The Importance Of Stem Cell Research

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Using human embryos for research on embryonic stem cells is high on the ethical schedule in many countries, while adult stem cells are not nearly so high on the scale. Even though the benefit of using human embryonic stem cells is the potential treatment of diseases, their use remains controversial because they originate from early embryos (de Wert & Mummery, 2003). The creation of embryos specifically designed for acquiring human embryonic stem cells is also under discussion.
The ethical agenda is not the only one affected by this stem cell research, the political agenda is as well and many countries are struggling with the decision of whether to allow embryos to be used for stem cell research (de Wert & Mummery, 2003). In 2001, the United
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One of the reasons for their significance is self- transplantation: research has shown that one day it may be possible to take skin cells from a patient with leukaemia, clone it, derive embryonic stem cells, produce blood stem cells from these and transfer these back as a transplant after chemotherapy (Savulescu, 2007). There would be no need for drugs to prevent rejection, as the cells came from the patient (Savulescu, 2007). The other reason for their importance is that it opens up a whole new avenue of medical research. The tissue that could be obtained from cloning a single skin cell is practically inexhaustible and could be used to understand why a disease happens, the same option could be considered for producing stem cells (Savulescu, 2007).
There has recently been a discovery that using therapeutic cloning is possible to cure a genetic disease, at least in mice (Savulescu, 2007). Taking cells from the mouse with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency, the cells were cloned, produced embryonic stem cells, and then reintroduced into the mouse, curing the disease (Savulescu, 2007). With this revelation, therapeutic cloning has become important for three
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Diseases could be more easily studied and a simple skin cell could be used to create infinite amounts of the cell, making it more possible to understand why diseases like cancer and diabetes occur (Savulescu, 2007). The genetic role in those types of diseases could also be deciphered, and new drugs can be tested on humans that could previously not be used on human subjects (Savulescu, 2007). At the present though, it is practically impossible to do this safely with patients affected by rare genetic disorders, ALS for example (Savulescu, 2007). Researchers cannot exactly take motor neurons from a patient affected with ALS, but if they cloned cultures of the patient’s motor neurons, it could be possible to explore the cause and develop new ways to cure it (Savulescu,

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