Pros and cons of stem cell research essay

Pros and Cons of Stem Cell Research - Embryonic Cells
The pros and cons of stem cell research come to the surface when we examine the third source of stem cells - embryonic cells. Embryonic stem cells are extracted directly from an embryo before the embryo's cells begin to differentiate. At this stage the embryo is referred to as a "blastocyst." There are about 100 cells in a blastocyst, a very large percentage of which are stem cells, which can be kept alive indefinitely, grown in cultures, where the stem cells continue to double in number every 2-3 days. A replicating set of stem cells from a single blastocyst is called a "stem cell line" because the genetic material all comes from the same fertilized human egg that started it. President Bush authorized federal funding for research on the 15 stem cell lines available in August 2001. Other stem cell lines are also available for research but without the coveted assistance of federal funding.

So what is the controversy all about? Those who value human life from the point of conception, oppose embryonic stem cell research because the extraction of stem cells from this type of an embryo requires its destruction. In other words, it requires that a human life be killed. Some believe this to be the same as murder. Against this, embryonic research advocates argue that the tiny blastocyst has no human features. Further, new stem cell lines already exist due to the common practice of in vitro fertilization. Research advocates conclude that many fertilized human cells have already been banked, but are not being made available for research. Advocates of embryonic stem cell research claim new human lives will not be created for the sole purpose of experimentation.

Others argue against such research on medical grounds. Mice treated for Parkinson's with embryonic stem cells have died from brain tumors in as much as 20% of cases. 1 Embryonic stem cells stored over time have been shown to create the type of chromosomal anomalies that create cancer cells. 2 Looking at it from a more pragmatic standpoint, funds devoted to embryonic stem cell research are funds being taken away from the other two more promising and less controversial types of stem cell research mentioned above.

During the early years of our republic, children went to private school, had a private tutor or learned at home. These approaches worked because the population was fairly homogenous, with a common language and set of values. However, increased immigration led many to conclude there was a need for an institution to Americanize children. Horace Mann started public schools to promote a common set of values through a common language used to teach a common curriculum. The structure, rules and expectations of the school also conveyed these mainstream values. Success in school depended on children learning both hidden and taught curriculum.

For patients who want to experience the best of what both the chiropractor and the acupuncturist offer, an evolving field of medicine known as chiropractic acupuncture combines the two. This field focuses on the body’s energy pathways or meridians in relation to the spinal and nervous systems. Practitioners are chiropractors who implement acupuncture into the chiropractic treatments of their patients to alleviate pain and achieve a more effective result. Chiropractors who are qualified to do dual procedures are governed by the American Board of Chiropractic Acupuncture .

Use of stem cell lines from alternative non-embryonic sources has received more attention in recent years and has already been demonstrated as a successful option for treatment of certain diseases. For example, adult stem cells can be used to replace blood-cell-forming cells killed during chemotherapy in bone marrow transplant patients. Biotech companies such as Revivicor and ACT are researching techniques for cellular reprogramming of adult cells, use of amniotic fluid, or stem cell extraction techniques that do not damage the embryo, that also provides alternatives for obtaining viable stem cell lines.

Dr. Kaufman stated that “It is important to recognize that human embryonic stem cells all come from embryos created in excess by fertility clinics.” By using the word ‘created’, it insinuates that the embryos were completely ‘made’ in a lab. In the next sentence however, he states, “All of these embryos will be destroyed if they are not donated by couples specifically to produce embryonic stem cells for biomedical research.” Here the word ‘donated’ is used which leads the reader to believe they were not made in a lab. To avoid confusion, I would suggest a revision be made to the article.

Pros and cons of stem cell research essay

pros and cons of stem cell research essay

Use of stem cell lines from alternative non-embryonic sources has received more attention in recent years and has already been demonstrated as a successful option for treatment of certain diseases. For example, adult stem cells can be used to replace blood-cell-forming cells killed during chemotherapy in bone marrow transplant patients. Biotech companies such as Revivicor and ACT are researching techniques for cellular reprogramming of adult cells, use of amniotic fluid, or stem cell extraction techniques that do not damage the embryo, that also provides alternatives for obtaining viable stem cell lines.

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