When one thinks of fatal diseases, what comes to mind? Cancer? Organ failure? Brain damage? All of those things and more could be a thing of the past with the incredible potential of stem cell research. Stem cells are like blank cells that can take the form of other kinds of cells. This gives them the ability to heal damaged areas, or grow replacement tissue for tissue that has been diseased. Stem cells can come from several different places, some of which cause lots of controversy and ethical debate. Because of this, stem cell research is not federally funded by the United States government. But, stem cell research has tons of potential and should get more attention for the greater good of our future.
According to Courtney Farrell’s overview of stem cell research, stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can be used to fix and replace other kinds of cells that are missing or damaged, and they can be derived from several different sources. The first of these sources, “embryonic” stem cells have been the source of many ethical debates because the process to gain embryonic stem cells involves the destruction of a human embryo in its early stages. Many people find this unethical and think it’s equal to human murder. According to the article by John Pearson, other types of stem cells include adult stem cells, which can be derived from bone marrow in grown adults, and umbilical blood stem cells; these are found in the blood of the umbilical cord after the birth of a baby and are becoming a great replacement for embryonic stem cells.
As stated by John Pearson, once a stem cell is gained through one of these processes it is reproduced in a lab and formed into what is known as a “cell line”. Each cell line was started from a different stem cell and will have slightly different properties; because of this some cell lines can be better suited for a specific disease then another line. One cell line might be really good with repairing brain cells while another may be better at replacing lung cells. According to Micah, new methods can produce stem cells that are even more disease specific called “indiceced pluripotent stem cells” or “IPS” cells. According to John Pearson If an adult allows the extraction of their own stem cells, that cell line could be better suited to healing that specific person.
In the year 1998, according to Courtney Farrell, when human stem cells were first successfully isolated the Clinton administration allowed federal funding of stem cell research. But that all changed in the 2000 presidential elections. In George W bush’s campaign he openly opposed embryonic stem cell research as he found it unethical, and many agreed with him. When he was elected as president he banned all federal funding of stem cell research, causing outrage in the science community (although, privately funded stem cell research remained legal after George Bush’s law was passed). Later on, bush did change his policy so that research could be federally...