In modern medicine today there are remedies for many diseases and sicknesses. For those unfortunate few with rare diseases, cancer, or a genetic mutation, we don’t have a resolution or cure. The race to find these cures is going on right now. Many think the solution can be found in the tiny embryonic stem cells. Most of the people who believe that the embryonic stem cell is the solution also believe that the federal government should help fund the research. The use of embryonic stem cells is not the only “solution to be” for these rare cases. Adult stem cell research is another means of finding the solution to the rare diseases, cancers, and other such sicknesses. Adult stem cell research is the most moral and effective treatment for the rare diseases and sicknesses.
Adult stem cell research has been proven to be the superior form of stem cell research at this time. Adult stem cells have provided 56 treatments to various sicknesses from brain cancer, to Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, to Sickle Cell Anemia, to spinal cord injuries (Do No Harm). These 56 treatments compare to the zero that embryonic stem cell research has so far provided. It is apparent just from that fact alone that adult stem cells are not second best. Dr. Carlos Lima in Portugal, has helped several paralyzed patients to restore bladder and muscle control using stem cells from their own nasal tissue. One of Dr. Lima’s patients appeared before a Senate subcommittee and presented videos of herself walking with braces (Biotechnology and Bioethics).
Embryonic stem cell research is the study of a tiny cell, taken from an embryo, which during the development of the embryo grows into many different organ or tissue cells. These cells can be cultured and grown into almost any organ or tissue cells to repair or replace damaged cells (Eapejo 53). The only high point that embryonic stem cells have is that they could potentially be used for anything because of this unique ability to be grown into any type of cell. But embryonic stem cells also run the risk of tissue rejection and tumors. This is one of the reasons a human trial has yet to be done (Tada). Embryonic research is not complete but isn’t near ready for a human trial. Embryonic research is showing no signs that the cures are around the corner either (Center for Bioethics and Culture). Many people who support em…
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…ath concerning the research. Adult stem cell research is the solution to rare diseases and sicknesses previously unknown to man. Regardless of the government’s policies, it is likely that privately funded industry will carry on the research of embryonic stem cells. We will not be able to tell if it will be good or bad.
“Biotechnology and Bioethics.” Joni and Friends. 2004. Joni and Friends. 02 Nov. 2004
“The Center for Bioethics and Culture: Bringing People Together for a Human Future”. The Center for Bioethics and Culture. 21 Oct 2004. Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. 03 Nov 2004
“Do No Harm: The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics.” Do No Harm. 06 Oct. 2004. Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics. 02 Nov 2004
Eapejo, Roman, ed. Biomedical Ethics. Farmington Hills: Greenhaven Press, 2003.
Kass, Leon R. “ Playing Politics With the Sick.” The Washington Post. 8 Oct. 2004: A35.
Mainer, Jeremy. “U.S. Quietly OKs Fetal Stem Cell Work: Bush Allows Funding Despite Federal Limits On Embryo Use .” Chicago Tribune 7 July 2002: 1.
Tada, Joni. Interview. Larry King Live. Cable News Network. 3 Aug. 2004.
Stem Cell Research
Stem Cell Research
What is a Stem Cell?
Stems cells are immature cells found in embryos that can develop into any kind of specialized cells. They can form virtually any cell of the human body. These types of stem cells are known as pluripotent cells. Multipotent cells are stem cells that are more mature; they can be found in adults and children. Multipotent cells are not as flexible as pluripotent cells, as they have already developed into more specialized human cells.
Benefits of Stem Cells
Benefits of stem cell research can be overwhelming. Today, millions of people around the world suffer from incurable diseases. Stem cell research could help the scientific community find a breakthrough in developing a cure. By observing stem cells develop into mature human tissue, scientists can better understand how embryos develop. “Normal” human development can be recorded. This knowledge can be used to help prevent birth defects, for instance.
Scientists would be able to grow spinal cells from pluripotent stem cells. These cells could possibly repair spinal cord damage. Those afflicted by paralysis, such as Christopher Reeve, could possibly move again. Stem cells could also be used to grow nerve cells, possibly combating Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s. While it will be many years before scientists may actually be able to find a way to combat these diseases, there is a great promise in stem cells.
Because stem cells are essentially a blank slate, scientists are theoretically capable of growing any human tissue cell. There is enormous medical potential in this. Stem cell research is the next step in advancing the medical field. It is comparable to the discovery of penicillin or the inoculation for smallpox.
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…ting embryos specifically for stem cell research should not be allowed. Continued stem cell research will benefit all of mankind with its promise of medical advances. Opponents’ concerns about destroying human life will be quelled because stem cells will be taken from already doomed embryos. The federal government will be able to regulate the research and ensure that it is lawfully conducted.
Currently, the limitations on research are too restricting, as researchers are limited to resources already gathered. There are sixty existing stem cell lines today, already derived from embryos. Researchers are to only use these lines. These limitations severely hinder stem cell research. The government, especially President Bush, should re-evaluate stem cell research.