Stem Cell Research Essay

Submitted By badluck4u13
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Pages: 5

Stem Cell Research: Should It Continue?

Since the topic of stem cell research has been introduced people have been arguing over whether it is ethical or not. Embryonic stem cell research is very controversial whereas, adult stem cell research is not controversial. Since Obama lifted the in 2009, many research labs have received grants. One example is Stanford researchers received a twenty million dollar, four-year grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine because their studies in stem cell therapies for heart failure and immune disorder showed so much promise (Conger) People sometimes debate or argue about the ethicalness of stem cell research, but do they know the basic facts about stem cells or the research that goes into them? There are three or four types of stem cells; it depends on whom you ask. The types are totipotent, pluripotent and multipotent. The fourth type could be induced pluripotent stem cells, which are pluripotent cells that have been programed to act like embryonic stem cells. (ISSCR)
Totipotent stem cells are taken from the early embryo and can become any type of cell. However, they cause disputes because they kill the embryo at such an early stage (University of Wisconsin). Pluripotent cells are a form of stem cells comes from an embryo once it reaches the blastocyst stage. They are still controversial because they come from totipotent stem cells, but are still less controversial. Pluripotent stem cells can become almost every type of cell, except placenta tissue (University of Wisconsin). Multipotent stem cells come from adult cells and are not controversial.
Some people oppose stem cell research because it is performed on pluripotent stem cells, which essentially kills embryos. Former President George W. Bush put a ban on government funded stem cell research in 2001. This was because he wanted to protect human life. However, President Barack Obama lifted the ban in 2009, allowing embryonic stem cell research to be funded by the government (CBS News). There are bountiful reasons that stem cell research should be supported. First, in May of 2012, researchers at the University of Wisconsin announced that they were able to make cardiomyocytes. Cardiomyocytes are the main cells that make up a beating heart. With these cells, they will be able to cure people of heart disease. They will also be able to use their lab created cardiomyocytes to study the disease further. This study will take more development, because at current the time, their cardiomyocytes do not usually grow healthy and if they do grow healthy, they die soon after. (Devitt) A second study that promotes the support of stem cell research is a new development towards an effective treatment for Huntington’s disease announced in March of 2012. Huntington’s disease slowly causes muscle movement and coordination to deteriorate, and eventually causes death. The researchers at the University of Wisconsin have taken stem cells and changed them into a special type of brain cell called GABA neurons. The treatment was tested on a mouse model of Huntington’s disease by injecting it with the induced stem cells and was surprisingly effective. The cells not only integrated with the existing brain cells, but also reestablished the broken connection of the network, thus restoring muscle movement and function. Though promising, this will take quite a bit more time to move up to human patients. (Devitt) It appears that personalized treatment is no longer just a fantasy of the future. These all show obvious reasons why stem cell research has huge potential and should be supported. Though stem cell research might be able to cure deadly diseases, there are reasons why people oppose it that cannot be overlooked. Firstly, it is unethical to kill an embryo. Once the embryo is used for regenerative purposes, the embryo can no longer be used for reproduction, essentially destroying it (University of Wisconsin). It is also commonly