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Stem Cell Research

Essay by   •  November 27, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,655 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,368 Views

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"Research involving human embryonic stem cells and human non-embryonic stem cells have the potential to lead to better understanding and treatment of many disabling diseases and conditions. Advances over the past decade in this promising scientific field have been encouraging, leading to broad agreement in the scientific community that the research should be supported by Federal funds."(Pres. Barrack Obama)

Stem cells provide huge potential for finding treatments and cures to a vast array of diseases including different cancers, diabetes, spinal cord injuries, Alzheimer's, MS, Huntington's, Parkinson's and more."There is endless potential for scientists to learn about human growth and cell development from studying stem cells. Use of adult-derived stem cells, from blood, umbilical cord blood, skin and other tissues, has been demonstrated to be effective for treating different diseases in animal models. Umbilical-cord-derived stem cells (obtained from the cord blood) have also been isolated and utilized for various experimental treatments. Another option is use of uni-parental stem cells. Although these cells lines have some disadvantages or shortcomings compared to embryonic cell lines (they are shorter-lived), there is vast potential if enough money is invested in researching them further, and they are not technically considered individual living beings by pro-life advocates. The argument is; 'Use of embryonic stem cells for research involves the destruction of blastocysts formed from laboratory-fertilized human eggs. For those who believe that life begins at conception, the blastocyst is a human life and to destroy it is unacceptable and immoral.' This seems to be the only controversial issue standing in the way of stem cell research in North America." (About.com)

However this has been shown as incorrect as I read in Scientific American magazine, "A team led by researchers from Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) in Worcester, Mass., reports in Cell Stem Cell that it created five new stem cell lines by plucking single cells from embryos in the early blastocyst stage, a grapelike cluster of eight cells called blastomeres. Researchers normally create this kind of stem cell line at a more developed stage from the entire mass of embryonic cells. The group says the embryos survived the removal of a blastomere or two and grew normally to the 10-cell stage 80 percent of the time, the same rate as untouched IVF (in vitro fertilization) embryos. IVF doctors routinely take single cells from embryos to check for genetic diseases before implanting them in the womb. 'If we base this on objective scientific criteria, there's no evidence that removing a single blastomere harms the embryo,' says Robert Lanza, ACT's chief scientific officer." (Scientific American)

The benefits from stem cell therapy are in my opinion limitless if the government would just butt out. The government is always trying to seem ethical and in that hypocrisy they are causing many Americans to lose their lives. HIV can be cured with stem cells but no one will talk about that in government. (CBS/AP) Stem cells have been credited with all sorts of medical magic. Now it looks as if they may have cured a man of his HIV infection. In 2007, the 40 something year old American underwent a blood stem cell transplant to treat leukemia. His donor not only was a good blood match but also had a mutant gene that confers natural resistance to HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Now, three years later, the man shows no sign of leukemia or HIV. "It's an interesting proof of concept that with pretty extraordinary measures a patient could be cured of HIV," (Blood) but it is far too risky to become standard therapy even if matched donors could be found, said Dr. Michael Saag of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He is past chairman of the HIV Medicine Association, an organization of doctors who specialize in treating AIDS. Transplants of bone marrow or, more commonly these days, of blood stem cells - are done to treat cancer, and their risks in healthy people are unknown. It involves destroying the person's immune system with drugs and radiation, and then replacing it with donor cells to grow a new immune system. Mortality from the procedure or its complications can be 5 percent or more, Saag said."We can't really apply this particular approach to healthy individuals because the risk is just too high," especially when drugs can keep HIV in check in most cases, Saag said. Unless someone with HIV also had cancer, a transplant would not likely be considered, he said. When the man's case surfaced two years ago, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the procedure was too expensive and risky to be practical as a cure but that it might give more clues to using gene therapy or other methods to achieve the same result. This is so absurd to me because there is a means to a cure but it's "too expensive!" So what they expect for HIV patients is to live contagiously for a lifetime while taking medications every day of their life. How could someone really tell a person that? It is ridiculous that our government can be so unreasonable and cruel. I am so angry at the information I have come across

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