A Controversial Issue Of Stem Cell Research Essays

A Controversial Issue Of Stem Cell Research Essays

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Stem cell research has proven to be a controversial issue since its inception due to the high number of stakeholders in the matter. These include biologists, medical corporations, ethicists, governments, politicians, donors, patients, and researchers. While the methods and research are extremely complicated, the premise behind it is actually quite simple: to isolate stem cells in the hopes of reproduction and growth eventually to be used for therapy, treatments, and cures (Watson and Freudenrich 2). Stem cell research aims to rejuvenate dead cells by replacing them with identical, functional cells. Research in this field can be not only controversial but hard to conduct due to consent, experiment ethics, and willing test subjects (Robinson 1). The sources of viable stem cells for research can be patients, donors, umbilical cord blood, embryo, oocytes, freshly dead organs, and even teeth (Watson and Freudenrich 5). Naturally occurring stem cells can be classified into one of two types: embryonic and adult.
The medical hype surrounding embryonic stem cells, those which are harvested from embryos, is due to their versatile nature and rather arcane properties that beg researchers to explore them further. What differentiates embryonic stem cells from adult stem cells is the multitude of applications they can achieve. Embryonic stem cells, at a minimum, are classified as pluripotent, meaning they have the potential to develop into the majority of the 220 different types of cells in the human body (Lo and Parham 3). Their global applications to the human body can be even greater if the embryo is harvested within five to seven days of creation. At this stage, the organism is revered as a blastocyst, meaning it has eight or fewer stem ce...


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...n cloning (De Wert and Mummery 8). Stem cell research could potentially cure diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, stroke aftermath, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, heart failure, and spinal cord lesions all through gene therapy and cell replacement therapy (De Wert and Mummery 8).
While their applications and overarching medical roles in a future society look promising, stem cells prove to be a divisive issue in today’s society from an interdisciplinary perspective. Although it looks as such solutions like IPSC’s are on the rise, current production of embryonic stem cells continues to be a question of one’s ethics and morals. Stem cells have the potential to achieve medical miracles in the future, but such a unified effort will need to come from a resolution of the social, medical, political, religious, and ethical controversies surrounding their research and development.

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