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The Ongoing Debate Over the Use of Stem Cells

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In the past two decades, many technological and scientific advances have been made in order to make life easier for many people who suffer from cancer, disease and sickness. Among these advances there is something revolutionary called stem cells. Stem cells can help restore and regenerate almost all parts of the human body such as the heart, kidney, liver, and many other organs. Although stem cells offer a lot, there are many views against and for stem cells, and among these views lies the debate of whether stem cells should be legalized or not (NIH 2). Stem cells offer exciting new opportunities in the field of science such as regenerating human body parts, but many people are still debating whether or not the use of stem cells is moral because using stem cells requires the destruction of embryos, and if embryos are not destroyed, then stem cells from bone marrow are used, which is often a very painful process (NIH 3).

In order to understand why stem cells are so controversial and how they can benefit most humans across the world, one must have a background and understanding of stem cells. There are two types of stem cells; somatic stem cells and embryonic stem cells (NIH 3). Somatic stem cells are commonly referred to as adult stem cells because the name of comes from where they originate. Adult stem cells come from adults, and although adult stem cells do not have as much information as embryonic stem cells acquired by scientists yet, they are legal and used everyday in hospitals. Adult stem cells are only known to exist in bone marrow currently, but scientists believe that there may be stem cells in the brain and heart. Embryonic stem cells are unspecialized cells and can form into other specialized cells. Embryonic...

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... different forms of stem cells including embryonic stem cells, adult (or iPScs) stem cells, and most uncommonly used, umbilical cord stem cells. Stem cells may provide organs and tissues in the near future, but this is doubted due to the fact that many people believe that life starts when conception occurs, causing many scientists to think that destroying an embryo is immoral and considered murder. Although there are many positive effects of studying stem cells, there are still many controversial debates of whether or not scientists should study the process of making unspecialized stem cells into specialized stem cells, because for the people who believe that life starts at conception, is basically studying the murder of humans. Stem cells may provide regenerative medicine in the future, and it is highly likely that there will still be debates over this matter.
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