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STEM CELLS, ORGAN DONATION AND ORGAN FAILURE

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Introduction

STEM CELLS, ORGAN DONATION AND ORGAN FAILURE THE PROBLEM In the modern world, many issues concern society; one such issue is the unavailability of adequate organ donations. Hospitals cannot meet the increasing demands for an organ transplant, that is why there is such a big gap between organs available and the number of people who need an organ transplant. In the United States alone, 108,000 people are on the waiting list for an organ transplanti. Spain has the highest organ donation rate in the world, yet there is only 34 donors per millionii; this would explain the shortfall, but if we look more in depth, we find that many things are a hindrance to organ transplantation, such as failure to find a match or the poor condition of the organ. In this report, I will analyse solutions to the problem of organ shortage and the benefits and risks of my solution. BIOLOGICAL PROCESSES Biologists have come up with an ingenious plan to dramatically reduce the organ transplant waiting list and find an answer to organ failure. This process is known as therapeutic cloning and it is understood that clinical manipulation of this system of practice will guarantee a revolutionary multi billion pound industry, catering for the needs of thousands, if not millions of recipients annually. The biological process which is comprised of this system is quite easy to understand and a simple step by step diagram is portrayed in Figure 1. ...read more.

Middle

Another ethical issue is that many religious people see the exploitation of stem cells by scientists as trying to 'play God'. BENEFITS AND RISKS BENEFITS a) A big problem that doctors come across, during transplants of other kinds, such as animal organ transplants, is rejection of foreign cells by the immune system, however, as I stated earlier, using a patient's own stem cell means that there is no chance of rejection by the immune system. Adverse effects that would have occurred, had it been another person's cells that were used, is reduced or even altogether stopped. vii b) An alternative use of stem cells is that they can be used to cure many diseases. An estimate states that around 100 million Americans may benefit from stem cell therapiesviii. Cardiovascular diseases accounts for half of the deaths in developed countries; a majority of cardiovascular diseases start with a myocardial infarction (heart attack), due to the death of muscles surrounding the heart; bone marrow or foetal liver stem cells can be used to regenerate the dead muscles surrounding the heart and can ultimately improve the levels of rich blood reaching the heart, thus preventing any further damages or diseases occurringix. Furthermore, stem cells can also cure other detrimental diseases, for example type 1 diabetes and Parkinson's disease. Scientists have been able to coerce stem cells into cells which are able to produce insulinx; scientists have also been using genetic engineering methods to induce stem cells into becoming functional insulin producing cells. ...read more.

Conclusion

written on Wikipedia.com is not peer assessed, so there may be many flaws in the data given and people may not realise this. The book 'Fundamentals of the stem cell debate: the scientific, religious, ethical, and political issues', in my opinion is extremely valid. The book assisted me in expressing the remedial effects of stem cells on many diseases, so it answered my problem partially. I would say that the book was quite reliable because it was written by more than one expert in the field of stem cells, hence mistakes would be minimised and similar information would have been produced by other people who are also professionals in the same field as people in similar fields have the same concept and ideas concerning an area of science. BIBILIOGRAPHY i http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organ_donation (organ shortfall section) ii http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organ_donation (legislation section) iii http://www.biosci.missouri.edu/kirk/links/cloning.html (some info was also attained from the Edexcel AS Biology Student Book - by Anne Fullick) ivhttp://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/ukt/statistics/calendar_year_statistics/calendar_year_statistics.jsp v http://www.religioustolerance.org/clo_ther.htm vi http://www.explorestemcells.co.uk/TherapeuticCloning.html vii http://cord-blood-cells.com/disadvantages-of-stem-cell-research.html viii Fundamentals of the stem cell debate: the scientific, religious, ethical, and political issues. Page: 37 By Kristen R. Monroe, Ronald Baker Miller, Jerome S. Tobis ix Fundamentals of the stem cell debate: the scientific, religious, ethical, and political issues. Page: 45 x Fundamentals of the stem cell debate: the scientific, religious, ethical, and political issues. Page: 43 xi Fundamentals of the stem cell debate: the scientific, religious, ethical, and political issues. Page: 37 xii http://www.explorestemcells.co.uk/StemCellsAndAging.html xiii http://animalrights.about.com/od/vivisection/a/StemCell.htm xiv http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/health/article6417499.ece xv http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/859959.stm xvihttp://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_commons/newsid_8571000/8571055.stm ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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