The Great Stem Cell Debate

In: Science

Submitted By lstephenson96
Words 1754
Pages 8
Lauren Stephenson
Professor Iller
Honors CORE 302: Science and Christianity
23 January 2015
The Great Stem Cell Debate Stem cells have promised to be the new breakthrough in medicine; promising cures for diseases such as diabetes, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and spinal cord injuries. With all the potential stem cells have, why are we not using them to alleviate suffering for people? There is actually a lot of pushback on the use of certain types of stem cells. Between ethical and religious concerns, not much progress can be made to further our knowledge of this extraordinary cell. Everyone has differing opinions about stem cells and how they are used, but many do not know all the facts. Stem cells have the ability to cure diseases that we never thought to be possible, but we can only get to that point by continuing our research. Stem cells are defined as “unspecialized cells that have the potential to develop into many different cell types in the body” (Class Note). They are the cells that specialize into bone, blood, and muscle cells. They can replace damaged or old cells when injected and heal the compromised spot. If we can find a way to regenerate damaged tissues or organs, many fatal illnesses and injuries could be treated, or even cured. They have attracted the attention of the scientific and medical community because of their amazing ability to differentiate into specific cell types. Stem cells have the best possible hope for the future in regenerative medicine.
There are two kinds of stem cells; embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are harvested from a four to five day old embryo. In this stage, the embryo is a blastocyst, or hallow ball of cells. Inside this blastocyst are the stem cells that are extracted, but in the process, the embryo is destroyed. Embryonic stem cells are the most valuable cells we…...

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