According to Christopher Reeve, the actor who played Superman and tragically became paralyzed, said, “The greatest good for the greatest number of people means allowing embryonic stem cell research, which has the potential to help 150 million Americans who suffer from serious or incurable diseases or disabilities” (Roleff 63). It is incredible how some of the smallest items like stem cells can have such a drastic impact on the world. Two types of these tiny cells are adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells. These stem cells are important and have unique opportunities. However, there are ethical issues with researching stem cells. Nevertheless, it is still important for stem cells to be researched. Because stem cell research is a vital necessity for medical advances and for the possible cures of numerous diseases, it should continue to be protected under U.S. law.
Stem cells do not have a definite job and can become almost any type of cell in the body (Genetic Science Learning Center). The two types of stem cells are adult and embryonic. Adult stem cells are called Multipotent, which are cells limited on the many types of cells it could become (Roleff 17). Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, which are cells that can be developed into any type of cell (17).
Stem cells can be collected from various areas in the body. Areas like bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, placenta, brain, liver, and skin are where the adult stem cells are collected (7). Adult stem cells are used in clinical trials and have already successfully treated the ill (62). According to Tamara L. Roleff, “[Many] patients with over seventy types of diseases and injuries have benefited from the treatment using adult stem cells” (74).
Then again, embryonic stem cells do show more promise in treating and curing many more diseases than adult stem cells (Roleff 63). This is because, embryonic stem cells have the aptitude to be developed into whichever cell made in the human body (Human Embryo Experimentation 12). Embryonic stem cells come from a blastocyst, which is an embryo three to five days old (Stem Cell Basics: Introduction). The embryonic stem cells receive a signal which tells the cell to turn on certain genes and make new proteins to create the type of cell it will be (Genetic Science Learning Center).
Stem cell research generates important and unique opportunities offered in the medical community to create major scientific advances. Adult and embryonic stem cells have the potential to treat and cure diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, spinal cord injuries, stroke, burns, heart disease, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, muscle damage, diabetes, and some cancers (Stem Cell Basics: Introduction). In 2001, 3,000 Americans were killed every day by these diseases according to Shane Ham (Human Embryo Experimentation 67). Laboratory’s studying stem cells scientist gain information about the cells essential properties and what makes them different...