Stem Cell Research: Ethical And Scientific Community

1109 Words 5 Pages
Stem Cells One of the biggest ethical and scientific debates in the scientific communities involves Stem Cell research. Stem cells are cells with the ability to develop into different types of cells in the body. They can serve as a type of internal repair system for the body. They are distinguished from other cells because they are unspecialized and are capable of renewing themselves through cell division. Also, under physiologic or experimental conditions they can be induced to become tissue or organ specific cells with special functions. Stem cells are distinguished from other cells in the body. All stem cells have three general properties: they are capable of dividing and renewing themselves for long periods; they are unspecialized; and …show more content…
There was buzz around this discovery because of all the potential stem cells have in curing disease. The controversy is over the morality of destroying human embryos. Many believe it is not right to create a human life and destroy it even if it will be used to help others. Others are debating when a group of cells actually becomes human or is technically alive. Some believe that a fetus is not alive until it is born while others believe life begins at conception. Because of a lack of legal clarity on this issue it has grown into a moral debate across the world. The world has been forced to think about some very tough questions like: Does life begin at fertilization, in the womb, or at birth? Is a human embryo equivalent to a human child? Does a human embryo have any rights? Is the destruction of a single embryo justified if it provides a cure for a countless number of patients? Since these cells can grow indefinitely in dish and in theory can still grow into a human being, is the embryo really …show more content…
Examples of this are blood cells differentiating into cardiac muscle cells. This is called transdifferentiation. This phenomenon has thus far only been observed in some vertebrate species and has yet to be proven to occur in humans. One variation of transdifferentiation experiments has demonstrated certain adult cell types that have been reprogrammed into other cell types using genetic modification. This may provide available cells the ability to change into other cells to other cells for transplants. Questions about adult stem cells include: How many kinds of adult stem cells exist and in which tissues? How do they evolve during development? Why do they remain in an undifferentiated state when surrounded by differentiated cells? What factors control adult stem cell proliferation and differentiation? Stem cells of all kinds are an exciting adventure into possibility into the world of science. The seemingly endless possibilities for curing disease are hopeful. There is much yet to be learned and discovered but there is hope that one day we will be able to utilize the abilities that it offers. Sometime in the near future this will become reality as it has already begun with bone

Related Documents