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Use of Steroids by Athletes

A survey was presented to 198 U.S athletes with the following scenario. You are offered a banned performance enhancing substance that comes with two guarantees: 1) You will not be caught. 2). You will win every competition you enter for the next five years and then you will die from the side effects of the substance. Would you take it? More than half the athletes said yes. As we can infer from the above survey, a large number of professional athletes are willing to risk their lives for the chance of victory and recognition.

The controversy of doping in sports is centered on the use of drugs to increase speed, strength, intensity and endurance. Various sports regulating bodies such as the International Olympic Committee have banned certain performance-enhancing substances because of safety and fair play issues. However, many athletes feel that they have to use steroids to be competitive in the international sporting arena. Athletes believe that everyone else is using these products, and thus anyone who does not use steroids is putting himself or herself at a disadvantage. This dichotomy between athletes and regulating bodies represents the major controversy around doping. The doping problem is further complicated by lack of a consistent definition.

This practice of using substances to boost athletic performance is not a new phenomenon. The use of external substances to boost athletic performance dates back to the Greeks who used herbs and seeds to enhance performance (Haji 54). The most popular drug choices today are anabolic steroids, which make athletes bigger, stronger and faster. Anabolic steroids are a group of compounds related to the male hormone testosterone, which promote increases in muscle bulk and…

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…efinition of doping needs to be drafted. This definition must be drafted in collaboration with athletes, trainers, physicians, coaches, and other parties with vested interests in professional sports. As new advances are made in biotechnology that will allow humans to enhance their athletic performance, the definition of doping will have to evolve along with the new developments.

Works Cited

Burstyn, Varda, The Rites of Men: Manhood, Politics,

Stem Cell Research – Embryonic Stem Cells Save Lives

Embryonic Stem Cells Save Lives

Special cells that are taken from human embryos, called embryonic stem cells (ES cells), actually possess the power to save your life. These cells can serve many medical purposes and have the ability to benefit people in infinite ways.

The importance of embryonic stem cells rests in their lack of specialization. These basic cells are present in the earliest stages of developing embryos and are able to develop into virtually any type of cell and tissue in the body. Being self-renewing, they offer a potentially limitless source of cells and tissue. (Tucker)

The versatility of these unique cells is what makes them so valuable and vital to human existence. They have properties that no other part of the human body can possess. One example of how ES cells could work is Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s is caused by the death of cells in the brain that produce dopamine. Placing ES cells in the dopamine-producing region of the brain could cure Parkinson’s. That is just one of the many possible effects that ES cells could have on serious diseases, among other things.

The importance of this relatively new discovery, even though not yet realized by everyone, could have already played an important part in the lives of a majority of the people. I am one of those people and can actually relate a personal experience that has made me a strong believer in the importance of ES cells. I am sure that there are many people who have had experiences much like my own who can, by relating back to their own personal experiences, comprehend the significance of ES cells in today’s world.

But if ES cells can prevent life-threatening diseases and save your life, why is the government banning research on them? The uniqueness of these special cells has caused a huge amount of controversy in not only the medical world, but also in politics and wherever else the topic has been discussed. It is to be expected that there are going to be risks associated with the study and use of ES cells. Some who are opposed to researching ES cells argue that it is wrong to experiment on human embryos because it prevents the possibility for human life to evolve from those embryos. Another major reason ES cells are under so much controversy is because of the possibility that the cells could be used for purposes other than producing cells and tissue to help treat disease, like cloning.

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