Biotechnology and Science Behind it
What are stem cells?
A stem cell is different from every other cell in the human body. It is essentially a ‘blank’ cell and can become any type of cell such as the skin, nerve or muscle cell. It can renew, repair and replace tissue to heal injuries or damage to the body. There are two types of stem cells; the embryonic and the non-embryonic or more commonly known as the somatic or adult stem cells. Adult stem cells can be genetically reprogrammed to imitate the qualities of an embryonic stem cell, called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) as using embryonic stem cells can cause controversy as it has raised ethical issues in the past.
Explanation of key ideas
The use of the stem cells is to transplant them to people who need them in order to heal themselves. It is used to save lives from life threatening diseases such as leukaemia and other cancers, as well as blood diseases and diabetes.
The adult stem cells can be removed and isolated from their surrounding tissues in a variety of places. For example, blood stem cells can be found in bone marrow, umbilical cord or the donor’s circulating blood. Blood stem cells are used most regularly in bone marrow transplantations, and are infused into the blood. The cells then find and make their …show more content…
The destruction of an embryo to extract embryonic stem cells is a major ethical issue in moral and human rights and religious terms. If the embryo is created and destroyed solely for the purpose of research, it is considered to be ethically and morally incorrect, and also shows a lack of respect for human life. However, if the embryonic stem cell is extracted from an abortion that was not for the purpose of research, some may think that it is fine, but others may