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Stem Cell Research

Current Issues Project #1

taylor robertson

on 30 April 2010

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Transcript of Stem Cell Research

Stem Cell Research What are stem cells? Stem cells are unspecailized cells that have the ability to form into any tissue and cell type in the human body. They also have the ability to replicate themselves endlessly through cell divison and live indefinaty. Stem cells were were first discovered in the 1900's by a scientist who found that some cells generate blood cells.
laboratory experiments showed that mice with defective marrow could be restored to health with infusions into the blood stream of marrow taken from other mice
This led scientist to wonder whether or not trasplants could be done in humans as well
In 1958 a French Medical Scientist awnsered that question: A bone marrow transplant between identical twins was gaurenteed to work because they shared simiar DNA. He discovered that the human body's immune system contained a set of HLA antigens, these basically help the body determine what does and does not belong. If the marrow doesn't match then the body will reject it.
In the 1990's the bone marrow program greatly expanded. More than 16,000 transplants were done to help treat leukemia and other immunodefiencies. History... Research for human embryo transplants was becoming popular as well. President George Bush vetoed a vote by congress that wanted to give the government full funding to research embryonic stem cell transplants.
In 2000 President Clinton allowed funding for research done on cells that came from aborted fetuses but still not embryonic cells.
In 2001 President George W. Bush allowed fedral funding on pre exsisting embryonic cells but put a ban of the creation of any new embryonic cell lines. His main concern was with not supporting the continous destruction of living human embroys. Stem cells come from three main sources...
Adult cells that are found in either bone marrow or in the peripheral nervous system
Cord cells that come from an unbilical cord
Embryonic cells that come from human embryos They can be used for a variety of medical purposes.
For example, since stem cells have the potential to become any other type of cell, they could be useful in repairing organs that have been harmed by disease. They can also help cure immunodeficiencies and other diseases by repairing or even replacing damaged or defective cells. How could stem cells be used? Stem cells offer much hope for medical advancement
Dead cells of almost any type can be replaced with healthy new cells because stem cells can grow into the type of cell needed for the replacement of the dead cells
Adult cells and umbilical cells are plentiful and very righ sources of stem cells
Umbilical cord cells can be stored and can be very helpful for families who've planned ahead because they provide a perfect match to anyone in that family
Methods have been developed to reduce risk in a transplant between a donor and a recipient that don't have an exact DNA match Some oppose embryonic cell research because they value life from the point of conception and the embryo is destroyed in the process of retriving the stem cells. Can be viewed as abortion.
Obtaining cells from bone marrow often results in painful destruction of the bone marrow itself.
Embryonic cells that have been stored over time have been shown to produce certain chromosomes that create cancer cells.
Cons: Pros: In the news... Recently the U.S. has made 13 new embryonic-stem-cell lines avalible for reseach supported by fedral funds. President Obama has lifted the ban on that George W. Bush had enforced back in 2001. So he is now allowing scientists to reseach any exsisting stem cell lines no matter when it was created as long as it was created in a scientifically responsible manner. Researchers are absolutly thrilled by this because for a long time there had been nothing avalible that they could study using taxpayer dollars. With more and more cells lines becoming avaalible this will give researchers the ability to study more of the basic human development and disease development, screen new drugs for their effectiveness against disease and create entirely new therapies. By: Taylor Robertson So what's the issue? The controversy that lies behind stem cell research is whether or not it should be supported with government funding. Since it is very forigen to most, there is still so much to be discovered but who knows if it will turn out to be anything useful. Scientists could find more risks in using stem cells rather then benefits. Therefore it could be wasting money that would've been used for more stable research.
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