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Stem celldaeun


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Stem celldaeun

  1. 1. One-world Essay Stem Cell Name: Da Eun Kim Due Date: 2010-09-29 Words: 1,252
  2. 2. Nowadays, we are facing the numerous advances in stem cell technology. In the past, there is not any good way to treat damaged tissues. However, we now have stem cell technology to overcome this problem. Stem cells have amazing potential to treat diseases such as spinal cord injuries, Alzheimer's disease, stroke, skin burns, arthritis, birth defects, diabetes and heart diseases. In 1998, scientists first learned how to isolate human embryonic stem cells. They were developed for infertility purposes through in vitro fertilization. (Fast Facts…Cell, 2010) This essay will discuss about what is stem cell, benefits and limitations, ethical issues and political issues that are all associated with stem cell. Figure 1: 9-week human embryo (Uthman. 2010) Stem cells have exceptional potential to develop into many different cell types in the body and they are an undifferentiated cells that are able to differentiate into specialized cell types such as skin, muscle, red blood, bone, nerve…etc. Differentiation is a process which cell of initial steps can get characteristics of each organization. Most common example is a development of animals. In other words, a fertilized egg needs to differentiate when different tissue cells make it. Most common types of stem cells are embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are got from 4 or 5 day-old human embryos that are in the blastocyst phase of development. The embryos are usually extras that have been created in IVF (in vitro fertilization) clinics where several eggs are fertilized in a test tube, but not in woman’s body. Adult stem cells exist throughout the body after embryonic development and are found inside of different types of tissue.
  3. 3. Stem cells have several benefits by using them. First of all, stem cells can treat burn victims, Parkinson’s disease…etc. Stem cells could make some healthy and new tissues. Stem cells can differentiate into specialized cell types; there is possibility to give renewable tissues of replacement cells for people whom suffering from diseases. For example, a patient who has suffered from a heart attack and sustained the damaged heart tissue could replace by healthy new muscle cells. (Benefit of stem…, 2010) Also, adult stem cells can treat disease using renewable tissues that a patient’s own cells. Risks of rejection would be quite reduced because the cells are from patients’ bodies so their bodies would not reject their own cells. Lastly, embryonic stem cells can develop into any cell types of the body, and more adaptable than adult stem cells but by using it, there is an ethical problem so the research about embryonic stem cells could not make progress. As stem cells have lots of benefit, so they also have limitations to use it. To begin with, adult stem cells are limited in numbers. There are only cells that can be harvested from an individual and scientists force to make wise and sensible use of the available quantity. Additionally, adult stem cells do not have a long storage life. They do not thrive as much as their embryonic counterparts in laboratory cultures. Therefore it becomes difficult to preserve these cells in cultures for longer periods of time. Finally, according to a new research, stem cells could make heart disease patients' coronary arteries become narrower. Scientists discovered that although participants' heart function improved, there was an unexpectedly high rate of coronary artery narrowing.
  4. 4. Figure 2: Harvesting stem cells (Stem Cell Research…, 2007) Stem cells have big ethical problem that keep arguing constantly. There are ethical problems at using embryonic stem cells and there are agreement and disagreement of using embryonic stem cells. Using embryonic stem cells, people who suffering from various diseases such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, Cancer, spinal cord injuries and diabetes could treat their diseases and have hopes but in other hand, they assert that human embryos have potential to create human being so it is killing human embryos by researchers and they have no right to take anyone’s life. Many pro-lifers and religious groups oppose this part of stem cell research. They declare that the ‘pre-embryo’ is a potential human being. 3 days after it is fertilized, the embryo is at the ‘blastocyst’ stage. These embryos are also referred to as ‘pre- embryos’. This means, that these embryos do not have a brain, heart, lungs, internal organs etc. They also do not possess any awareness, or senses, or thought processes. Stem cells also have political problem. In 2001, former U.S President George W. Bush set a limit on funding stem cell research by using government money because of some ethical problems and ex-president were supported by a group called Moral Majority but most of the group members are Christian fundamentalists and they believe that life begins at conception, the blastocyst is a human life and to destroy so they didn’t accept embryonic stem cell research and it is immoral so he vetoed stem cell research. The veto comes just a day after the Senate had passed the bill 63-37, four votes short
  5. 5. of the 2/3 majorities that would have been needed to override the president’s veto. (buzzle, 2010) But Barack Obama, now a president of U.S signed an executive order on Monday repealing a Bush’s policy that limited federal tax dollars for embryonic stem cell research. When he was announcing the new policy, Mr. Obama said, "so many scientists and researchers and doctors and innovators, patients and loved ones have hoped for and fought for these past eight years". (President Obama, 2009) In July, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll found that a majority, 58%, of Americans disapproved of Bush's veto. (Stem Cell Research…, 2007) In conclusion, development of stem cell is very useful field to research further. Stem cell should be widely promoted by the factor of repairing damaged tissues, reducing the risk of rejection in a patient’s body and being flexible. However, there are ethical and political considerations that need to be solved. If these are completely solved, we may take numerous advantages given by stem cell.
  6. 6. Works Cited • "BBC NEWS | Americas | Obama Ends Stem Cell Funding Ban." BBC News - Home. Web. 29 Sept. 2010. <>. • "Benefits of Stem Cells - Explore Stem Cells (UK)." Understanding Stem Cell Research and Treatments at Explore Stem Cells (UK). Web. 29 Sept. 2010. <>. • "Disadvantages of Stem Cell Research | Cord Blood Cells." Cord Blood Cells. Web. 29 Sept. 2010. < research.html>. • "Fast Facts on Stem Cells - ABC News." - Breaking News, Politics, Online News, World News, Feature Stories, Celebrity Interviews and More - ABC News. Web. 29 Sept. 2010. <>.
  7. 7. • Ghare, By Madhavi. "Ethics of Stem Cell Research." Buzzle Web Portal: Intelligent Life on the Web. Web. 29 Sept. 2010. < ethics-of-stem-cell-research.html>. • Pillai, By Prabhakar. "Advantages and Disadvantages of Stem Cell Research." Buzzle Web Portal: Intelligent Life on the Web. Web. 29 Sept. 2010. < research.html>. • Staff, By Buzzle. "President Bush Vetoes Stem Cell Research Bill." Buzzle Web Portal: Intelligent Life on the Web. Web. 29 Sept. 2010. <>. • "Stem Cell Basics: Introduction [Stem Cell Information]." NIH Stem Cell Information Home Page. Web. 29 Sept. 2010. <>. • "Stem Cell Research Bill Resurfaces in Congress -" News, Travel, Weather, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, U.S. & World - 11 Jan. 2007. Web. 29 Sept. 2010. < news/washington/2007-01-10-stem-cell-usat_x.htm>. • "What Are Stem Cells?" Medical News Today: Health News. Web. 29 Sept. 2010. <>. • Year, By. "Stem-cell Therapy Has Disadvantages." Medical News Today: Health News. Web. 29 Sept. 2010. <>.