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Increased Government Funding For Stem Cell Research

2468 words - 10 pages

Increased Government Funding for Stem Cell Research:
According to Channel Four News (1), Russell Turnbull, a 38 year old man from England, lost sight out of one eye in a fight that happened in 1994. He tried to intervene between two men that were fighting on a bus. When he tried to break up the confrontation, one of the mean squirted ammonia at him. The ammonia landed in his cornea which instantly caused his eye to clamp shut; his eye would remain closed for two weeks. Russell immediately left the bus and headed for the nearest hospital. At the hospital he was diagnosed with LSCD which stands for limbial stem cell deficiency. LSCD causes corneal clouding, sensitivity to light, constant watering of the eyes, and leaves the afflicted unable to drive. This ailment requires costly long-term medicine and frequent trips to the doctor. Doctors tried numerous washes and creams, but none of these treatments really helped Russell’s vision. Just as Russell was losing hope in ever seeing again, his doctor, Franciso Figueiredo, recommended trying a new stem cell procedure. Turnbull agreed to the procedure, and doctors began growing new stem cells with a few stem cells from his good eye. The newly created stem cells were implanted in Turnbull’s bad eye. The eye began functioning normally, and eventually full sight was restored. Russell finally possessed full sight after fifteen years. Turnbull had this to say about the operation, “I'm working, I can go jet-skiing again and I also ride horses. I have my life back thanks to the operation." This man isn’t the only man who could benefit from this technology. Millions of people world wide have injuries and diseases that could be treated by embryonic stem cells. Although some people view embryonic stem cell research as murder and believe adult stem cell can be used for research, government funding should be increased because embryonic stem cells can cure diseases, the guidelines are humane, and there is new research in which an embryo isn’t created.
An embryonic stem cell is a pluripotent cell that can be extracted and used to create new tissue. As a pluripotent cell, the embryonic stem cell can differentiate, or transform, into any cell in the human body. Stem cells are created by first transferring the inner mass to a culture dish. This culture dish has a layer of mice embryonic skin cells which keeps the stem cells undifferentiated and supplies food. With out the layer of mice cells the stem cells will differentiate into the cells they were programed to become. Once this step happens the stem cells are useless, and are in fact not even stem cells any more. After the inner mass starts to divide, some of the cells are put into another culture dish where they will divide and create more stem cells. Therefore, the original embryo is able to create millions of stem cells, eliminating the over-creation of embryos. Once these cells survive for six months and remain pluripotent, they are certified as...

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