Research on stem cells is knowledge constantly being explored about how an organism evolves from a single cell and how cells in good condition are put in place of cells that no longer work. The outcome that is anticipated from doing this research is that if scientist can fine tune stem cells into regular cells like blood or heart muscles and put it back into the body, then possibly they may find a cure for some of the widespread diseases that exist in our world today such as diabetes, leukemia, and many more by replacing those weak cells with youthful cells.
Eventually this research might lead to realistic, reasonably priced ways to get rid of many diseases through DNA engineering but is it really worth risking lives if the reality is only a possibility? There must be other ways to find a cure without extracting stem cells. Stem cells are astonishing in the fact that they can be used to treat a profuse amount of deadly diseases including Leukemia, Diabetes, and Parkinson’s. The two main types of bodily stem cells are: embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells.
In an embryo, stem cells can separate into all of the specific embryonic tissues. In adult structures, stem cells and parent cells act as a repair system for the body, mending specialized cells, but also maintaining the normal loss of important nurturing organs, such as blood, skin, or intestinal tissues. Stem cells can evolve into any of the two hundred and twenty different cell types that exist in the human body and are beneficial as research instruments and possibly, in the future, will be used to cure a universal area of epidemics.
But until then, I believe that finding other ways to cure a disease is better then risking someone’s life because researchers do not have sufficient information or practice. They are and have been called “miracle cells” (“Mibba Creative Writing”) by many researchers just for this reason. They have no clear-cut job in the human body, so stem cells can be altered into any type of cell. Generally this is good because taking them out should not harm. However, if not done correctly the body could react in a manner that would leave the human lifeless. Is it really worth the risk hen there are other ways to cure diseases given all the technology at our disposal? Stem cells can be injected into an ill person’s body for treatment, and can possibly lead to a cure. But, is possibly the answer people want? Stem cells can also be used to test new drugs. Other kinds of cells are already being used in this manner so why do people feel the need to extract stem cells? Cancer cells, for example, are used to test possible anti-tumor medication. The accessible amount of stem cells would allow drug testing to consist in a wider range of cell types.
However, to examine drugs productively, the environments must be the same when comparing different drugs. Therefore, scientists will have to be capable of accurately regulating the contrast of stem cells into distinct cell types on which drugs will be tried. Currently, duplicating the exact conditions for each drug is subject to error. Adult stem cell research, as with embryonic stem cells, also presents disadvantages. Although these cells can be accessed from the bone marrow, there are in limited supply.
Only so many cells can be gathered from one individual, which forces scientists to have to make tough choices with what is available and leaves no room for misteps. “Adult stem cells also do not have a long storage life,” (“Cord Blood Cells”) meaning they may not survive as long as their embryonic copy. Yet another disadvantage is that the procedure in order to attain these cells is extremely difficult. These cells do not have the capability of being reprogrammed to transform into any cell type due to its inflexible structure. Lastly, there are still many unknowns that come with adult stem cells.
They may have defects and the disease that is being addressed may also be present in the adult cell’s genes. Embryonic stem cell research comes with its own obstacles much like adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are hard to control and may take multiple tries before researchers are capable of collecting the wanted cell. This means that if the embryonic cell is not retrieved on the first try, they must proceed to attempt another time. This may lead to complications, which might harm the patient.
The use of these cells involves destroying five to even day old embryos, which raises many moral and ethical issues amongst the public. There is also a possibility of transplantation reaction. This happens because the body rejects the embryo from a random donor. Because there is so much more to learn and study about these cells there is also a risk for the formation of cancer or tumors. Some say that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. But given the negatives discussed in this paper, I, as well as many others, find the risks involved in extracting adult stem cells and even more so embryonic cells outweigh the benefits.
There are conflicting arguments surrounding authorizing stem cell research. Some say that it is immoral, that the embryos needed to extract stem cells are as important as an adult human life. The dispute encircling stem cell research is similar to the controversy of abortion, as in whether or not the process of taking out stem cells, which requires ruining the embryo, is stealing a human life or not. Many, including me, think that there is not enough attention put on the potential of umbilical cord blood for stem cell research.
The umbilical cord once cut is of no use and is defiantly not harming the beginning of a life. In an article written by Deborah White she states, “no cures have yet been produced by embryonic stem cell therapy. ” We are wasting all this time using methods that haven’t even made a positive impact on our community, when we could in fact be finding other less harmful and controversial means of curing diseases. Opponents of the research argue that embryonic stem cell technologies are a slippery slope to reproductive cloning and can fundamentally devalue human life.
Some in the pro-life movement argue that a human embryo is already a human life that is entitled to protection. The National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) has recommended a ban on human cloning due to the threats it poses to people’s safety. The NBAC position is that, “It is important to recognize that the technique that produced Dolly the sheep was successful in only 1 of 277 attempts. If attempted in humans, it would pose the risk of hormonal manipulation in the egg donor; multiple miscarriages in birth mother; and possibly severe developmental abnormalities in any resulting child. (“HubPages”)
With all these risks at hand I do not think it makes sense to continue with stem cell research when there are other methods. Contrarily, supporters of embryonic stem cell research argue that such research should be pursued because the resultant treatments could have significant medical potential. In addition, leftover embryos could be given with permission and used for the research. While it is true that one that receives consent from the person supplying the embryo is now allowed to use it, is it right to do so when so many oppose it?
The cloning option could be an advantage to childless couples. Currently, childless couples are limited to adoption. Cloning when and if legalized could lead to another choice. Clones, adopted or not, would absolutely be chosen with certain rules that the child clone look or be like the parent. Some guardians might even come to prefer a cloned child to whom they created. Despite these opportunities, the moral, ethical, legal and social issues encompassing human cloning remain. Researchers in their recent work have developed other ways to remove stem cells without hurting the embryo.
One way is very similar to cloning an embryo. The one dissimilarity would be that the nucleus from the giver of the cell, would be put into another person’s egg without a nucleus. The genetic change would prevent the egg from growing into an embryo, but it would survive long enough so that stem cells could be retrieved. This procedure is called “altered nuclear transfer. ” (“Mibba Creative Writing”) There is also another technique, which consists of gathering still active stem cells from embryos indicated as dead. This procedure would use embryos that are frigid and formed in fertilization.
In theory both these methods work, but are still at the provisional stage. SO IS IT WORTH THE RISK? “Most of the opposition towards stem cells comes from people of the Christian and Catholic faith. ” (“Mibba Creative Writing”). Many people who are religious have the idea that America is insensitive and wants a “miracle cure. ” (“Mibba Creative Writing”) These beliefs come from the same point of view on abortion. To them, an embryo is a human life, and harming it would be akin to murder. Some people take this matter so seriously; they would refuse treatment with stem cells even if they face a life threatening illness.
They believe an embryo is more valuable than saving their own life because they don’t want to harm another life. I cannot blame them. We cannot judge others for their religious views. In conclusion stem cell research could potentially be a productive benefactor for society and humans as a whole but, at the moment there is not enough knowledge known on the subject to consider it a viable option. Although there are positives such as extracting a stem cell with the ability to become any specific functioning cell, it is not definite that the procedure will work the first time around.
Adult stem cells are accessed from the bone marrow and are so difficult to extract that there is no room for mistakes. The use of embryonic cells involves destroying day old embryos, which raises moral issues. There are dangerous possibilities of rejection as well as the formation of cancer or tumors. Undoubtedly, it is evident that further research is needed to ensure the safety and effectiveness of stem cells in order to cure diseases without all the potential risks and harms to humans.
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