Stem cells have been one of the hot topics in the medical world.
There are many different types of stem cells. The first being an embryonic stem cell. This stem cell is obtained from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst, a mainly hollow ball of cells in the human, the embryonic cell forms 3-5 days after an egg is fertilized by a sperm (Types of Stem Cells.para.3). The second is a tissue-specific stem cell, also called an adult stem cell.
This stem cell is more specialized than the embryonic stem cell, because they can generate different cell types for the specific tissue or organ they live in (Types of Stem Cells.para.6). There is a mesenchymal stem cell, which scientist refer to as MSC. This is being looked into as a treatment for many disorders, although there is very little evidence to show that they are beneficial to help cure these disorders( Types of Stem Cells.para 10). The last main type of stem cell is the in pluripotent stem cell which are cells that have been engineered in labs for tissues and organs (Types of Stem Cells.para 11).
In 1998, the first research paper about stem cells was published and it stated that stem cells would be taken from human embryos for more research to lead to the ability to maintain undifferentiated stem cell lines and techniques for differentiating them into specific cells for various organs and tissues(Phillips,para.3). This research later developed into the knowledge that stem cells, can not grow into complete organisms, therefore never having life(Phillips,para.4).CIHR(Canadian Institute of Health Sciences) drafted a list of recommendations for stem cell research in 2001.The Clinton Administration drafted guidelines for stem cell research in 2000, but Bill left before they were released(Phillips,para.6). Over the past couple years there has been some conflict and controversy over stem cells and if they should be used for medical purposes to end certain diseases or help cure cancers.
There are many points of view on the entire subject and if it’s okay or not to take stem cells from human embryos to cure many diseases and cancers around the world. Some of the advantages using stem cells for medical research are that it can help cure many disorders and diseases such as Alzheimer’s,Parkinson’s,spinal cord injuries,and many other disorders that are very hard to treat. Scientist could test new medicines and drugs on these embryos instead of on full grown humans and animals.The risks between getting a doner and transferring it to the new body would be decreased since the cell would be transformed to be a cell from that body(Stem Cell Research.
column 1).The disadvantages although are more along the lines of the fact that it is a human life and to destroy it is unacceptable and immoral to many groups of people, so the funding is much harder to get. The long-term effects are also unknown, making it riskier. Because the cells aren’t directly from the patient’s body, it could just reject them and make the disorder or disease worsen. It can also make the coronary arteries narrower in heart disease patients(Stem Cell Research.column 2).Many researchers at UCLA have found a way to engineer blood forming stem cells to carry chimeric antigen receptor genes to make cells that can detect and destroy HIV-infected cells. These engineered cells not only destroyed the infected cells, they persisted for more than 2 years- suggesting the potential to create long-term immunity from the virus that causes AIDS(Gene Therapy Using CAR T-cells, para.
1). This passage shows how far they’ve come already in the stem cell research over the past 20 years.People aren’t just disagreeing with the use of embryos, but the fact that it could start embryo farms, cloned babies, the use of fetuses for spare parts, and the commodification of human life(Embryo Ethic.para 1). “…,extracting stem cells from a blastocyst is morally equivalent to yanking organs from a baby to save other peoples lives.
“(Embryo Ethics para.3). If harvesting stem cells was exactly like harvesting organs, it’d be banned, not denied funding(Embryo Ethics.para.
6).Many people believe the cells offer an opportunity to learn more about diseases and how to prevent and attack them(Phillips.par 2).The hope of stem cells are that they could replace cells damaged through illness or injury.Stem cells can’t work right unless scientists understand more about how the cells behave in the human body. They also have to develop the power to control how the cells develops. Without this power, the ces could cause cancer or other harm to the person( Phillips.
par.8).More work is needed to determine whether included pluripotent cells, the latest potential substitute for embryonic cells, could be safe and effective sources of replacement tissue(Phillips.par.9).
Many people are misled with false hope by the claims about stem cell research findings(Phillips.par.10). Especially the claims that the research is already as far as curing cancers, when in reality it isn’t as close as people may be misled to believe. Work CitedDresser, Rebecca. “Stem Cell Research as Innovation: Expanding the Ethical and Policy Conversation.
” The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics : a Journal of the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2010, www.ncbi.
“Embryo Ethics – The Moral Logic of Stem-Cell Research — NEJM.” New England Journal of Medicine, www.nejm.
org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp048145#t=article.”Gene therapy using CAR T-Cells could provide long-Term protection against HIV.
” Gene therapy using CAR T-Cells could provide long-Term protection against HIV | Stem Cells Portal – Stem Cells Journal Online Community, stemcellsportal.com/news/gene-therapy-using-car-t-cells-could-provide-long-term-protection-against-hiv.Phillips, Theresa. “Stem Cell Research: Weighing Both Sides of the Debate.” The Balance, www.thebalance.
com/pros-and-cons-of-stem-cell-research-375483.. “Stem Cell Research – Advantages and Disadvantages.” Advantages and disadvantages table in GCSE Biology, getrevising.co.uk/grids/stem_cell_research_advantages_and_disadvantages.
“Types of Stem Cells.” A Closer Look at Stem Cells, www.closerlookatstemcells.org/learn-about-stem-cells/types-of-stem-cells.