Stem cell research is a major problem that the world is facing today. A majority of people are against stem cell research, but a larger majority of people are for stem cell research. Because of this large controversy, most of America is torn down the middle because there are many reasons to support stem cell research, but there are also some reasons to be against it. I really did not know much about stem cell research before this project and I did not know what side to support. Throughout this project you will read about stem cells and what different groups, organizations, and people have to say about it. I found this relevant to include because in order to understand the opinions of people, you must first understand what their opinion is on. In this paper you will also read a testimony from Christopher Reeve, a spinal cord injury patient, whose life could have been affected deeply if he was still alive today. I have also included interviews with my father and my cousin, to get different opinions on stem cell research. This paper talks about stem cells in a positive and negative way, in order to get both sides of the story. My reasons for including both sides was so that I could choose a side to support. I have been so perplexed to what was going about stem cell research before this project. I was torn between the middle because people were telling me to be against stem cell research and other people were telling me to support stem cell research. So, I decided that I would get a larger opinion from both sides and see which side I support. At the completion of this project I hope to learn about stem cells, what they do, and where they come from. I also hope to learn about how stem cells can help humans . I hop that the completion of this project will give me a better understanding of stem cell research, so that I
would be able to choose the side that I support. Whether it be for or against stem cell research.
Part 1: An Understanding of Stem Cells and the Controversy
Many people don=t even know what stem cell research is and 90 percent of those people do not even know what stem cells are. There is no easy way of explaining all of stem cell research, so I am going to tell you how it is. Stem cell research begin with a frozen, fertilized human egg. These embryos are then thawed and grown in a petri dish for about five days. During this period of time, the embryo grows into a blastocyst, better known as the inner cell mass. It consists of about 100 stem cells. Scientists then extract cells from the center of the inner mass and use them to begin new cell lines. By extracting the cells, the embryo is destroyed. The newly created cell lines are now capable of infinite duplication and can convert into any type of cell. Stem cells are cells whose biological signals have not yet been given. They have the property of being able to renew themselves and turn themselves into any cell in the human body, if they are given the special signal. It is this factor that makes stem cells so different from other cells. Stem cells do not et have their gene code defined, meaning that they are not yet one exact cell. For example, blood cells have the job of carrying oxygen to different parts of your body. Stem cells do not have a job yet. The thing that also makes stem cells so different is that they have all the genes that other cells have, but their genes are activated for the primary purpose of mitosis, the movement of water in and out of the cell, without a specialized tissue function. Daughter cells that come out of these stem cells are capable of differentiating into almost any kind of cell.
Stem cells are very special cells. The factor that makes them so special is the factor of self renewal. Also the factor of turning into whatever cell in the human body makes them so special. Stem cells offer the ability to regrow cells and tissue that were destroyed by...