Stem Cell Research

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Throughout the history of medical researh, there has always been a discussion of whether or not certain studies and medical techniques have been ethical. The study of stem cells has recently become one of the most contraversial topics amoung scientist, polititions, and theologins alike. Cells form tissues and organs in the human body. Stem cells are cells which have the ability to develope into any of the different cell types that make up the tissues and organs of the human body. The reason why there has been contraversy over the study of stem cells is due to the fact that scientist are obtaining them from blastocyst. A blastocyst is a cluster of cells which forms a human embryo. In the process of obtaining the stem cells, the embryo is destroyed. Yet, thousands of theses embryos will be destroyed for many other reasons. The donating party requesting the destruction of the embryo is one example.

Another is exmple of why an embryo may be destroyed is that the embryo will have been under a criogenic status for too long. As a result it may die on its own. If embryos are being destroyed regardless, stem cell research should continiue because embryos that may eventually become useless can now be used for the benifit of mankind.

Since many diseases such as Parkinson's disease, heart disease, and diabetes result from the death or dysfunction of a single cell type, scientists hope that the introduction of healthy cells of this type into a patient will restore lost or compromised function. Now that researchers have have been able to isolate and culture stem cells, they are trying to determine how to direct these cells into becoming the specialized cells and tissues that they need for transplant into patients.

Understanding this complex process could lead to...