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Stem Cell Research Essay

2085 words - 9 pages

Much like the decision made by former U.S. President Harry S. Truman in regards to the use of atomic energy against Japan in hopes of concluding the death toll of World War II in 1945, the controversy over stem cell development derives from the same question, just because we possess the ability, does that justify its use? Scientists believe the process of extracting and cultivating stem cells for medical use may unlock the cure for countless conditions plaguing human life. As Arshad Chandry, a highly regarded publisher of The Science Creative Quarterly, states: “Stem cells have generated more excitement, Scrutiny and controversy than any other area of recent scientific study” (1). The ...view middle of the document...

The occurrences of cell division within the stem cells help us to classify between to two types of cells studied. Body cells or “adult “cells have been assigned and modified by the body for a particular purpose or function pertaining to a specific organ. The use of body cells is difficult because it involves differentiating from all other cells in order to apply reprogramming steps to rid the cell of its particular function assigned by the human body. Up to four tedious steps must be performed to regress adult cells back to their pluripotent form. A small group of researchers believe that recent developments in cellular reprogramming, the process of ridding a cell of its function, could deem adult cells just as versatile as pluripotent cells and easier to obtain without scrutiny.
Embryo cells, on the other hand, are extracted from a fertile donor and are considered more valuable due to their pristine state. “In 1998, researchers established the first human embryonic stem cell line. Their scientific triumph triggered an ethics and policy argument that persists today” (Dresser). Undeveloped through the natural body process of cell division, pluripotent embryonic cells contain the ability to be transformed into any human cell. The ability to begin with a pure cell can result in scientist ability to replace any damaged or deteriorated cells on a body with fresh benign cell growth. Embryo cells also allow us to study the development of cells for a better understanding of how they become damaged. John A. Robinson, J.D., holder of the Vinson and Elkins Chair at Texas School of Law in Austin and a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School, explains “recent work with induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells suggests that non-embryonic sources of pluripotent stem cells may one day be routinely available. Such a development will lessen the temperature of the ethical debate while raising other issues” (Robinson).

The possibility of cloning is responsible for the mass acknowledgment of stem cell study outside of the science community. Human cloning, although typically depicted as a devastating sinister scheme destined to destroy the human population in pop culture, quite possibly may possesses the opposite effect for our race. The procedure of exact duplication of a human cell leading to the growth of an identical organism seems farfetched to some but has been eagerly admired by scientist sense the initial development of the study during the 1960’s. Considering the proposed possibilities; ranging from immortality to the mere eradication of all know medical conditions plaguing human life, government regulation and insufficient funding have hindered this highly necessitated research. Possessing almost dormant consideration outside of the “science fiction” world since its development over 50 years ago, cloning was made relevant by the birth of Dolly, the first mammal clone, the sheep in 1996. Are heavy limitations put in place by governments...

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