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Should Embryonic Stem Cell Research Be Allowed?

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Should Embryonic Stem Cell Research Be Allowed? Contents Page 1 : Introduction Page 2 : What are Embryonic Stem Cells and how are they produced? Page 3 : How can Embryonic Stem Cells treat and cure illnesses, and which illnesses are they? Page 4 and 5 : What other types of Stem Cells are there, and why are Embryonic Stem Cells more useful? Page 6 : What is the evidence and opinions that Embryonic Stem Cells will treat and cure illnesses? Page 7 : What other alternatives could treat and cure these illnesses? Page 8 : Are there any risks to using Embryonic Stem Cells? Page 9 : What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Embryonic Stem Cells? Page 10 and 11 : Why do many people object to the use of Embryonic Stem Cells? Page 12 : What is the law on the use of Embryonic Stem Cells in different parts of the World? Page 13 : Conclusion Pages 14 and 15 : Bibliography Introduction Embryonic Stem Cell Research has been hailed for the potential to revolutionize the future of medicine with the ability to regenerate damaged and diseased organs. On the other hand, Embryonic Stem Cell Research has been highly controversial due to the ethical issues concerned with the culture and use of Stem Cells derived from human embryos. After carefully considering and studying different views and facts, and having come to my own conclusion, I have decided to focus my case study on this question: Should Embryonic Stem Cell Research Be Allowed? ...read more.


Also, Adult Stem cells are not totipotent or pluripotent like Embryonic Stem Cells, but rather more specialized cells that are multipotent. Human Somatic Cells Somatic Cells are any cells forming the body of an organism, as opposed to germline cells. Internal organs, skin, bones, blood, and connective tissue are all made up of Somatic Cells. Some researchers believe that human Somatic Cells can be coaxed to "de-differentiate" and revert to an embryonic state. Scientists at Harvard University have attempted to transfer the nucleus of a Somatic Cell into an existing Embryonic Stem Cell, thus creating a new Stem Cell line. Another study published in August 2006 also indicates that differentiated cells can be reprogrammed to an embryonic-like state by introducing four specific factors. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stem_cell_controversy Are there any risks to using Embryonic Stem Cells? * Some researchers fear that it is possible that Stem Cell therapy could unwittingly pass viruses and other disease causing agents to the people who will receive the cell transplants. * There is particular concern that Stem Cells are currently cultivated using nutrients taken from animal sources, and that these could harbour diseases which could be passed onto humans. * Some research has also raised the possibility that Stem Cells may turn cancerous or form tumours. May 19th 2005 on BBC News Channel Risks to Women A congressional hearing last Thursday raised awareness on the risks to women's health and fertility by in vitro fertilization, human cloning, and Embryonic Stem Cell research, where experts testified the techniques and drugs involved posed unacceptable risks to women. ...read more.


http://www.law.gmu.edu/nctl/stpp/china_stem_cell_research.html Conclusion Efficiency Viewpoint If an embryo is going to be destroyed anyway, isn't it more efficient to make practical use of it? * In vitro fertilisation generates large numbers of unused embryos. Many of these thousands of in vitro fertilisation embryos are slated for destruction. Using them for scientific research utilises a resource that would otherwise be wasted. * While the destruction of human embryos is required to establish a Stem Cell line, no new embryos have to be destroyed to work with existing Stem Cell lines. It would be wasteful not to continue to make use of these cell lines as a resource. * Abortions are legal in many countries and jurisdictions. A logical argument follows that if these embryos are being destroyed anyway; why not use them for Embryonic Stem Cell research or treatments? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stem_cell_controversy These are the three main ideas of the Efficiency viewpoint on Embryonic Stem Cell research. After carefully considering and evaluating all the facts, evidence and opinions that I have collected throughout this case study, I have decided that I agree with this point of view. It is more resourceful to use these vacant embryos rather than just discard them, especially as there are potential cures within the Embryonic Stem Cells. I think that embryos, while of value, are not equivalent to human life while they are still incapable of existing outside the womb. They only have potential for human life. I think it is more important to use the embryos to possibly increase the worth of existing life which may be suffering from illnesses, as it is more vital than potential life. ...read more.

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