In the 3- to 5-day-old embryo, called a blastocyst, the inner cells give rise to the entire body of the organism, including all of the many specialized cell types and organs such as the heart, lung, skin, sperm, eggs and other tissues. In some adult tissues, such as bone marrow, muscle, and brain, discrete populations of adult stem cells generate replacements for cells that are lost through normal wear and tear, injury, or disease.
Odds are, you would be in favor of ending the suffering of the thousands of people who currently battle such diseases.
These cures and many more are the potential results of embryonic stem cell research. Embryonic stem cells are stem cells isolated from embryos during a specific stage of development known as the blastocyst stage. These stem cells can renew themselves and reproduce to form all cell types of the body.
Research utilizing these stem cells requires the destruction of an embryo, making the practice a point of moral, scientific, religious, and political controversy. Many argue that the destruction of embryos for research purposes is unethical based on the belief that embryos qualify as forms of life that deserve respect.
Those in favor of embryonic stem cell research deem such a loss acceptable for the future benefits that this research could have on thousands of lives.
While various arguments surround this debate, the main point of controversy is the source of stem cells used and the method with which they are obtained. In this paper, I will establish what stem cells are and the difference between embryonic and adult stem cells; then I will evaluate the two main arguments in the embryonic stem cell research debate; and finally, I will analyze the ethics of these arguments to come to the conclusion that embryonic stem cell research is ethical under certain circumstances.
Science, Ethics, and Public Policy," human embryonic stem cells are "a self-renewing cell line that gives rise to all cells and tissues of the body" Holland 3. Most stem cells are only able to differentiate into a single form of offspring cells, otherwise known as progeny cells.
For example, hematopoietic stem cells are a type of stem cells that can only form blood cells and skin stem cells can similarly only produce skin cells.
These types of stem cells are referred to as adult stem cells or somatic stem cells because they are gathered from patients after birth Devolder 5. Meanwhile, embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, meaning they have the capacity to produce all cells and tissues of the body Holland 5.
Embryonic stem cells, however, only have this pluripotent potential for the particular five-to-seven-day stage of embryonic development known as the blastocyst stage, after which they can only reproduce a single cell type "The Ethics of Embryonic Stem Cell Research" Stem cells, in general, hold great promise for the future of medicine.
Thus far, stem cell-based therapies have been developed to treat illnesses that previously had no cure. One example is bone marrow transplantation to treat leukemia and other blood disorders. Therapies such as this will continue to be discovered with the support of stem cell research.
In addition to the development of revolutionary therapies, stem cell research also provides valuable information about mechanisms regulating cell growth, migration, and differentiation.
Scientists can learn about these processes by studying stem cells that have been stimulated to differentiate into different types of body cells.
The discovery of new information about these concepts will allow scientists to better understand early human development and how tissues are maintained throughout life 8.
Embryonic stem cells are particularly valuable not only because of their pluripotent qualities, but also because of their ability to renew themselves.
This is done by "divid[ing] asynchronously — at different times — into one differentiated daughter cell1 and one stem cell-like daughter cell. Other types of stem cells eventually lose the ability to divide, making them less valuable for research purposes.
The healthy cells are implanted into the patient, serving as treatment to permanently repair failing organs Holland 5. The otherwise lack of treatment for loss of organ function displays the valuable potential of embryonic stem cells.
The sources of embryonic stem cells are a main point of controversy in the debate regarding embryonic stem cell research. Some possible sources for these stem cells include embryos created via in vitro fertilization for either research or reproduction ; five-to-nine-week old embryos or fetuses obtained through elective abortion; and embryos created through cloning or what is known as somatic cell nuclear transfer Liu 1.
Somatic cell nuclear transfer is the laboratory creation of a viable embryo by implanting a donor nucleus from a body cell into an egg cell. The ethics of obtaining embryonic stem cells via these sources can be questionable and have led to disputes that I will later address.
Research utilizing human embryonic stem cell lines has focused on the potential to generate replacement tissues for malfunctioning cells or organs Liu 1. A specific technique has been isolated to utilize stem cells in order to repair a damaged tissue or organ: Scientists could then culture these stem cells by creating conditions that enable them to replicate many times in a petri dish without differentiating.
Such a population of proliferating stem cells originating from a single parent group of stem cells is a stem cell line.
Stem cells from this stem cell line could then be coaxed to differentiate in to the desired cell type, and be transferred into the patient so that they can repair the damaged tissue or organ" Devolder 6.Although there are risks and controversies, the medical benefits of stem cells are unparalleled by any other medical technology available today, and the field of research is one of.
Stem Cell Research Essay words Stem Cell Research Essay Words words. Supporters of embryonic stem cells argue that stem cell research will propel more medical technology ("stem cell research").
People supporting embryonic stem cell research also agree that adult stem cells are promising, but /5(19). Essay The Debate Of Stem Cell Research. the biomedical world today, stem cells have become a huge focus of study.
Modern medicine has been able to find a . Stem cell research is a growing field and it has brought major changes to the medical field, and could bring many more. There is no way to say at this point what all could be done with stem cells.
The more research and the more technology just gives stem cell research an opening with no end. What is. In this paper, I will establish what stem cells are and the difference between embryonic and adult stem cells; then I will evaluate the two main arguments in the embryonic stem cell research debate; and finally, I will analyze the ethics of these arguments to come to the conclusion that embryonic stem cell research is ethical under certain.
Embryonic Stem Cell Research: A New Paradigm in Medical Technology Essay - Modern medicine has made a remarkable impact on people’s health across the globe. The treatments that scientists have discovered are astounding, without a doubt.