• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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

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

    4 star(s)

    The excess glucose in the body will be eventually excreted from the body by urine. A high level of glucose in the body means that the cells are not getting vital energy. [2] Diabetes can be maintained as a condition at any age, however the age depends on the type of diabetes that they have.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    The daphnia lab report

    3 star(s)

    Then with the results of the experiment, we can reference it to humans. Daphnia are a great model for this experiment because they can be easily handled and manipulated. Daphnia are also visible under the microscope and it is easier to see their heart beat.

  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. Edexcel Level 3 Extended Project - Should Embyonic Stem Cell Research be applied to ...

    The cells cultured are called embryonic stem cells. I chose to do my project on stem cell research for a few reasons. First, I have quite a bit of interest in the subject. Stem cell research fascinates me and I thought this would be a great opportunity to research it further, gain more knowledge.

  1. List areas of science that have raised ethical or moral issues

    Why should we treat this disorder as some sort of disease that you can not live without? People with inherited disorders should be helped, treated and not view them as disease. > Is somatic gene therapy more or less ethical than the screening of sperm and egg cell to prevent genetic disorders being passed to future generations?

  2. Investigation as to whether the aspect of a wall affects the growth of lichens

    Justification of Statistics A One tailed Man Whitney U test was carried out because this is what the 'flow chart for choosing the correct statistical test' pointed towards, i.e. the data was interval, the samples were independent, the samples were not large and the samples were not known to be normal either so therefore a Man-Whitney U-Test was selected.

  1. DNA Database Advantage Or Disadvantage

    database, they are ignoring human rights ruling over DNA database keeping the database growing, its going out of control as it was setup for criminals which were convicted of serious offences but now it contains 5 millions peoples profiles about a million who are innocent, also research shows the database is racially biased (equality and human rights)

  2. The purpose of this experiment is to identify plant pigments by separation, using thin ...

    Do not allow the solvent to reach the top edge. 17. Take the TLC slide out from the beaker 18. Record your results by looking at how far the pigments have travelled up and how many pigments there are for each plant dye.

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