until 1998 were embryonic stem cells able to get isolated, giving them potential to be turned into an unlimited variety of cell types. In 1998, Dr. James Thompson at the University of Wisconsin first discovered how to successfully isolate human embryonic stem cells. This discovery created much debate from a philosophical, religious, political, and moral standpoint. The division of viewpoints was especially prevalent after this discovery because in order to isolate an embryonic stem cell for research, it must be destroyed. Even though it is many times the case that the debate of stem cell research is a matter of someone being pro-life or pro-choice, this is not always the case. In fact, it is found that many people are opposed to human suffering more than anything, causing them to agree with embryonic stem cell research as a way to potentially alleviate human suffering due to disease. There are many different religions with radical followers that do believe that a human embryo contains at least some moral status, making the destruction of a human embryo considered to be murder. Then there is the philosophical point that some take that an embryo has no moral status because it isn’t able to anticipate the future, or have any personal desires for its’ future. Although there are different opinions on the exact moral status of an embryo, a general consensus would show that an embryo has less moral status than that of a newly-born baby, but more than that of other cells. This being said, there are constant political issues regarding the restriction that should be set on stem cell research, making for constant debate on that issue as well.
To understand exactly what is under debate, the types of stem cells that are able to be researched must be discussed. There are two different types of stem cells that are currently leading the way in scientific research. Adult stem cells are cells that have not yet been designated to a specific type of cell, but are thought to be able to renew themselves into specialized cells of tissue and organs. Adult stem cell research began around 50 years ago, and more recently is causing excitement due to their potential to be used in transplantation-based therapies. The second type of stem cell is the embryonic stem cell. As the name suggests, an embryonic stem cell is retained from an embryo. These embryos are made useful by in-vitro fertilization, or fertilization in a clinical setting, where they are most often donated for research. Of the two types of stem cells, science has proven that embryonic stem cells have the greatest potential for future medicinal use, while adult-derived stem cells have had the most impact medically up to this point.
Many of the problems that arise over the debate of stem cell research are due to a lack of open-mindedness for all aspects of that branch of science. As previously stated, issues over this research generally comes from religious, moral, political, and/or philosophical standpoints. Since I was still unsure about many of the specific details, I decided to watch a film that was made by renowned expert on stem cells, Dr. Lawrence Goldstein. Throughout the hour film of stem cell research, I was able to tie up the loose ends in between all of the various standpoints.
Stem cell research is crucial to the development of regenerative medicine in our world. That is for the obvious reason that stem cell research has already began, and will continue in the future, to be responsible for life-changing treatment that can treat, and/or cure, many diseases. The diseases that are predicted to be benefited by stem cell research currently plague about 100 million people in our country. So in the sense that stem cell research will help with that, a person would have to say it is a no-brainer that it should continue to be researched. Then there is the radical person that argues that the embryo is living, and the killing of that embryo for scientific purpose is considered to be abortion. Abortion in this country is legal, whether people like that or not. But I wouldn’t even go that far, because an embryo is a mass of cells with no neurons, no organization, no organs, and is not able to feel any pain. So an embryo is not a baby, nor a fetus, for that matter.
Others that are against the science of stem cell research argue that with the advancement of the research could allow for humans cloning in the future. Cloning is making a replica of something. Even though cloning is a scary word, it is a largely accepted practice in medicine. It is necessary that people are specific when talking about cloning to ease confusion. In medicine today, there is cloning all of the time. In fact, scientists clone viruses that are used to create medicine for us to stay healthy. DNA, as well as various other cells, are cloned as well for the treatment of certain types of cancer. As many are aware of, there have been various animals cloned throughout the past years. But through research I have found that even though human cloning could be possible, it is not accepted in science. Scientists, in fact, are not even sure the animals that were made from cloning are normal, making human cloning much too risky to carry out.
The funding of stem cell research has proven to be quite tricky. From a government standpoint, they are often trying to keep multiple sides of the issue happy. People who want the science of stem cell research outlawed argue that it is in many ways the same thing as a abortion. Well, abortion is legal in this country, while not having near the medical value that stem cell research has. In fact, embryos are being destroyed everyday for various medical reasons, so I think the sensible thing to do with them is at least allow them to be used if making a positive contribution to research. Government funding for stem cell research has also been lackluster, at least up until the current Obama administration. The excuse for limited funding was that government didn’t want to fund something that they didn’t know that much about. The problem with that is that without preliminary funding for stem cell research projects, that science will not advance as fast as it potentially could. That would ultimately lead to cures for a disease taking 50 years to find, instead of 25 years.
It is a case of weighing out the potential benefits versus the risks. Knowing that stem cell research has the potential to cure a slew of degenerative diseases, it is foolish not to keep pressing the envelope with this research. Whether people believe it is murder, it could lead to human clones taking over our world, or it is not worth any type of funding, it must be known that stem cell research will change the medical world drastically. I declare that the benefits of stem cell research in any form prevail over the moral costs because of the countless benefits it can bring to the medical community. “The bottom line is that embryonic stem cell research is good science. It is necessary science, and it needs to be part of America’s federally funded biomedical research enterprise if America is to retain its status as a global scientific leader.”(Peroski 3)

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Support of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Embryonic stem cell is one of the most controversial, widely discussed medical issues in the United States today. The medical use of stem cell raises difficult moral and political questions. To understand about embryonic stem cell. I thought we should discuss what embryonic stem cells are. According to Scientific American; June 2004, embryonic stem are derived from the portion of a very early stage embryo that would eventually give rise to an entire body. Because embryonic stem cells originate in this primordial stage, or having existed from the beginning. They retain the pluripotent the ability to form any cell type in the body. To cell line create an embryonic stem cell, scientist remove the inner cell mass from a blastocyst created in the laboratory, usually left over from an attempt at in-vitro fertilization. The inner cell mass or (ICM) is placed on a plate containing feeder cells, to which it soon attaches. In a few days, new cells grow out the inner cell mass and form colonies. These are formally called embryonic stem cells only if they met two criteria: they display markers known to characterize ES Cells and undergo several generations of cell division, or passages, demonstrating that they constitute a stable, or immortalized.

Benefits of Embryonic Stem Cell
There are people who agree that there are benefits to embryonic stem cell research. Scientists believe that embryonic stem cells are more versatile. Although some may argue that embryonic stem cell research is unethical, many of the embryos are willingly donated. According to the associated content.com article # 72918, stem cell research have amazing medical potential; by regenerating cells and organs, it has the ability to cure disease that previously might have been incurable. Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, stroke, heart disease and diabetes can eventually be treated with stem cell. Currently stem cells have proved effective against sickle cell anemia. The use of the more versatile embryonic stem cells will speed up the process significantly because embryonic can be more easily cultivated not to mention that it can mature in to more specialized cells that adult stem cells. In addition to potential treatments, stem cells can also be used for drug testing. Drug testing of stem cells is more accurate than animal testing. Although there is no guarantee that stem cell can be delivered on all of its promises, the potential is simply too grand to avoid.

Ethical Issues with Embryonic Stem Cell.
Some urologist have mixed feelings over stem cell research. According to urology time; 10/1/2005, Vol. 33. Urology Times spoke with urologist from across the United States about their personal and professional perceptions of stem cell research. Is it viable and ethical? Should the government fund the research or should the funding be left to the private sectors? Louis Galdieri, MD, of West Orange, NJ stated that stem cell research is something I think is promising. The issue with embryos is, of course, a sticky one, depending on where you stand. Ethically and logically, it’s difficult. Louis Galdieri, stated that “he is catholic, so he would tend not to want to use embryonic stem cells if we don’t need to” He continued. If there is an alternate source that would give us the same potential, I would want to do that instead. Lyman R. Brothers MD, of Steamboat Springs, CO, also say his personal belief creates an internal conflict when the stem cell issue arises. “I’m a pro-life person. So I’m torn between ending an embryonic life for stem cell research, but in the same breath, I am also a clinician, and a operative surgeon, and believe we must purse stem cell research to combat the diseases that are beating us”. “If we can do stem cell research, we can cure diabetes and so many other things.

Conclusion
Choosing to support or oppose embryonic cell research is a personal choice. It appears to me that the ethical choice is why many people will either support or oppose embryonic stem cell research. Embryonic cell has its advantages and disadvantages. One of the advantages is that it can possibly cure diseases such as diabetes and other diseases, the disadvantage are the cost of the embryonic stem research. It’s very expensive to finance stem cell research. I would support stem cell research because of the many different benefits that embryonic stem cell research can have on people. The possibility of curing disease that was deemed to be incurable is remarkable. For me the advantages just outweigh the disadvantages. In my opinion embryonic stem cell research will help many people in the near future 

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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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Stem Cell Research Controversy

The controversy over stem cell research’s use in the medical field is almost two decades old. So why the sudden intense return of fierce political debates over an old issue? It’s because President Obama recently revoked the ban on stem cell research, as he believes it holds the potential to revolutionize the medical industry in the years to come. As USA Today quoted him saying in March, after he stopped restricting federal funding for stem cell research, “At this moment, the full promise of stem cell research remains unknown and should not be overstated. Scientists believe these tiny cells may have the potential to help us understand, and possibly cure, some of our most devastating diseases and conditions.”
The body’s master cells are the stem cells. The best stem cells are found in a relatively young embryo. Unlike “normal” body cells, they reproduce indefinitely and turn into any other type of human cell. It is easy to see why scientists were ecstatic at the discovery of this natural marvel.
Pro-life advocates are taking a particularly solid opposing stance against this new branch of research. Some pro-life advocates have even gone so far as to label it worse than abortion. The problem isn’t the research itself, but the methods it utilizes; for example, the dissecting, manipulating, and controversial tampering of human embryonic stem cells. Pro-life advocates believe, like the creator of this cartoon, that stem cell research is just another method to destroy infantile human life.
Scientists who advocate this line of research cite two major medical institutions that operate similar to theirs: fertility clinics and abortion clinics. They remind opponents that an abortion clinics would just throw out the embryos, as the following quote taken by Alberto Pareja-Lecaros confirms: “We can potentially cure life threatening diseases but only through killing innocent lives. … the embryo would have been thrown away at an abortion clinic anyway. Now, given the choice of completely wasting the life or using it in order to further research, I’d pick research.” (http://www.juniorpolitics.com/) The fertility clinics, however, appear to be stem cell research advocates’ favorite reference on how their work is ethical and humane in comparison. According to Michael Kinsley, Time Magazine reporter, “Embryonic stem-cell studies are controversial because they involve the destruction of human embryos. However, fertility clinics destroy far more human embryos than stem-cell research ever would, yet they are not controversial.” (http://www.time.com)
Pro-stem cell research scientists have found that citing fertility clinics as a similar field severely lessens the educated opposition against their work. This is because most pro-life advocates and mainstream Christians are advocates for the use of fertility clinics to help struggling couples get pregnant. They view fertility clinics as a place to help create life, not take it. In this, I speak from personal experience, as many of my Christian friends and relatives have been in and out of fertility clinics throughout the years, attempting to procreate a being to love, raise, and care for.
In short, the debate boils down to the ancient debate of whether or not a fetus or human embryo is a life or not. Pro-life advocates say that human fetuses are absolutely, 100% life. However, abortion clinics and stem cell research facilities say, as does the current government stance, Roe vs. Wade, that the fetus is absolutely, 100% not a life. It is the same ideological argument that has been fought in courthouses across America for decades.
` I believe that stem cell research and its frightening potential for insidious evils, such as human cloning or mutation, might cause Americans to finally reconsider their stance on whether or not a fetus is a life.. In my opinion, stem cell research poses too much of a probable risk and not enough possibility of a potential cure. In fact, according to Alok Jha, there is “the nightmare possibility of stem cell transplants that trigger tumors in patients. A February report in the PLoS Medicine journal, for example, described the case of an Israeli child who received lethal injections of “fetal neural stem cells” in a Russian clinic, triggering tumors.” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/) Thus, even if stem cell research can continue without killing human fetuses, then it should continue only in the form of observation. I don’t believe it should be implemented on humankind, until it is 110% guaranteed to heal without causing a more lethal disease than it is treating. I think the creator of this cartoon believed as I do, that it is pointless to kill a human embryo–in our opinion, a life–because there’s a possibility it might save the life of an older, more established human being.
Works Cited

Vergano, Dan. “Controversy Doesn’t Derail Stem Cell Progress – USATODAY.com.” News, Travel, Weather, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, U.S. & World – USATODAY.com. USA Today, 20 May 2009. Web. 31 Mar. 2011. .
Kinsley, Michael. “The False Controversy of Stem Cells – TIME.” Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews – TIME.com. 2011 Time Inc., 23 May 2004. Web. 31 Mar. 2011. <.http://www.time.com>
Pareja-Lecaros, Alberto. “Youth Politics» Stem Cell Research – Killing Lives To Save Lives?” Youth Politics» Youth Politics. Technorati, 08 Mar. 2009. Web. 31 Mar. 2011. .
Jha, Alok. “Look, No Embryos! The Future of Ethical Stem Cells | Discover | Science | The Observer.” Latest News, Comment and Reviews from the Guardian | Guardian.co.uk. The Observer, 13 Mar. 2011. Web. 31 Mar. 2011. .

 

State-Funded Stem Cell Research

Scientists are attempting to expand on stem cell research, while aspiring towards new medical advancements, but Maryland is questioning State-funded research (Department of Legislative Services, Office of Information Systems [DLSOIS], 2011). Stem cells have the ability to regenerate themselves and produce specialized cell types (Academy of Sciences, 2009). After a stem cell divides, the stem cell can continue to exist as a stem cell, or turn into a unique cell, like a red blood cell (Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). Stem cells have the capability to replace damaged cells, which can improve detrimental heath issues, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease (IOH, 2011).
A bill has been proposed to the Maryland General Assembly, which requested the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) and the Stem Cell Research Commission to report to the public on the progress of State-funded stem cell research by holding an annual public symposium, at which each recipient of money from the Stem Cell Research Fund must present research results. (DLSOIS, 2011). There are two types of stem cells: embryonic and adult(IOH, 2011). Embryonic cells, commonly referred to as blastocysts, are removed and placed into a culture dish with a special liquid, stimulating growth (IOH, 2011). Stem cells can be produced through in vitro fertilization or nuclear transfer (Academy of Sciences, 2009). In vitro fertilization allows for the removal of a woman’s eggs, which are then either implanted in the womb or placed in freezers for storage (Academy of Sciences, 2009). In vitro fertilization could be used to produce blastocysts and promote the isolation of stem cells with particular genetic traits, which would be used to study diseases (Academy of Sciences, 2009). Nuclear transfer is the alternative way to produce embryonic stem cells (Academy of Sciences, 2009). Although the process has not be successfully accomplished in human stem cells, this procedure would produce copies or clones of the original adult cell (Academy of Sciences, 2009). Nuclear transfusion would allow scientists to study the maturation of diseases by producing stem cells involving the progression of specific diseases (Academy of Sciences, 2009).
Adult stem cells are found within organs that require continual cell production, like the blood cell or skin cell, and function as a cell replicator (Academy of Sciences, 2009). A single adult stem cell can produce genetically identical cells, which could be distinguished into distinct cell types of the tissue (IOH, 2011). These stem cells have the ability to regenerate or reform tissue after transplanted (IOH, 2011). Using adult stem cells would provide a means to guide available cells into other cell types which have been lost or damaged (IOH, 2011).
Stem cells have enabled suffering patients to obtain modernized therapies, which are less invasive and demoralizing. Our bodies have the ability to replace blood cells lost as a result of hematopoietic stem cells found within the blood and bone marrow (Academy of Sciences, 2009). Hematopoietic stem cells have been used to treat leukemia, sickle cell anemia, and many other disorders where the body cannot naturally replace its blood cells (Academy of Sciences, 2009). In the past, removing stem cells could only be accomplished by completing a bone marrow transplant, which are painful and not always successful (Academy of Sciences, 2009). Scientists have discovered a way to extract hematopoietic stem cells from the blood found in the person’s umbilical cord and placenta, which is less dangerous (Academy of Sciences, 2009). Acute lymphoblastic leukemia treatment has improved among adults because of advances in the supportive care of patients due to the use of allogenic stem cell transplantations and hematopoietic stem cells (Ribera, 2011). The use of hematopoietic progenitors from the umbilical cord has increased (Ribera, 2011). Additionally, allogenic stem cell treatments have been used to reduce the transplant-related mortality while preserving the graf-tversus-leukemia effect (Ribera, 2011). Due to the success of hematopoietic progenitors from the umbilical cord and allogenic stem cell treatments, older adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia are experiencing a suitable therapeutic treatment (Ribera, 2011).
Burn victims endure the challenge of losing their identity while internally losing the ability to regenerate skin cells (Academy of Sciences, 2009). In order to fix burn victims, doctors implement skin transports, which are possible because stem cells are located just under the top layer of skin (Academy of Sciences, 2009). Before stem cells were readily available, doctors transplanted sections of unharmed skin to cover the burned areas (Academy of Sciences, 2009). This procedure was rather dangerous because if the doctor was unable to find enough undamaged skin, the patient was at risk of death (Academy of Sciences, 2009). Currently, doctors grow sheets of new skin through stem cells found in small pieces of healthy skin (Academy of Sciences, 2009). There has been a scientific breakthrough indicating that other types of stem cells are found in hair follicles and in deeper layers of skin, which could provide patients with a more natural look (Academy of Sciences, 2009).
Our brains are naturally programmed to function with the rest of our body. For example, when someone touches a hot stove, their brain informs their hand that the stove is hot, which causes them the remove their hand in order to prevent burning. Parkinson’s disease is an incurable disease where the brain cells responsible for movement degenerate, which results in uncontrolled movements, tremors, and spasms (Academy of Sciences, 2009). Scientists have found a way to differentiate embryonic stem cells into the type of brain cell that is destroyed in Parkinson’s disease. If these stem cells were to be effectively placed in their brains, control of muscle movement would be reestablished (Academy of Sciences, 2009).
Neurodegenerative diseases derive from the loss of neural cells, which causes the nervous system to dysfunction (Feng & Gao, 2011). Induced pluripotent stem cells and neural stem cells are providing alternative options for fighting neurodegenerative diseases (Feng & Gao, 2011). Induced pluripotent stems cells have the ability to avoid immune reactions and can be produced without the use of human ES cells because patient-specific neuroblasts are used for transplantation, while neural stem cells have shown to improve Alzheimer’s disease (Feng & Gao, 2011). Stem cells are not a cure for neurodegenerative diseases, however, stem cells are helping doctors learn more about neurodegenerative diseases (Feng & Gao, 2011).
There is no cure for cancer. Cancer occurs when abnormal cells uncontrollably grow (Medical Encyclopedia, 2010). In 1997, cancerous stem cells were discovered (Academy of Sciences, 2009). Tumor stem cells have the capability to replicate, but lack the ability that tells the cells to stop dividing (Academy of Sciences, 2009). Cancer is generally treated by means of chemotherapy, which attempts to kill the tumor cells (Academy of Sciences, 2009). If chemotherapy deems unsuccessful, the cancer could viscously return (Academy of Sciences, 2009). In the future, tumor stem cells could target the cancer stem cells and cure cancer (Academy of Sciences, 2009).
Incorporating stem cells in our daily medical endeavors seems unrealistic mainly due to the ethical issues which surround the topic. There has been enmity surrounding human embryonic stem cells because the harvesting process requires the destruction of the human embryo around its fifth day of development, which some consider killing an innocent human being (Siegel, 2009). Some people may argue removing stem cells is unethical because the removal is intentionally kill an innocent human being (Siegel, 2009). These people believe that an embryo is considered a human being when the embryo is five days old, and humans, which include embryos, have the right not to be killed (Siegel, 2009). Also, there is a concern that the research currently performed with human embryonic stem cells could cause more destruction of embryos (Siegel, 2009). If embryonic stem cells were approved for treatment, the demand for this type of therapy would increase, causing more embryonic stem cells to be used (Siegel, 2009). Researchers have explored the possibility of creating a bank of human embryonic stem cells (Siegel, 2009). This could be an issue because it would have to be determined who would have access to these therapies (Siegel, 2009). Additionally, some find the creation of embryos for non-reproductive ends to be controversial (Siegel, 2009). They view each embryo as a possible child, which would develop and mature as well as believe that there is a difference between intending and anticipating harms of an embryo (Siegel, 2009). These ethical issues have driven state and federal action.
Due to the stem cell ethical drama, the NIH released draft guidelines in 1999 that only allowed research on cells obtained from fertility treatments which were leftover and specifically donated with the agreement of the progenitors (Association for the Advancement of Science, 2011). Furthermore, if the fertility clinics were to profit from embryo sales, research would be withheld (Association for the Advancement of Science, 2011). In 2001, President Bush implemented federal funding for human embryo stem cell research only on cells that were already in existence and prevented the federal government from destroying future human embryos (Association for the Advancement of Science, 2011). In 2009, President Obama decided to rescind the Bush policy and executed a plan to federally fund the expansion of the number of human embryonic stem cells (Association for the Advancement of Science, 2011). Later that year, the NIH drafted new guidelines that said they would continue to fund research on adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells, but would not fund research on embryos that were intentionally created for this purpose (Association for the Advancement of Science, 2011).
In 2006, chapter 19 created the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund to promote State-funded stem cell research and cures by means of grants and loans to both private and public entities in Maryland (Ellick, 2011). Chapter 19 also enacted an independent Stem Cell Research Commission under TEDCO (Ellick, 2011). TEDCO and the commission were instructed to submit an annual report to the Governor and the General Assembly on the progress of State-funded stem cell research, distinguishing each fund recipient, the amount of money received, and a description of the type of stem cell research used by the recipient (Ellick, 2011). The Governor intends have a $12.4 million budget in general funds to support grants under the Stem Cell Research Fund, which is around what he spent in fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2011 (Ellick, 2011).
On February 2, 2011, the Maryland General Assembly had its first reading of Senate Bill 731 titled Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund – Annual Report and Related Events. Revisions were made for a second and third reading (DLSOIS, 2011). On March 22, 2011, the third reading took place. The final bill requires the Corporation and the Commission to hold an event where the Corporation and the Commission cannot charge more than a minimal fee for State residents to attend, which enables the Corporation and Commission to adjust for inflation (DLSOIS, 2011). This bill has five requirements (DLSOIS, 2011). First, on or before January 1 of each year, the Corporation and Commission must hold a public symposium where reporting will be discussed (DLSOIS, 2011). Two, each recipient of money shall present the results of the stem cell research at the symposium (DLSOIS, 2011). Three, the Corporation and Commission can not charge more than $75 to attend the symposium (DLSOIS, 2011). Four, the Corporation and Commission may not charge more than the minimal fee for admission (DLSOIS, 2011). And five, on or after July 1, 2012, the Corporation and Commission may adjust the minimal fee (DLSOIS, 2011). Senate Bill 731 easily passed will full support of 47-0. Senate Bill 731 was then proposed to the House on March 23, 2011 and did not pass (DLSOIS, 2011).
Because stem cells have enormous ethical issues surrounding it, research is carefully funded by the State and Federally. Stem cells have the potential to cure cancer, but laws put restrictions on research. If more money were to be funded for the research of stem cells, there would be a possibility of living in a society where you wouldn’t have to worry about getting cancer, or even the common cold. Stem cells raise many questions while giving humans hope for complete wellness.

Works Cited

Academy of Sciences. (2009). Stem Cell Basics . Stem Cells At The Nationals Academic . Retrieved November 14, 2011, from dels-old.nas.edu/bls/stemcells/why-stem-cell- research.shtml#blood
Association for the Advancement of Science. (2011). AAAS – The World’s Largest General Scientific Society. AAAS – The World’s Largest General Scientific Society. Retrieved November 14, 2011, from http://www.aaas.org/spp/cstc/briefs/st
Department of Legislative Services, Office of Information Systems. (2011). Maryland General Assembly Home Page. Retrieved from http://mlis.state.md.us/
Elick, J.A. (2011). Fiscal and Policy Note on House Bill 731. Retrieved from
http://mlis.state.md.us/2011rs/fnotes/bil_0001/sb0731.pdf
Feng, Z., & Gao, F. (2011). Stem Cell Challenges in the Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disease – Feng – 2011 – CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics – Wiley Online Library. Wiley Online Library. Retrieved November 14, 2011, from
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1755-5949.2011.00239.x/abstract;jsessionid

Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011. (2011, January 20). What are the similarities and differences between embryonic and adult stem cells? [Stem Cell Information]. NIH Stem Cell Information Home Page. Retrieved November 14, 2011, from http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/bas
National Center for Biotechnology Information. Medical Encyclopedia. (2010, August 14). Cancer – PubMed Health. Retrieved November 14, 2011, from
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhe
Ribera, J. (2011). Acute lymphoblastic leukemia in adults. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved November 14, 2011, from
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ articles/PMC3206531/?tool=pubmed
Siegel, A. (2009.). Ethics of Stem Cell Research (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved November 14, 2011, from
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/stem-cells/#EthCreEmbForSteCelResTh

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Stem Cell Research is a Vital Necessity for Medica

According to Christopher Reeve, the actor who played Superman and tragically became paralyzed, said, “The greatest good for the greatest number of people means allowing embryonic stem cell research, which has the potential to help 150 million Americans who suffer from serious or incurable diseases or disabilities” (Roleff 63). It is incredible how some of the smallest items like stem cells can have such a drastic impact on the world. Two types of these tiny cells are adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells. These stem cells are important and have unique opportunities. However, there are ethical issues with researching stem cells. Nevertheless, it is still important for stem cells to be researched. Because stem cell research is a vital necessity for medical advances and for the possible cures of numerous diseases, it should continue to be protected under U.S. law.
Stem cells do not have a definite job and can become almost any type of cell in the body (Genetic Science Learning Center). The two types of stem cells are adult and embryonic. Adult stem cells are called Multipotent, which are cells limited on the many types of cells it could become (Roleff 17). Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, which are cells that can be developed into any type of cell (17).
Stem cells can be collected from various areas in the body. Areas like bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, placenta, brain, liver, and skin are where the adult stem cells are collected (7). Adult stem cells are used in clinical trials and have already successfully treated the ill (62). According to Tamara L. Roleff, “[Many] patients with over seventy types of diseases and injuries have benefited from the treatment using adult stem cells” (74).
Then again, embryonic stem cells do show more promise in treating and curing many more diseases than adult stem cells (Roleff 63). This is because, embryonic stem cells have the aptitude to be developed into whichever cell made in the human body (Human Embryo Experimentation 12). Embryonic stem cells come from a blastocyst, which is an embryo three to five days old (Stem Cell Basics: Introduction). The embryonic stem cells receive a signal which tells the cell to turn on certain genes and make new proteins to create the type of cell it will be (Genetic Science Learning Center).
Stem cell research generates important and unique opportunities offered in the medical community to create major scientific advances. Adult and embryonic stem cells have the potential to treat and cure diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, spinal cord injuries, stroke, burns, heart disease, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, muscle damage, diabetes, and some cancers (Stem Cell Basics: Introduction). In 2001, 3,000 Americans were killed every day by these diseases according to Shane Ham (Human Embryo Experimentation 67). Laboratory’s studying stem cells scientist gain information about the cells essential properties and what makes them different from specialized cells (Stem Cell Basics: Introduction). These stem cells are different than specialized cells because embryonic stem cells could possibly help create replacement cells. The replacement cells are created to replace many different kinds of tissues and organs, like the heart, liver, and pancreas (Brown). Adult stem cells treat leukemia, heart disease, stroke, and burns (Brown). In a test trail, seven patients who had spinal cord injuries went through a procedure. The procedure was that the doctor took out the patients nasal cells and injected them into the injured spinal cord. After this procedure all the patients regained some motor functions and sensation (Roleff 74).
An additional unique opportunity is that stem cell research can help prevent early developmental problems. Studying human embryonic cells can help scientist understand what happens in the first stages of development for preventing and treating birth defects, infertilities, and pregnancy losses (Human Embryo Experimentation 13). Terry Devitt said, “Screening drugs by testing them on cultured human embryonic stem cells could help reduce the risk of drug related birth defects” (13). Additionally, new medication can be tested for safety on differentiated cells made from human embryonic cell lines (Stem Cell Basics: Introduction). A handful of serious medical conditions such as cancer and birth defects occur, because abnormal cell division and differentiation (Stem Cell Basics: Introduction).
Embryonic stem cells are important to research, because embryonic stem cells growing organs would save thousands of lives every year. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, “In 1997, about 56,000 people in the U.S. were waiting for organ transplants and about 4,000 died while waiting” (Wertz). Growing organs from human embryonic stem cells would help steer clear of the ethical problems coming from paying or legally pressuring families to allow use of the deceased organs (Wertz).
The Church believes taking away a potential human life of an embryo is immoral and inexcusable but adult stem cell research is sensible (Roleff 17). The Catholic religious views on human embryonic research is that embryos have immortal souls and are worthy of greater protection (Singer). Religious conservatives believe at conception the life begins, and destroying the embryo to compose stem cells is like murder (Roleff 64).
Regardless of what the Church believes embryonic stem cell research is protected by law. President Barack Obama issued the Executive Order, which removed obstructions to responsible scientific research involving human stem cells (Stem Cell Basics: Introduction). The law also states that the National Institute of Health, also known as the NIH, could fund embryonic stem cell research as long as the research is scientifically worthy and conducted responsibly effective (Stem Cell Basics: Introduction). The law went into effect on July 7, 2009 (Stem Cell Basics: Introduction).
The nations who support embryonic stem cell research only approve research on the human embryo up to fourteen days (Wertz). The embryo before fourteen days is preferably called a “pre-embryo” (Wertz). A “pre-embryo” that is three days old is called a blastocyst, which means it is not an embryo yet (Wertz). “Pre-embryos” have no possibility of feelings or pain (Wertz). According to David Holcberg and Alex Epstein, “The embryos are smaller than a grain of sand, and consist of at most a few hundred undifferentiated cells. They have no body or body parts. They do not see hear, feel, or think” (Human Embryo Experimentation 43).
The human embryos are donated from vitro fertilization (28). In fertility clinics the employees use vitro fertilization to ensure pregnancy, for the unfertile people, a large amount of eggs are fertilized which creates a surplus of embryos (28). The extra embryos are often destroyed at the fertility clinic, but with the couples informed consent they could donate the extra “pre-embryos” (Wertz). The researched “pre-embryos” will never be implanted in a woman’s uterus (Wertz). The embryo being inlayed into a woman’s uterus and “brought to term” is the only probability of a human being to be formed (Human Embryo Experimentation 43). Researching on embryonic stem cells taken from embryos and fetuses, that if not researched would be thrown away, does not cause chagrin to human life. It may even dignify life by helping to save many lives (Wertz).
In the end, “There is no reason to object to research conducted on a being that has no brain, consciousness, preferences of any kind, or capacity for suffering” (Singer). Several of the stem cell treatments have already successfully cured a few of the deadly diseases. Although, with more research there is a greater chance to change the numerous lives that are besieged with incurable diseases. Because stem cell research is so vital for medical advances and for possible cures of various diseases, it should continue to be protected under the Executive Order law. Besides, the lives of millions with these fatal diseases and injuries depend on stem cell research for the chance of having a longer fulfilled life.

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Repetitive word: researched
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1273 WORDS
18 CRITICAL ISSUES41 ADVANCED ISSUESSCORE: 74