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Stem Cell Debate And Resolution Essay

3378 words - 14 pages

Stem Cell Debate and ResolutionImagine a world where organ transplants could be done without another person dying orsacrificing an organ as a living donor. In this same world there wouldn't be a disparity between the number of the people needing organs and the number of organs available. This somewhat fantasy world exists only in the laboratories that conduct stem cell research. In 1988 the first successful use of cord blood as a source of haemopoietic stem cells for transplantation was done. This first transplantation was done to treat a boy with Fanconis anemia. Since 1988 more than 70,000 worldwide umbilical cord-blood banks have been established. Approximately 2,000 transplantations have been done, predominantly for children, but occasionally for adults too (Burgio, Gluckkman, and Locatelli, 2003).The discovery, separation, and culturing of human embryonic stem cells has been one of the most important breakthroughs in biomedicine of the century. The discovery of cells is such a huge potential for improving and prolonging our lives, which have bought some of the most severe and difficult questions about the value of life itself, the destruction of the embryos. Stem cell research has shown benefits in many areas of health, but most of the studies have only been done on lab animals. Some examples are:improved stroke recovery shown in rats,embryonic stem cells were used to treat a Parkinson's-like condition in mice and rats, andscientists caused new brain cells to grow from adult stem cells in birds,Canadian and Italian scientists transplanted adult stem cells from the brains of mice into the bone marrow of other rodents. The stem cells changed and began making blood cells.Movement was restored in paralyzed mice and rats by injecting stem cells into the spinal fluid.In one of the few stem cell studies done involving humans, some people who failed to benefit from cataract surgery improved when they received corneal stem cell transplants. Research shows promise in the use of stem cells to create organs to prolong life and to restore function to injured body parts. Some researchers regard stem cells as the greatest potential for the alleviation of human suffering since the development of antibiotics. This research has spurred an impassioned debate on the ethics and morals surrounding the use of stem cells. The use of human material for experimentation is a very emotional and controversial subject.Today, one of the most contentious debates is the use of human stem cells for research. There are many personal feelings that surround the issues which, are complicated by social standards, religious beliefs, personal or societal needs, and personal morals. There are no problems surrounding the methods of research. The debate begins with the source of the stem cells. Stem cells are either obtained from cells in adults, human embryos or fetuses. Stem cells come in three forms: embryonic stem cells, embryonic germ cells, and adult stem cells.Adult stem cells...

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