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The Controversy of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

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Thurgah Rajapathy

on 7 February 2013

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Transcript of The Controversy of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

The Controversy of
Embryonic Stem Cell Research Presented By: Thurgah Rajapathy Have scientists been successful in using non-embryonic stem cells to treat disease? Have scientists been successful in using embryonic stem cells to treat disease? What are Stem Cells? Stem Cells An unspecialized cell that can produce during one cell division, one identical twin daughter cell that can undergo further differentiation Embryonic stem cells Are those produced very early in human development. A few days after a human egg is fertilized by sperm and begins to divide Adult Stem Cells Stem cells found in various locations in the adult human body, including the skin, bone marrow, muscles etc. Their main function is to repair and renew damaged tissue by replenishing the body’s supply of cells. Why are stem cells useful? When a baby of any animal or species is formed these cells become all major parts of the body They are for the most part undifferentiated (embryonic more so than adult more on this later) meaning that they can become anything for example a heart, liver, bone, skin particle etc. Medical science wants to use these to construct new organs for patients with head trauma, heart problems, need kidney transplants, and just about anyone that needs a new organ The stem cells are isolated by transferring cell mass from the blastocyst (5 day old mass of cells) into a culture dish where they divide and spread. As they divide and spread they are removed and placed into new culture dishes. This subculturing is repeated many many times creating, after 6 months of dividing, a stem cell line. Batches of these cells are frozen and sent to other laboratories for further culturing and experimentation. Stem Cells in Pop Culture Controversy Cons of embryonic stem cells Pro's of embryonic stem cells Stem cells are nature's blank slates, capable of developing into any of the nearly 200 cell types that make up the human body. But are there alternatives? Stem cells found in amniotic fluid can be transformed into a more versatile state similar to embryonic stem cells, according to a study published July 3 in the journal Molecular Therapy. It is possible to take stem cells from amniotic fluid and reprogram them to a more versatile "pluripotent" state similar to embryonic stem cells and do this without inserting extra genes. Researchers used stem cells from amniotic fluid donated by mothers undergoing amniocentesis for other purposes during the first trimester of pregnancy. The cells were grown on a gelatinous protein mixture in the lab and reprogrammed into a more primitive state by adding a drug called valproic acid to the culture medium. Extensive tests found that these reprogrammed cells have characteristics very similar to embryonic stem cells. Even after growing in culture for some time, the reprogrammed cells were able to develop into functioning cells of many different types, including liver, bone and nerve cells. They also maintained their pluripotency even after being frozen and rethawed. Source from CNN Centers charge between $6,500 and $15,000 per cycle, according to Dr. Andrew Toledo, the CEO of Reproductive Biology Associates in Atlanta. RBA in Atlanta charges $7,600 per cycle, and NYU charges $12,000. Shapiro at RBA estimates that a woman who freezes her eggs between the ages of 32 and 35 will have a 40 to 50% chance of achieving a successful pregnancy. If freezing between ages 35 and 38, the rate goes down to 35%. If freezing at 39 or 40, it's 20 to 25%, and if freezing eggs over age 40, the success rate will be less than 10%. Most people after having the desired number of children don't want children anymore and leave eggs in fertilization centers all across the United States Source from The New York Times People cannot decide what to do with these embryos "Although the couple, who live in Brentwood, Tenn., have known for years that they wanted no more children, deciding what to do with the extra embryos has been a dilemma. He would have them discarded; she cannot." Claimed that number of embryos is growing by 400,000 each year "Many couples are so desperate to have a child that when eggs are fertilized in the clinic, they want to create as many embryos as possible, to maximize their chances"-Dr. Lyerly Range of Cultural Views "Numerous nations, states, cultures, and religious traditions have considered it important to review their policies and moral judgments on human embryo research in the light of these new developments." Sources “CIVIL LAW -- FEDERAL FUNDING OF HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH -- D.C. CIRCUIT VACATES DISTRICT COURT'S PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION OF FEDERAL FUNDING FOR RESEARCH USING HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS. --Sherley v. Sebelius, 644 F.3d 388 (D.C. Cir. 2011).” Harvard Law Review. Dec2011, Vol. 125 Issue 2, p626-633. 8p. (Web). 25 November 2012 Cohen, Elizabeth. "Freezing your eggs the costs and other realities." CNN Health 06 Oct 2011, n. pag. Print. <http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/06/health/fertility-eggs-embryos-empowered-patient/index.html>. L. Kenner, et al. "New Perspectives In Stem Cell Research: Beyond Embryonic Stem Cells." Cell Proliferation 44.(2011): 9-14. Academic Search Premier. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. Reece, Jane, Lisa Urry, Michael Cain, Steven Wasserman, Peter Minorsky, and Robert Jackson. Campbell Biology. 9. San Francisco: Pearson Education Inc., 2011. 415-417. Print. "Stem Cells." Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection. Gale, Cengage Learning, 2010.Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. Document URLhttp://ic.galegroup.com.rlib.pace.edu/ic/ovic/ReferenceDetailsPage/ReferenceDetailsWindow?failOverType=&query=&windowstate=normal&contentModules=&mode=view&displayGroupName=Reference&limiter=&currPage=&disableHighlighting=true&source=&sortBy=&displayGroups=&search_within_results=&action=e&catId=GALE%7C00000000LVZ5&activityType=&scanId=&documentId=GALE%7CPC3010999132&userGroupName=pace44258&jsid=2c77ee26f13cfeb2609f634c56e6d1a7 "immoral, illegal, and unnecessary." "an isolated fertilized egg does not enjoy the full status of personhood." what would be "immoral and unethical" is cutting off funds for promising medical research.
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