Stem cell research is one of the most controversial topics of debate that has caught the attention of both politicians and scientists. Pro-life supporters feel the moral cost of continuing experimentation outweighs any possible benefits, however researchers think the potential of stem cells is both awe-inspiring and mystifying. To fully understand this debate a person must be informed on the stem cell research’s history and scientific details. Stem cell research has recently become a big topic, however stem cells were first found in the early 80’s with the discovery that stem cells are essential for developing organisms. Stem cells are non-specialized cells that have the potential to produce specific cells such as, tissue cells, blood cells, bone cells, brain cells, and etc. Although there are stem cells in adults the most potent cells are in embryos, which are typically taken from aborted fetuses between the fifth and ninth week. Experimentation on these compromised fetuses brings ethics in the equation; as a result sparking the controversy, is the practice of stem cell research ethical?
Scientists support stem cell research because they believe it is the key to finding cure for many disease’s that could save people’s life. Researchers and scientists agree that stem cells can even fix aliments such as blindness and deafness. Through stem cell experimentations medical professionals have been able to successfully cure people from diseases that they believed were incurable. Many people are unsure of how this procedure works but in Karen Kaplan’s article “Stem cell treatment for diabetes”, Dr. Richard Burt explains,
Stem cells have the potential to repair or replace damaged tissue or cells. There are three main sources for obtaining these cells - adult cells, cord cells, and embryonic cells. Embryonic stem cells have the most potential because they do not contain any DNA. They are developed from a female egg after it is fertilized by sperm. The process takes 4-5 days. Traditionally, that means that researchers must destroy human embryos, to get the cells to research (Kaplan,2010).
Dr. Richard Burt clears up a lot of common misconceptions in his statement by saying that stem cells are crucial for the development of organisms, meaning that stem cells are impetrative to have when it comes to finding cures for deadly disease. Also, for those who are concerned about using embryonic stem cells, he states that there are alternative ways.
Many people reject stem cell research because of the destruction of human embryos, however those people may not be aware that there are other ways of obtaining stem cells. For example, as Dr. Richard Burt explains, there are also adult stem cells and umbilical cord stem cells that can be extracted without any harm to the donor. Also in recent studies, scientists have discovered how to extract a single embryonic stem cell without harming the embryo. Steve Conner’s article, “Stem cell breakthrough promises to...