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Stem Cell Research Legislation

For some time now, stem cell research has been a major issue when it comes to ethics. “Ethics, science and religion became further intertwined with politics in the 1990’s, increasing the battles among congress, administrations, and other agencies” (Scott, 2006, p.153). Stem cell research is probably one of the most important scientific advancements in the past one hundred years. Stem Cell research began in the 1800’s, with the discovery that some cells could actually generate other cells. In the early 1900’s the first actual stem cells were discovered when they found that some cells can generate blood cells. The history of stem cell research actually includes research done with both animal and human stem cells. A well known experiment with stem cell research had been bone marrow transplants using adult stem cells. In the early 1900’s doctors administered bone marrow by mouth to patients with anemia and leukemia, this therapy was proven to be unsuccessful; this was discovered because they found through lab experiments with mice that defective marrow could be restored to health with infusions into the bloodstream of marrow taken from other mice. This brought forward the idea whether it was feasible to transplant bone marrow from one human to another, which is now known as allogeneic transplant. In the late 1950’s Jean Dausset was able to identify the first of many human histocompatibility antigens, these are proteins that are found on the surface of most cells in the body, and they are called leukocyte antigens (HLA antigens). It wasn’t until the 1960’s that doctors knew enough information about HLA antigens to actually successfully perform transplants between siblings who were not identical twins, and in 1978 a team of doctors performed the first unrelated bone marrow transplant. It took all of seven transplants to succeed, and in 1984 Congress actually passed the National Organ Transplant Act. In the 1990’s with the help of bone...
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