Stem Cell Controversy

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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Stem Cell-Undifferentiated, primitive cells in bone marrow with ability to multiply and differentiate into specific blood cells.

Many people ask the question "What is a stem cell and how can they be used in the medical field?" Researchers say that stem cells have become very important in figuring out the many questions of life, and may be able to help us in the near future (Edwards 54). Using these stem cells may help in finding cures to many diseases, yet on the other hand there still could be a possibility of a defect. Although there are a variety of advantages that come with using stem cells in the medical field, there are many effects that tag along with this process that many don't agree.

Some call stem cells "magic seeds" for their ability to replicate and can develop into any into any kind of tissue needed. The embryonic stem cells come from the inner cell masses of donated human blastocysts.

A blastocyst is a hollow ball of about 140 cells that develops several days after fertilization. Stem cells are capable of changing into any of 220 cell types that make up the human body, which is definitely helpful in many ways. Human embryos, only days old, must be destroyed to get these stem cells. This is what causes this "Stem Cell Controversy" because many people believe that the idea of destroying a human embryo is not morally right, while others do not mind at all. There are only four ways that stem cells can be obtained, such as from aborted fetuses donated by women at abortion clinics. There is also the process of fertility clinics. During the in-vitro process, clinics routinely fuse more than one egg with sperm. If planting a fertilized egg does not work the first...