Embryonic stem cells are obtained from the human embryo, which is developed from a fertilised egg (NIH, 2010). These embryonic stem cells are known as being pluripotent; the ability to develop into virtually any cell within the human body (Science Daily, 2014). Embryonic stem cells are obtained from the excess embryos created by fertility treatments such as IVF, when they would otherwise be discarded at the request of their biological parents. In the early stages of development, the embryo is known as the blastocyst and contains two different types of cells. As shown in figure 1, there is an outer layer called the trophectoderm that contains an inner cell mass (stemcellsaustralia.edu.au, 2014). Once fully developed, the inner cell mass becomes the embryo while the trophectoderm becomes the placenta. Embryonic stem cells are able to be isolated from the blastocyst through the removal of the inner cell mass in laboratories. The isolated cells have the potential to then continuously grow and divide, resulting in numerous embryonic stem cells being developed under controlled environmental factors that can then be frozen for later use (EuroStemCell, 2014). According to the Australian Government (2014), Australian scientists use the stem cells obtained from these excess embryos to further investigate the continued understanding of the causes of human diseases, allowi...
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...s this blood could provide.
Personally, due to the disadvantages and issues associated with the use of embryonic stem cells to treat human diseases and injuries – I would state that the use of these cells is unjustified. Even with the numerous benefits that the cells could provide to patients, they have not yet been proved to be effective and are still currently undergoing experimentation. The prolonged period before embryonic stem cells will be used in the real world also suggests the need to find an immediate treatment for sufferers that does not potentially place people at financial risk. The destruction of a potential human life is also a major factor and further objectifies the need of more in-depth research into alternate treatments that would provide immediate treatment and benefit everyone, including those who may not have the financial means to afford it.
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