Stem Cell Research

The main benefits of stem cell research are a better understanding of tissue differentiation, development, repair and aging, and how to use the undifferentiated tissue for organ or tissue replacement or repair. Stem cells offer hope for medical advancement because stem cells can replace neural cells in the brain and spinal cord. Besides neural cells, stem cells can also replace dead cells of any kind, such as those destroyed by chemotherapy from the treatment of cancer. Stem cells are obtained mainly from adult cells, cord cells, and embryonic cells. It is from the source of embryonic cells that raised ethical and social concerns.
Embryonic stem cells are extracted from an embryo before differentiation occurs, as a blastocyst. Those who oppose embryonic stem cell research state that the destruction of an embryo essentially takes away a human life. On the flipside, advocates argue that the blastocyst has no human features. Another opposition is raised on medical grounds. Because of a research that shown that some of the mice treated for Parkinson’s with embryonic stem cells died from brain tumors, there are worries that embryonic stem cells stored over time would develop cancer.
A solution which would be more ethical is to derive new embryonic stem cell only from adult somatic cells and cord cells. As well, because embryonic cells can be kept alive indefinitely, and cells can double every two to three days, no new human lives would be extracted for stem cell research. The embryonic cells can create a stem cell line. Without the controversial use of embryos, stem cell research and funds for stem cell research can be advanced.
Stem cell research can help treat a range of medical problems and may cure diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease and spinal cord injuries. With doing any research, ethics must be considered. Issues such as human or animal discomfort or risks must take into factors of whether the costs outweigh the benefits. With stem cell research, there are...