“I am in favor of stem cell research. In fact, I don’t know anyone who is opposed,” says Dr. David A. Prentice in the opening paragraph of his article, “The Real Promise of Stem Cell Research.” “Embryonic stem cells are cells obtained from an embryo in the blastula phase, when they are still only a few days old. Because they have only begun to differentiate, these cells have the capability of developing into any cell in the human body. This fact makes them potentially important in medicine,” (Embryonic par. 1). An embryo in the stage that these stem cells are collected is known as a blastocysts or “a pre-implantation embryo of 30 to 150 cells” (Stem par. 3). In order to gather these stem cells, it is necessary to destroy the embryo. Some people are opposed to these stem cell retrieval methods. A notorious example of this is former president, George W. Bush, who displayed his dissent by limiting the research to existing embryonic stem cell lines and vetoing bills passed by congress to increase funds to embryonic stem cell research (Pros par. 4). This has done long and lasting damage to research progress. The government’s and other groups’ interferences are unnecessary and are based on whims and lack of understanding. They should be prevented from impeding further research.
Through somatic cell nuclear transfer, SCNT, scientists are able to create blastocysts by taking the nucleus of a somatic cell and injecting it into an egg cell. The resulting cell will develop into blastocysts holding embryonic stem cells (Therapeutic par. 1-4). This process is also known as therapeutic cloning. Through this process, scientists will be able to use stem cells from blastocysts cloned for the very purpose of research instead of through blastocysts conceived through the human body.
“22% of all pregnancies end in abortion,” (Incidence par.1). The United States, among other countries, allow abortions. Over 1.2 million abortions are performed each 1977 (United States par. 13). These blastocysts are used by scientists as well as cryogenically stored and condemned embryos. These embryos had no future potential as human life. Using these to benefit the research cause is not destruction of human life, but rather reusing things that people readily dispose of everyday. Not using these embryos would be wasteful, and this way, the embryos are used to benefit society and add to our knowledge.
Embryonic stem cell treatments have great potential in the medical field. They have shown potential in treating diabetes type one, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease (Embryonic par.3). Embryonic stem cells also have large potential in helping further the study of genetic disorders. If the somatic cell from which the nucleus is derived during the SCNT process is taken from someone with a genetic disorder, then the resulting stem cell line would have the same genotype, allowing scientists to study a particular genetic disorder from the cellular level (SCNT par. 2). This...