Stem cells. To be or not to be
It is one of the most evocative phrases in the lexicon of science: stem cells research, the creation of cells that can be used to make people healthier, stronger and even can treat cancer – the greatest killer of our time. Stem cells have been touted as one of the most significant discoveries in medical history! The ongoing research in this field hold high hopes that in a few years stem cells used in genetic therapy may be able to cure or alleviate the suffering of people with heart disease, liver disease, diabetes and even to grow genetically matched human tissues replacement. Nevertheless, there are other areas of stem research that can be defined as a ‘designer baby’, which faced a strong public reluctance in society to accept these fields of medical study for the reason of using stem cells in this case towards creating a race of superior human beings with the resistance to all diseases and without biological weaknesses. The ‘stem cells research’ theme is argued not only between scientists – it is the hottest topic in the whole society! So what should be our position as a Christians in this debate!? So what are the stem cells? It is not a rhetorical question, but in order to understand this phenomenon we must understand the nature of cells and how they work. The distinction between stem cells and others is that these cells are capable of renovating themselves after a period of inactivity, also they can be stimulated to become organ-specific cells with special functions. Nowadays scientists subdivide such cells into four types: 1) totipotent cells – the most versatile of the stem cell types that can give the potential to give rise to any and all human cells (e.g. brain, liver, blood etc.); 2) pluripotent, which have the same characteristics as a totipotent cells, but they cannot get to grow the entire organism. 3) Multipotent stem cells – more plastic and more differentiated than other types, but their...
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