Stem Cell research, effects on medicine

Essay by theviolinistHigh School, 10th grade November 2006

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Imagine losing a little bit of your muscle control every day. First you wouldn't be able to walk, and then you wouldn't be able to talk. But meanwhile, your brain is unaffected. You know everything that is happening to you. Then the disease progresses further, and you lose still more muscle control until you are completely paralyzed. You are no longer able to chew your food. Finally you lose so much muscle control that you are no longer able swallow and you drown in your own saliva. During this process, which can take years, your brain is functioning just fine. At every step along the way, you realize what is happening to you. This disease is called ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, and according to the ALS Association, approximately 30,000 people in the United States suffer from this disease at any given time. Wouldn't it be great if we could cure this cruel disease? Who wouldn't want to spare people years of agony? Well, we can, if federal funding is provided to stem cell research.

In this speech, I will cover what stem cells can cure, why federal funding for stem cell research is necessary, and how embryonic stem cell research can be avoided.

Currently, federal funding for stem cell research in the United States is limited to 22 existing lines that may be contaminated and therefore unsafe for humans. This is not helpful to scientists who envision what expanding stem cell research could do. By continuing stem cell research we will be able to find the cure for many diseases such as Lou Gehrig's, Parkinson's, and even heart disease, which is currently the number one killer in the United States. We will be able to generate replacement organs, and appendages. And we can develop these cures in the...