Stem Cell Research

Topics: Stem cell, Cellular differentiation, Embryonic stem cell Pages: 4 (1572 words) Published: March 18, 2013
Stem Cell Research
One of the numerous scientific topics that creates a great divide between Americans and political party platforms is the approval or disapproval of stem cell research. There is very firm support and opposition to this topic, and it can often provoke heated discussions amid the general public and those in academia. The core of the debate specifically revolves around embryonic stem cell research and the ethical implications that come with experimentation on human embryos.

When discussing stem cell research it is important to obtain some background information to know where the debate originated. “There are three main sources for obtaining stem cells - adult cells, cord cells, and embryonic cells” (Stem Cell Research Pros and Cons). Stem cells are cells that are capable of taking on the form of various types of cells. Research in the 90s began the scientific world’s fascination with stem cells. As studies have progressed, scientists have performed experiments on all three types of stem cells in order to differentiate the stem cells with the purpose of finding possible cures for serious illnesses such as leukemia and even cancer. Doctor Irving Weissman of the American Medical Association states, “Rare leukemia stem cells and cancer stem cells have been isolated that contain all of the tumorigenicity of the whole tumor, and it is their properties that will guide future therapies” (Weissman). Stem cell research opens a world of possibilities for the medical field because scientists are learning how to manipulate these cells into to taking on the form of a specific type of body cell that they could then inject into a person with an ailment of that specific part of the body. For example, if a person has a brain tumor then scientists would manipulate a stem cell into forming a brain cell. Then the person with the tumor would be injected with the stem cell in order that the new, healthy brain cell would replace the dead brain cell from the tumor....
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