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Stem Cells

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Introduction

Stem Cells Versatile stem cells are biology's answers to practically any medical complication. Blessed with the ability to become any tissue of the body, they have the potential to replace a failing heart, control the tremors of Parkinson's disease, cure diabetes, or treat many other illnesses. There is one enormous drawback that has caused questions into its ethicality. To obtain stem cells, one would have to strip them from a human embryo, destroying it in its process. However, in order to achieve the most benefit with the least harm and destruction of things of value and protect national interests not only for now but also for the future, stem cell research must be allowed to proceed without further delay. Microscopic ball-like cells that form after the zygote divides are known as stem cells (Dyer 14). Stem cells have the potential of "metamorphosizing into any component of the body" may it be the heart, nerves, blood, bone, or muscle (Torr 133). Stem cells begin as clumps of undifferentiated cells not having decided yet what they will be (135). Once differentiated, the process may not be reversed, and must forge ahead (135). There are two types of stem cells: embryonic and adult (Dyer 14). Embryonic stem cells form four days after the fertilization of the sperm and egg (14). Adult stem cells are also found throughout the body in the skin, brain, bone marrow, and blood (15). ...read more.

Middle

Theorists once believed that life begins at the moment the moment the sperm meets the egg and the single cell deserves sacred rights (Torr 138). However, technically, they are wrong. The DNA sets from the egg and the sperm do not immediately merge (Southwick A38). Clearly, the theorists have a lot to learn. Moreover, the well-known abortion trial, Roe vs. Wade, declared that the rights of life are in view when the fetus is capable of existing outside the mother (Torr 138). Therefore, under the law, taking stem cells from embryos is not murder and is completely legal. Embryonic stem cells are in the earliest stages of a pregnancy, more specifically, four days after fertilization (Dyer 14). In addition, it has been clinically proven that fetuses this early in the pregnancy do not gain consciousness until several weeks later (Torr 137). As illustrated above, "fuzzy" guidelines foreshadow the era of biotechnology and it is coming, ready or not. Although many new alternatives and more accepted forms of stem-cell research are surfacing, extracting stem cells from embryos is the most effective and promising method. Adult stem cells could be used, but its potential to become any cell in the body is limited (Dyer 14). For example, skin cells replenish and repair cells found only in the skin (14). ...read more.

Conclusion

Michael J. Fox once said, "The war against Parkinson's is a winnable war, and I have resolved to play a role in the victory" (McCabe 8). Therefore, the United States Congress should consider a bill that would outlaw the procedure for human cloning, but permit research on stem cells. In that bill, all the embryos frozen in government storage sites should be released, but severe punishments are to be prescribed if it is used to clone a whole entire human being. Although many believe stem cell research eventually leads to playing G-d, the intelligent use of this technologically advancement will greatly benefit society as a whole. Works Consulted "A Ready Made Controversy." Scientific American February 2002: 10. Carey, John and Ellen Licking. "The Stem-Cell Debate Just got Thornier." Business Week 11 February 2002: 58. D'Agnese, Joseph. "The Debate Over: Stem Cells Gets Hot." Discover January 2002: 56. Dyer, Nicole. "Stem Cells: The Next Cure?" Science World 12 November 2001: 14. Lauritzen, Paul. "Broadening the Debate on Cloning and Stem Cell Research." America February 2002: 22. McCabe, Susanne. "Medical Miracle-Moral Dilemma." Junior Scholastic October 2001: 8. Southwick, Ron. "Scientists Urge Bush Administration to Move Forward on Stem-Cell Research." Chronicle of Higher Education 9 November 2001: A26. Spotts, Peter N. "Embryo cloning: Key to stem-cell research?" Christian Science Monitor February 2002: 2. Torr, James D., ed. Medical Ethics. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc., 2000. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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