Stem Cell Research
Stem cell research has been happening for 30 or more years through bone marrow transplants, but has only been a major debate for about the past ten years with the first isolation of embryonic stem cells (UMichigan). According to a popular issues website the definition of stem cells is, "… contrasted with "differentiated" cells. They offer much hope for medical advancement because of their ability to grow into almost any kind of cell” (Pros and Cons…). One of the main debates is between stem cell research and religious views. Some religions such as branches Christianity believe that obtaining and using embryonic stem cells is a sin and should not be used for research or otherwise. Even though I identify as a Christian, I believe that stem cells should be utilized, as long as an egg is not fertilized only for the use of stem cells.
One reason many people don’t agree with embryonic stem cell research is that they believe that scientists use embryos that have started to develop into babies. This is a myth (UMichigan). Scientists fertilize an egg in a dish, and use it 5 days after the fertilization when the embryo only contains about 100 cells, none of which are specialized (UMichigan). The embryo is no larger than a period at the end of a sentence (UMichigan). This embryo, although beginning to form, has no heart, no spine, no limbs, and no systems (UMichigan). If this was known by more people, then many people may change their minds about stem cell research.
The idea of embryonic stems being obtained from aborted fetuses is what many people think. Well this is a misconception. Embryonic stem cells are only from those embryos made up in dishes in fertility clinics (UMichigan). These are the left over embryos not needed during in vitro fertilization. According to Ronald Conte of Christian Planet, “Embryonic stem cells are obtained from prenatals at a point very early in development. Obtaining these cells typically results in the...
Cited: Conte, Ronald L. “Against Embryonic Stem Cell Research”. Catholic Planet. 2 Dec 2004. Web. 29 Nov 2011.
“Pros and Cons of Stem Cell Research”. Allaboutpopularissues.com. n.d. Web. 30 Nov 2011.
“Stem Cell Research: Frequently asked Questions”. University of Michigan. N.d. Web. 30 Nov 2011
“What are the similarities and differences between embryonic and adult stem cells?”. National Institution of Health. N.d. Web. 29 Nov 2011
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