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A Look at Stem Cell Research Essay

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A Look at Stem Cell Research


Research in the development of stem cells has become increasingly popular over the past decade. The fascination in the study of stem cells by scientists comes from the mystery of what the essential properties are and how cells differ. With the discovery of determining how stem cells are self renewing and identifying what causes stem cells to become specialized leads to the ability to create more cell-based remedies as well as preventing birth defects, more precise screening for new drugs and cloning of organs and tissues. Stem cells are unspecialized cells that renew themselves for long periods through cell division. They can also become specialized functional cells such as beating cells for heart muscles and insulin-producing cells for the pancreas or nerve cells. However, this development is controversial being that there are benefits and downfall in which humans are being to an extent “genetically engineered.” Although there are pros and cons of using stem cells, the numerous beneficial possibilities indicate that we should perform the experiments to better our society under extensive scrutiny by the government and public.

Embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells are the two primary types that scientists work with. Stem cells are unique because they are unspecialized to any tissue-specific structures but can develop specialized cells and in culture develop indefinitely. They replicate themselves over and over again causing large growths of cells over a period of time called proliferation, yielding many other unspecialized stem cells. However if the parent stem cells give rise to specialized stem cells the process is called differentiation. Scientist are only at the tip of the ic...


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...future for improving human diseases and disorders. If put into the wrong hands stem cell technology could be very detrimental to society however with the help of governmental controls and laws I do not believe there would be many problems. Although the PCB and NBAC have not been able to come up with a clear line of where to begin and end stem cell research and experiments they are improving their communication skills with the public about the ethical issues that will arise from stem cell research and are working on the awareness of the issue and sovereignty of the consequences.



Background Information

Childress, James F. "Human stem cell research: some controversies in bioethics and public policy." Blood Cells, Molecules, and Diseases 32: 100-105.

"Stem Cell Information." National Institutes of Health. 12 Feb 2004. .


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