The treatment of diseases and illnesses continually grows and improves. Embryonic stem cells have the potential to help rectify or even cure disease and illnesses that are thought to be incurable. However, the ethical battle over the sanctity of life rages on.
Stem cells can be compared to the building blocks of the human body. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, they can develop into any other type of cell in the body. They are extracted from a cell before they differentiate. They have the capacity to make any of the 200 different cells in the body and can also self-renew or reproduce themselves. Currently, there are 89 stem cell lines, a family of constantly dividing cells, registered with the National Institute of Health (NIH). The first line was discovered in 1998.
In 1996 Congress passed the Dickey-Wicker Amendment which put restrictions on federally funding embryonic stem cell research if the embryo was created to be destroyed. In 2001, President Bush implemented guidelines to receive federal money which President Obama recently overturned. The new process no longer considers when stem was created but makes sure that strict guidelines were followed on how the embryo was obtained, who consented and payment was not given for the embryo.
This is where the possibility of treati...
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NIH Stem Cell Information Home Page. (2011). Stem Cell Information. National Institutes of
Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved March 08, 2011.
Nishikawa, S., Goldstein, R. A., & Nierras, C. R. (2008). The promise of human induced
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