Medical Technology: Stem Cell Research Essay

1246 words - 5 pages

Medical Technology: Stem Cell ResearchHumankind, Society, and TechnologyYour heart races, your so consumed by the news you forget to breath. Your body becomes weak and soon you fall to the floor. For a moment time stands still. The only thing your mind is fixated on is the word "cancer". Cancer, how can my child possibly have cancer? I have done everything to protect her and here I stand in complete helplessness. Can't there be anything I can do, can't we stop the cancer and repair the body and heal her? What can I do, what can I do to save my daughter? The doctor explains to you the treatment options but with hesitation in his voice says that these treatments are not necessarily a cure and that they have extreme side effects. Then out of nowhere a voice reminds you of the stored cord blood you saved years ago that held the possibility of one day saving your child.The retrieval and storage of cord blood holds these amazing tiny cells called stem cells that have mass potential to treating many diseases ranging form Parkinson's to cancer. Over the past ten years the media has been informing that world of these amazing cells, the sources where they are found along with many pros and cons of researching and using such controversial technology. Today, I would like to talk about stem cells, their sources, possibilities , advantages and disadvantages.With a prominent family history of diabetes, heart disease and cancer I feel that the question I am asking myself is no longer if my children will get these diseases, but more likely when will my children get these diseases. Being a parent makes you a very strong and wise individual. When a parent does not have an answer, one will exhaust every avenue possible in order to find one and when crossing these avenues, much knowledge is gained. With these questions running through my mind, I wanted to find any source that might be able to protect my family from these awful circumstances that seem to be patiently awaiting for the right moment to attack its prey. After months of research, and the pregnancy of my third child, I came across a commercial that spoke of the benefits of cord blood recovery and storage. Knowing that this would be my last child, I decided to call the one-eight-hundred number and see exactly what they were talking about and the amazing facts blew me away and gave me hope that not only could I store my child's stem cells, but that these cells could possibly hold the cure that one day could protect my children.What are Stem Cells?"Stem cells are 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" (Human Stem Cell Research). "They offer much hope for medical advancement because of their ability to grow into almost any kind of cell" (Pros & Cons Stem Cell).Where Do Stem Cells Come From?There are three main sources of stem cells: embryonic,...

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