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Stem Cell Research: A Promising Medical Advancement

1451 words - 6 pages

Today stem cell research is a very controversial issue. Within the past few years people have been subject to the debates over stem cell research in the news, in books, and in magazines. But what exactly is stem cell research and how can it benefit the human race? What are the reasons that people are so against stem cell research? It seems that many people have taken a side on this issue. But, no matter what side a person is on, one cannot deny the facts. The fact is, although stem cell research with an embryonic stem cell does kill a human embryo, it provides us with the ability to do many things in science and cure many diseases. With this new technology of stem cell research we will be able to do many great things in the name of science. A federal bill passed the House on 24th may, 2005, to allow government funded research on embryonic stem cells extracted from surplus embryos in fertility clinics (McConchie and Bevington 1999). It was later passed by the Senate. President Bush vetoed it- the first veto of his presidency (McConchie and Bevington 1999). On July 1, in a Capitol Hill press conference with Senator Brownback of Kansas, U.S. Congress and U.S. President Clinton'sNational Bioethics Advisory Commission, in conjunction with several organizations and individuals, put together a statement on the issue and released it (McConchie and Bevington 1999). The statement, authored by experts in law, science, and ethics, opposed federal funding of such research by outlining the legal and ethical reasons why it is problematic, while asserting that adult stem cells and other methods of restoring diseased or dysfunctional tissue may actually hold more promise for treatment (McConchie and Bevington 1999). Because obtaining those cells necessitates the destruction of the embryo, debate began brewing about the ethical and legal issues involved in such research. There is an existing ban on the use of federal funds for human embryo research. Stem cell research should be given federal funding.Stem cells are special cells that can become any kind of tissue in the human body. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, and give rise during development to all derivatives of the three primary germ layers: ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm (Wikipedia 2006). In other words, they can develop into each of the more than 200 cell types of the adult body when given sufficient and necessary stimulation for a specific cell type (Wikipedia 2006). These cells can be used to cure diseases where new tissue is needed to replace damaged tissue. Adult stem cells are also in the process of being researched and are said to have similar properties to embryonic stem cells. Some scientists say that the adult stem cells will be able to cure diseases just like the embryonic stem cells. Researchers say that they have isolated a kind of stem cell found in human bone marrow with almost all the medical potential of the embryonic stem cells (Weiss 2005). Some previous experiments show that human...

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