Stem Cell Research Debate

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Stem cell research has always been a controversial issue when it comes to the use of embryonic cells. Of course, there are other alternative types of stem cells like, those found in cord blood from childbirth or those found in bone marrow, but these cells have a much smaller range of medical uses than the cells from embryos. The source of embryonic stem cells is primarily leftover embryos from fertilization clinics. The choice to donate leftover embryos to research is a choice made only by the mother. In regards to stem cell research, the opposing group is strongly against the use of embryos from fertilization clinics for research. They view it as immoral, degrading, and and unjustified destruction of life. The alternative to donating embryos …show more content…
Research on fetal tissue is not new. In the 1960s, fetal cells were extracted from two aborted babies and they are still being propagated in cell culture. They are used today to produce vaccines for hepatitis A, rubella, chickenpox and shingles (Holt). Fetal tissue was also used to create vaccines for the poliovirus. Today, these vaccines are estimated to save 550,000 lives worldwide every year (Storrs). Stem cell research has led to much more than vaccines. They have also been used to improve quality of life and to create new treatments for diseases. Scientists have injected neural stem cells into patients with spinal cord injuries. Stem cell therapies have also been created to help patients fight against cancer, blindness, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, H.I.V. and diabetes …show more content…
Stem cell research is good because of the numerous medical advancements it proposes. Recently, a group of researchers discovered two new methods using stem cells to generate and study hypothalamic neurons. The hypothalamus is a very small section of the brain that serves as a regulator for basic physiological functions. Because it is such a small area within the brain, researchers have not been able to study live hypothalamic cells. With today’s technology and the use of stem cells, this group of researchers made it possible to study these cells, alive, for the first time (Robbins). This opens a whole new door in the medical field that can be used to create a better understanding of diseases and how to treat

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