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Stem Cells History

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Statement of the Case

The discovery of stem cells originated during the mid 1800's with the discovery that some human cells contained the ability to generate into differing cells. Due to this discovery, current stem cell research has reached a point where controversy has surfaced to do the mortality. Occurring in the early 1900's, scientists successfully discovered the first real stem cells after the previous discovery consisting of the fact that some cells had the ability to generate blood cells. In the year of 1998, James Thompson, a student at the University of Wisconsin, successfully developed the primary stem cell lines and isolated human cells from the inner cell mass of early embryos. Following James Thompson's contributions to the ongoing discovery of additional information regarding stem cells, John Gearhart, a student at Johns Hopkins University, derived germ cells from cells in the fetal gonadal tissue of the human body in the same year.

In 1973, a moratorium was placed on government funding for human embryonic stem cell research. In the year of 1996, the 1996 Dickey-Wicker law was established, prohibiting funding for research that created and destroyed human embryos. The Law clearly stated that there shall be no federal legislation prohibiting embryonic stem cell research in the United States. In 2001, President Bush announced that federal funds would not be used to support research on human embryonic stem cells, and forbidding the NIH (National Institutes of Health) to fund embryonic stem cell research. Succeeding Bush's ban, in the fall of 2004, California voters approved a $3 billion bond to fund embryonic stem cell research at last. This established the "California Institute for Regenerative Medicine" to regulate stem cell research and research facilities.

On March, 9, 2009, President Barack Obama lifted, by Executive Order, the Bush administration's eight-year ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. President Obama remarked, "Today...we will bring the change that so many scientists and researchers, doctors and innovators, patients and loved ones have hoped for, and fought for, these past eight years," in which proceeded to sign a Presidential Memorandum directing development of a strategy for restoring scientific integrity to the government's ability to make decisions. In contrast, embryonic stem cell research is currently prohibited in the states of Arkansas, Iowa, North and South Dakota, and Michigan.

Supporters of the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research believe that using embryonic stem cells offers the most possibilities in scientific research; these cells contain the capability to develop into any of the 20 cells found in the human body including heart cells, nerve cells, muscle cells, and skin cells. The budding capacity of the embryonic stem cell may prove useful



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