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Stem Cell Research (TOK Presentation)

In depth look at the claims and knowledge issues of stem cell research

Kevin Roy

on 23 May 2011

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Transcript of Stem Cell Research (TOK Presentation)

Stem Cell Research What Are Stem Cells? Stem cells have the amazing potential to develop into almost every cell type in the body during the early life and growth stages. In addition to that, they can serve as an internal repair system for damaged cells, tissue, and organs. There are Two Main Kinds of Stem Cells Embryonic Somatic Extracted from the embryo
of a newly fertilized egg Somatic cells are found in mature adult tissue and are harder to extract Goals of Stem Cell Research? The goal of stem cell research is hopefully one day we will get to a point where stem cells can be used to regrow body parts and undo the damage that a disease has plagued someone with. Such diseases that might become curable are Alzheimer's, Sickle cell, Parkinson's and even injuries such as one to the spinal cord. Embryonic Stem Cells Embryonic cells are attained from a blastocyst, or an egg that is fertilized before the embryo begins to form inside the egg. The controversy over stem cells is from the destruction of fertilized human eggs when harvesting embryonic stem cells, therefore killing the human child that the egg could have developed into. Currently, scientists and researchers are only using embryos that are unwanted and would already not be given an opportunity to develop into a human being.* *-This is a major part of the issue as many people dispute the actual time an embryo becomes a living human. Pro Life and Pro Science Pro Life The controversy over embryonic stem cell research centers on whether human life in the form of an embryo less than two weeks after conception is also a human person. They clearly have the potential to become a newborn some 9 months in the future. But most people in the pro-life and pro-choice movements disagree about whether it is a person when it is at the pre-embryo stage. Pro Science While extracting the embryonic stem cells from a fertilized embryo may be controversial, the benefits are too good to ignore. Researchers to hold potential cures for spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, hundreds of rare immune system and genetic disorders and much more. Claim The process of extracting embryonic stem cells kills human life. If one believes that the pre-embryo is a human being then that person is murdered in a sense. Human cloning has proven that life begins at conception, thus making any destruction after conception an act of killing. In most cases, people with pro-life views are religiously affiliated stating that god is the only one able to make the decision of what is the right and wrong. While other pro life affiliates argue that the unalienable right of life that is guaranteed by the constitution is broken when an embryo is killed and harvested for stem cells. Knowledge Issue The time at which an embryo actually becomes “life” or a person is not certain. There are multiple views out there that say when an embryo truly becomes life, but none that everyone can agree on. Claim Embryonic stem cells are the most benefical kind of stem cell, and despite the fact that they are harvested controversially, the medical benefits they provide outweigh the consequences. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent meaning that they can form into any cell in the body, while adult stem cells are limited among which cells they can reproduce as. Embryonic stem cells are considered life saving cells and with help of improving technology, scientists hope that these cells will lead to cures to uncurable diseases. Knowledge Issue Is it our decision to judge how important a life is worth? End
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