• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Can The Use Of Stem Cells Be Justified?

Extracts from this document...


Can the uses of stem cells be justified? Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body. Serving as a more or less, repair system for the body, they can theoretically divide without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialised function. www.stemcells.nih.gov However, a large debate about the use of stem cells in everyday medicine has been raging for a number of years now. The main argument is an ethical dispute. Do the benefits out weigh the costs, to be justified as an alternative treatment for patients suffering from spinal injuries, right up to diabetes? The process of obtaining embryonic stem cells destroys a human embryo which is unethical as it is a belief that, it is wrong to use any human being's life, even a potential human being, just to remove certain parts, therefore consequently ending that life. ...read more.


Labnotes - stem cells: potent research January 2003 It is thought that embryonic stem cells can cause cancer as they are versatile but they can also become malignant. Their potential for causing cancer is a real concern for researchers. Most cells lose their ability to divide over time. Leonard Hayflick discovered that "cells can only divide a maximum of 50 times". Edexcel 360 science 2006 He called this the Hayflick limit. Both cancer cells and stem cells do not have a Hayflick limit. Unlike cancer cells where mutations occur in the genes of a cell to keep it dividing over again without limit, developing into a tumour; stem cells do continue replicating but are naturally present in an embryo and perform an important job. If scientists were able to locate and use stem cells from adults, there would be fewer ethical questions raised than in the use of embryonic stem cells. "In the right environment, adult stem cells from neutral tissue can be made to produce blood cells - liver tissue." Labnotes - stem cells: potent research January 2003 The only problem with adult stem cells as present is that scientists do not know how versatile various kinds are and whether they could be made more 'potent'. ...read more.


Issue 2 March 2006 The House of Lords report concluded that research should continue into both adult and embryonic stem cells, for maximum medical benefit. The report said that adult stem cells could potentially be taken from the person being treated, avoiding immune rejection if transplanted. However, this is unlikely to be possible for some conditions. www.alzscot.org Also, it is difficult to isolate stem cells from other types of cell, and it is not clear how they produce other types of cell, how good they are at doing this when transplanted, how long they might continue to divide in order to replace diseased cells, and how effectively and safely they can be made to produce particular cell types. The report said that more research is needed on embryonic stem cells, because they are pluripotent and easier to isolate and keep. Although much of this work would be on animal embryonic stem cells, it will also be necessary to compare what happens in human embryonic stem cells. The report said that at some point in the future, if it becomes possible to make adult stem cells pluripotent, embryonic stem cells might no longer be needed, but that is not yet the case. www.alzscot. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Genetics, Evolution & Biodiversity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This is a well written report.
1. The report needs to have subheadings to lead the reader through the different sections.
2. The referencing needs to use either the Harvard or Oxford system.
3. The report needs to have a conclusion.

Marked by teacher Luke Smithen 23/07/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Genetics, Evolution & Biodiversity essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Revision notes - origins of life on Earth, chemistry of life

    5 star(s)

    'primitive' cells that exist today * Provides info about how ancient life forms lived and evolved Biochemical Analysis and DNA technology * Used to find the 'relatedness' of different living things * Provides estimates of how long ago 2 related species divided from each other; evolutionary * Have shown all

  2. Marked by a teacher

    An Investigation into the Mitotic Nuclear Division of Allium Sativum Root Tip Cells, and ...

    5 star(s)

    Stage C: Metaphase: 3 relative time units During metaphase, each of the centrioles reaches a polar region of the cell. The centromeres of the chromosomes convene along the equator of the cell, a line that is equidistant from the two centrosome poles.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Evolution. This issue report will aim to address the Theory of Evolution by explaining ...

    4 star(s)

    This would mean that science couldn't progress and might possible be stuck with a single, dominant theory that some people do not want to believe. This is what the scientific community is trying to prevent, after all. Advantages of the methods are that molecular phylogenetics is reasonably reliable because DNA/RNA doesn't change unless affected by external stimuli: radiation.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Research Project - Could stems cells provide a cure for diabetes?

    4 star(s)

    There are three main types of diabetes; type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is known as "juvenile diabetes". This type is usually found in people of younger ages, especially children/teenagers. Type 1 is when the beta cells in the pancreas are unable to produce any insulin as the immune system has destroyed the cells.

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The Problem of Endangerment in Siberian Tigers

    3 star(s)

    Poaching in Siberian tigers will lead a decreasing population, as well as preventing offspring, a demand in a desirable treasure (pelage) that cannot be delivered, and a low survival rate in which all will cause the extinction of the Siberian tiger.

  2. The Biology of Autistic Spectrum Disorder and the Social Implications

    not know how to interact or how to behave within a group. The concept of interaction comes naturally to children but to those children that have ASD, the thought of playing with other children doesn't come easy. It could be said that the social detachment shown in autistic children is

  1. Biology Report - Effect of Environment on Phenotype

    Cut stems 15cm from the base of the leaf at a 45? angle. Ensure all cuttings have similar, if not the same stem thickness. Do not choose cuttings with discolouration to the stem or leaves, and avoid cuttings with more than one leaf, or oversize leaves.

  2. Media reports and the public perceptions about science - MMR scares.

    In the documentary it explains how the earth is made of tectonic plates and how Japan is sitting between two of these. The earthquake happened by these plates ramming into each other at about 8cm a year and this tension built up for 100s of years causing the earthquake.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work