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Stem Cell Research Essay

3391 words - 14 pages

Buchanan PAGE 1 Buchanan PAGE 1
Cheyenne BuchananMrs. Solinski1English IV30 Oct. 2010A.E. and Now U.The life lesson that a young girl named Laura had to learn at the age of fourteen can only be classified as a tragedy. When Laura awoke in the hospital to the sound of doctors telling her that she would not be able to move from the neck down, made her grasp the idea that her life might never be the same. She and her father immediately began to search for a cure. After learning about the future promise of stem cells they also learned about the many restrictions that exist in the United States regarding the use of stem cells. The two were forced to look to other countries. Soon after, they found a doctor in China that was using embryonic stem cells: a surgery that many agreed was making many improvements. A year later, Laura and her father flew to China for the surgery, and only a week after surgery, Laura was able to breathe on her own for fifteen minutes as well as having an abundant amount of movement in her neck and shoulders. This success was something she had not thought about being able to do since her accident. Laura stays optimistic, still hoping that something will change soon. She tells her peers, "I will continue to work hard at keeping a healthy body so when there finally is a cure, I will be ready" (Jackson).Stem cells fall into three major categories: embryonic, adult, and umbilical, which are all uniquely different. Embryonic stem cells have yet to be heavily researched due to societies issue with the morality of how the cells are extracted directly from an embryo before the embryo's cells begin to differentiate. On the other hand adult stem cells have shown to have a higher support from the public. Adult stem cells can be taken from a person's bone marrow; however, they are a bit more difficult to extract. With the a.s.c. being taken directly from the patient's own body it means that there will always be an exact DNA match meaning there is no need to worry about the immune system rejecting them. Having this upside makes the adult stem cells superior to both umbilical cord and embryonic cells. Stem cells can also be taken from the umbilical cord during pregnancy and then having the extracted cells stored in cell banks in case of a future medical emergency (Cowan et al).After all the research many still see embryonic stem cell as the most likely to produce cures. According to Gerald Coleman at Santa Clara University, there are numerous backers of embryonic stem cell research. Coleman lists over twenty supporters including The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Parkinson's Action Network. Supporters stood together to create Proposition 71: "A plan to regulate and fund stem cell research, a constitutional right to conduct such research, and oversight committee" ("Summery"). Research shows there has been roughly twelve million dollars that has gone into the promoting of Proposition 71...

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