EWS 425 Final Essay

Submitted By bcortez1970
Words: 3145
Pages: 13

Brandon Cortez
Professor D’Arcangelis
EWS 425
12 June 2014
Stem Cell Research, Labor, and the Acknowledgement of Women The introduction of stem cell research and the benefits it could provide bring about the essential economic role of women from this emerging private sector. The rapidly expanding regenerative medical field is growing exponentially around the world, with the focal point revolving around women because they are the primary donors of stem cell material. The use of stem cell research is highly controversial due to the methods and transaction of stem cells, which exploits women and is used as a method of labor. Women are used as a means to an end a cheap alternative to harvest medical research material with, at times, hardly any consent. Female body productivity fuels the research almost entirely, yet women are not recognized or acknowledged for the economic role they play in stem cell research. Instead they are exploited by the development of the stem cell research industry. As a result, this is causing a shift in the global capitalist bioeconomy transactional exchange of women’s biological material for regenerative potential. Even in the case of a transactional exchange where women are compensated for their donation of stem cells, it would only amounts to a fraction of the final price of the procedure and profit doctors as well as the research companies earn. There are different means of obtaining stem cells; however, negotiation with female donors is necessary because donations from women are the main source of samples for stem cell research. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can both renew themselves by dividing and give rise to one or more specialized cell types with specific functions to the body. For example, one of the most sought after stem cell is the “pluripotent” because it acts as a repair system for the body by regenerating biological tissue. This is a stem cell of interest because researchers believe in the future the mass production of pluripotent could lead to an unlimited supply of transplant tissue. The use and manipulation of stem cells have enormous potential in the medical, health, and research fields. Currently scientists are studying and unlocking how stem cells transformation and their diversity that makes humans what they are today. Diseases and conditions that do not have any current cures, such as cancer or birth defects occur because of problems in the differentiation process. It is important to study the development process of these diseases and conditions because it can lead to an understanding of the development that happens in normal cells will help scientists treat the developmental errors that occur. Another potential application of stem cells is the formation of cells and tissues for medical therapies. The current method for the replacement of organs and tissues that are damaged or dysfunctional is through the donor system. Unfortunately the amount of people on the transplant waiting list outweighs the number of available organs and people often die awaiting transfers. Stem cells could possibly be a source of replacement cells to treat disease as well as serve as an alternative method to reduce the wait time on the transplant list. By stimulating stem cells and directing them into specialized cell types stem cells, researches could potentially reverse diseases. For example, a patient who has suffered from a heart attack and now has damaged heart tissue; through the use of stem cells doctors could possibly replace the damaged tissue with healthy new tissue and save a person’s life. Another instance in that of Parkinson’s Disease, which is a degenerative disorder of the nervous system where cell death in the midbrain occurs causing shaking slow movement and trouble walking. These dying cells could hopefully be replaced with new healthy and functioning brain stem cells reversing the disorder. In addition, another benefit from using stem cells is the reverse of genetic