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Essay about The Importance of Stem Cell Research

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Over the last decade the use of stem cells has been a controversial and heated topic. Debates have exploded over every aspect of stem cell research. It has been speculated by scientists that stem cell research may have the potential to cure harmful diseases or even regrow organs. However some find that the health issues seen in earlier attempts to use stem cell transplants and ethical controversies involved with extracting stem cells, make it very dangerous to further investigate. In actuality the fact remains that the potential cures that may come from stem cell research could prove to be some of the most significant advances in modern medicine to this day.
To understand why stem cell research is so valuable it’s vital to know what a stem cell is. A stem cell is defined as , “an unspecialized cell that gives rise to differentiated cells” ( Merriam-Webster,2009), meaning that stem cells don’t have a specific cell type, like a skin cell or a muscle tissue cell, but instead it will adjust to help a certain type of cell in need. By having this quality stem cells are thought to have the potential to find cures for many dreaded diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and even paralysis. It is the powerful possibilities of stem cell research that make it such a valuable asset to the advancement of modern medicine.
Possibly the most highly debated issues of stem cell research is the use of embryonic stem cells and whether their use is ethical. A blastocyst is a pre-implantation embryo that develops 5 days after the fertilization of an egg by a sperm. In its interior is the inner cell mass, which is composed of 30-34 cells that are referred to by scientists as pluripotent due to their ability to differentiate into all of t...


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...ardian.co.uk/science/2009/mar/01/stem-cells-breakthrough

6) "stem cell." Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009.Merriam-Webster Online. 14 November 2009


7)“Stem Cell Basics- Types of Stem Cells” National Academy of Sciences.2009.
http://dels.nas.edu/bls/stemcells/types-of-stem-cells.shtml

8)“Stem Cells”NyTimes.com. 9 March 2009. New York Times. 12 November 2009.http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/news/health/diseasesconditionsandhealthtopics/stemcells/index.html

9)Sample, Ian. “Scientist’s stem cell breakthrough ends ethical dilemma” 1 March 2009. Guardian.co.uk. 12 November 2009.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/mar/01/stem-cells-breakthrough

10)Venkat, Chaya. “ The Only Real Cure Out There, for Now” July 19, 2005. CCLTopics.org. 8 December 2009. http://www.clltopics.org/BMT/OnlyRealCure.htm


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