Moral and Ethical Objections of Stem Cell Research

Topics: Stem cell, Embryonic stem cell, Cell Pages: 3 (1106 words) Published: March 19, 2011
Moral and Ethical Objections of Stem Cell Research

Today stem cells are the only cells in the world that can keep dividing and dividing indefinitely. The only cells that are immortal in the world. So what exactly is a stem cell? The simplest way to explain is to think of stem cells as a pretty much a blank cell. It is a cell that has the potential to do anything that any cell in the body does, but it hasn’t received instruction yet as to which particular program to follow. The beauty of stem cells are in the potential they offer for medicine, for example, if we can understand the signals that will tell the cells which programs to follow we could then develop cells to replace cells that are injured in Heart Attacks, or we could make neural cells that could replace deficits that people suffer in Parkinson’s disease. Now there are other ways to obtain embryos for the purpose of deriving stem cells. One is in-vitro fertilization lab to simply make an embryo specifically to retrieve its stem cells. The second is to use cloning technology to make embryos from which stem cells can be derived. The last experiment has been touted as essential to something called therapeutic cloning. Most people understand this as the prospect of cloning one of your own cells, in order to derive which in turn would produce tissue that is genetically identical to you. In 2005 they created nearly a dozen new embryonic cells lines using therapeutic cloning techniques. They started by taking skin cells of diseased or injured patients. Using a technique similar to the one that created Dolly, they took the nuclear DNA from the patients skin cell, inserted it into a human oocyte (egg cell) that had its original nucleus removed. They then chemically stimulated the oocyte with its new DNA until it began to divide. After approximately six days, just long enough to derive stem cells, but long before the oocyte would develop into an actual human embryo. They harvested the stem cells...
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