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Stem Cell Research Essay

1254 words - 5 pages

Stem cell research. Simple words that to some mean a lot more than a new potential scientific field. It is simply the creation or repair of another life form from an earlier form. Stem cells have the chance to change all that we know in the medical field as well as the potential to heal old wounds and heal damaged organs. This point causes much debate and anger of those opposed to stem cell research but they ultimately look at the process and not the form or result of it.

Stem cell research has incredible potential. It is more important in healthcare than one may realize.

"Stem cells have the ability to develop into bone, muscle, cartilage, or other types of cells. The ability of these cells to develop into almost any cell type could allow for the repair of any damaged or deteriorating tissue, thus they could be used in regenerative medicine." (Joshua Tusin).

Stem cell creation follows a very easy process but not so simple that one could use a home science kit to duplicate it. Stem cell research is used in so many ways today that many people overlook them. Applications such as blood transfusions and bone marrow transplants are simple uses of stem cell research. Many people who oppose the research look mainly at the newer process which is to use fetal abortions or human embryos in order to repair tissue or to create/clone a new life.

The stem cells can be obtained in many different ways. Aborted (spontaneous or induced) fetal tissue, stored or spare embryos obtained from infertility treatment, embryos produced for research purposes (including somatic cell nuclear transfer), existing cell lines (e.g., haematopoietic or neuronal stem cells), or collected from peripheral blood or bone marrow are some of the methods used. Samples of stem cells may also be taken from adults and have been used to cure well over one hundred different diseases and ailments. These cells are very limited on quantity though and are not as pure or easily used as those that are found in younger subjects.

"There are, however, at least presently, limitations to using adult stem cells. Although many different kinds of multipotent stem cells have been identified, adult stem cells that could give rise to all cell and tissue types have not yet been found. Adult stem cells are

often present in only minute quantities and can therefore be difficult to isolate and purify. There is also evidence that they may not have the same capacity to multiply as embryonic stem cells do. Finally, adult stem cells may contain more DNA abnormalities—caused by sunlight, toxins, and errors in making more DNA copies during the course of a lifetime. These potential weaknesses might limit the usefulness of adult stem cells in comparison with embryonic stem cells." (Wikipedia)

These methods are not very well known because most people against the research would tell you that the only way to obtain the stem cells is from the embryos of fetuses and that the embryos are killed in order...

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