Stem Cells: A Proverbial Obscurity (argumentative research essay supporting stem cell research; includes works cited entries)

Essay by Sasha813University, Bachelor'sA-, November 2004

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Human cloning is an often controversial and highly emotive issue with many factors surrounding it. A global ban on all facets of human cloning has been introduced for approval by the United Nations, and it is on the verge of being passed. Banning human cloning on all levels would be an arbitrary mistake with unnecessary consequences. Stem cell research, the eminent component of human cloning, would be outlawed if this ban were passed. According to R. Alta Charo, professor of law and medical ethics at the University of Wisconsin Law School, "Debates over cloning, stem cell therapy, and even genetic engineering have become almost hopelessly entangled in the last five years." The potential benefits of stem cell research to the human race are far too monumental to be overlooked or outlawed. Human cloning should be regulated, but it should not be banned entirely.

Stem cells are the primordial cells from which all tissue develops.

At the earliest stage of development humans are composed of cells which are either totipotent, meaning they have full potential to become any of the more than 200 cell types that make up the body, or they are pluripotent, meaning they have the capacity to become many of the specialized cells that make up the human body, such as brain cells, neurons, and various tissue cells. Adult stem cells have developed to a stage called multipotent, which means they are specialized body cells. 14 days after conception an embryo is composed primarily of multipotent adult stem cells.

Kris Clouthier, a professed opponent of embryonic stem cell (ESC) research reports, "Initial studies showed that embryonic stem cells could be transformed to other cells types with relative ease. The cells could also continue to divide and renew themselves for years while remaining unspecialized, like...