There are many questions regarding stem cell research. What are they? Why are they important? Where do you get them? How can they be used? What ethical issues have they brought up among us? Stem cell research is a very controversial, yet promising study.
“Stem cells are like little kids who, when they grow up, can enter a variety of professions. A child might become a fireman, a doctor, or a plumber, depending on the influences in their life- or environment. In the same way, these stem cells can become many tissues by making certain changes in their environment” (Parks 8).
A stem cell is an undifferentiated cell that is able to regenerate itself into another type of cell. Stem cell research began with the discovery of cells in 1665, when
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In 1928, Hans Spemann executes the first somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) experiment, relocating the nucleus of one salamander to the egg cell of another salamander without a nucleus. He was later awarded the 1935 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The first successful bone marrow transplant on a human was led by E. Donnall Thomas in 1956. In 1958 Frederick C. Steward conducts an experiment displaying that a differentiated somatic plant cell can revert to a totipotent form that can redifferentiate and develop. In 1961, Daniele Petrucci conducts a successful in vitro fertilization, being one of the first to do so. He then destroyed the embryo, stating that the embryo had become a “monstrosity”, and due to ethical issues. In1962, John B. Gurdon executes the first successful cloning of an animal. In 1968, Robert Edwards and Barry Bavister successfully fertilize a human egg with human sperm in a petri dish, providing extremely important information that would later be used for in vitro fertilization. In 1974, the National Research Act is passed, telling basic legal and ethical principles to be used in biomedical and behavioral research tasks with human subjects. July 25, 1978, the first baby conceived by in vitro artificial insemination is born. In 1981, Martin Evans and Matthew Kaufman (UK) and Gail Martin (US) announce the segregation and culturing of stem cells that had been obtained from mice, becoming the