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Stem Cell. Essay

1007 words - 4 pages

Research on stem cells began in November of 1998 when researchers were successful in isolating the stem cells in a lab. At first a selected few scientists only realized the enormous potential of stem cell. Then, in the U.S. and other parts of the world stem cell funding and research went rampant. Australia made a huge stem cell breakthrough by discovering that stem cell are to generate themselves into other, specialized cells, in particular the types of cells which naturally fight disorders or replace damaged or diseased cells. Before this research it was not known if mature brain cells could do this too. "It's really taken us this last nine or ten years to be able to find out what the cell looks like, and having found, we can now look at the ways of being able to stimulate it into making new nerve cells with the possibility of replacing damaged or lost nerve cells in the adult brain"(Cohen, 2002, p. 1)."President George W. Bush, Jr. spent much time debating with all types of people before making his decision on one the most controversial issues in our society which is stem cell research" (Kalb & Rosenberg, 2004, p. 1). The first step he took was becoming knowledgeable on stem cells. Stem cells are unspecialized cells that renew themselves for long periods of time through cell division. Researchers discovered stem cells in the tissues and organs of adults, human embryos, the newest, umbilical cords. The most promising research seems to exist with the human embryonic stem cells; however, the research is slowing down thanks to the ethical debates among Americans. Many people believe that the embryonic stem cells are obtained by killing a baby, but scientists believes that these cells have a potential for life.With this knowledge, Bush decided to allow federal funding for the research on the already existing sixty-five cell lines from embryos and created a council of doctors, lawyers, and ethicists to keep him informed on the progress. His decision was a step in the right direction because it provided for peer review ad regulation and often is more experimental than industrial research designed to develop a specific product. Once the Americans start to think about Bush's decision, they find themselves asking "Okay, should all types of stem cells be researched or just on type have a full emphasis?" Scientist and researchers found adult stem sells in the brain, bone marrow, peripheral blood, blood vessels, skeletal, muscle, skin, and liver. These cells are in small quantities, difficult to isolate and purify, and may decrease with age.It seems even though the adult stem cell research is still in its infancy, there are several problems. They may not be useable if a patient has a genetic defect since it could be in the stem cell or may have DNA errors. Since adult stem cells are in certain areas of the body, they can only differentiate into that certain type of cell. There is one advantage that keeps scientists researching adult stem cells. The...

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