To define why adult stem cell research’s is more ethically sound and its track record is so far superior to claims made for embryonic stem cell possibilities to date and why this success will make better laws with more bipartisan agreement possible. In as much has been spoken of the possibilities of stem cells in the regeneration and therapeutic uses for the human condition it is becoming evidently apparent from research advancement that stem cell research in all its forms can yield medical science with great advancements in disease prevention, recession, injury therapies of many types and medical treatments unknown to all of the generations that have come before us. History and Background
In 1961 over 50 years ago now two Toronto scientists Drs. James Till, a biophysicist, and Ernest McCulloch, a hematologist working in a cancer lab, published findings of their accidental discovery of the existence of adult stem cells, cells that can rejuvenate themselves over and over again.
From that time of discovery until the present time stem cell research has progressed as a science discovery, to fear of the unknown to a witch hunt, a madman’s paradise where evil and unethical scientists were racing to create the next super race by cloning, witchery, human sacrifice and all while in the emotional turmoil of the both public and shadowed battle between religious beliefs, morals and ethics on one side and liberal and scientific progressivism, where the end justifies the means, on the other side. The history of this argument is just the extension of a much older conflict between conservative and religious values and the liberal progressivism that started surging in the United States in the 1920’s with the surge in teaching and administering case law in the courts during a time in history where the very beloved President Teddy Roosevelt felt that the United States Constitution was an outdated document and should be more of a living document that changes with the times and the new American ideals, many of which he helped popularize (Link, 1959).
With all of discoveries, advances and technology improvement to date perhaps as much has been done in just the last couple of years as has been done in the entire forty plus years previous.
The push for embryonic stem cells was so beautiful of an idea in the beginning because the promise that any embryonic stem cell could become literally any other cell in the body. The romance of hope then followed that damaged tissue and disease could be repaired as if by magic by merely injecting the embryonic stem cells to the site that needed cured or repaired. For the progressive camp, it was a “score one for science and take one away from God” (Webster, 2008) type of major victory. As is commonly the case however the devil is in the details in this case for at least two reasons. First, adult stem cells were discovered first and have been researched the longest. The greatest discovery by far was in 2007 when a group of scientists at Japan’s Kyoto University discovered how to “reprogram” the adult stem cells through a purposed induction. (Takahasi, 2007) This allowed the induced adult stem cell to take on many of the characteristics of the “blank slate” embryonic stem cell. The induced adult stem cell is called an Induced Pluripotent Stem cells and are referred in many texts as IPS cells. With this discovery it gained two advantages over the embryonic stem cell in that it is ethically non controversial and two the IPS cells or reprogrammed adult stem cells suddenly had the ability to become any cell in the body. The fact that adult stem cell therapy utilizes the patient’s own adult stem cells to become any of the types of cells needed for tissue repair and healing diseases saves the patient the high probability of stem cell rejection, mainly because the cells are already a part of the patient’s body including...
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