Stem Cell Research Essay Outline

Submitted By maitai307
Words: 820
Pages: 4

Stem Cell Research

Stem cell research has caused much controversy over the last several years. The controversy involves the religious and moral views of those persons who would argue the viability of an embryo at a certain gestational age. It is important that science pursue the necessary research while keeping in mind any ethical issues. My view is for this research and I will explain that opinion by expanding your knowledge on the types of stem cells available. A few important facts I have found and giving you a brief personal story on how stem cells have impacted a life in a positive way.
There are three types of stem cells. The first I am going to address is the most controversial and that is embryonic stem cells. These cells only exist at the early stages of embryonic development and are capable of making any cell type in the body. They are also known as blastocyst. An embryo that develops 5 days after the fertilization of an egg by a sperm. The cells fertilized in a laboratory dish and never implanted in a uterus. They are usually donated from IVF treatments that are unused and will most likely be discarded otherwise. It contains all the material necessary for the development of a complete human being. The blastocyst is a mostly hollow sphere of cells that is smaller than the period at the end of a sentence. Ideally they are capable of dividing and making copies of themselves indefinitely. The second type of cell I am going to discuss is adult stem cells, also known as tissue specific stem cells. They are found in adults, children, newborns and developing fetuses. Adult stem cells are limited in their capacity to replace themselves and are specialized to the specific tissues and organs they can address. Such as brain, bone marrow, peripheral blood, blood vessels, skeletal muscle, skin, teeth, heart, gut, liver, ovarian epithelium, and testis. Blood stem cells, found in adult cells are the only proven stem cell therapies. This is also known as a blood and marrow transplant program for treatment of leukemia, lymphoma, neuroblastoma, bone and soft tissue sarcomas and brain tumors. Also an Australian stem cell research team are using it to treat macular degeneration and blindness. The third type of stem cells I will briefly touch on is iPS stem cells also called Induced pluripotent stem cells. These are adult stem cells that have been reprogrammed to behave like embryonic stem cells. Depending on the methods used, reprogramming of adult cells to obtain these cells may pose significant risks that could limit their use in humans. For example, if viruses are used to alter the cells, then cancer-causing genes, oncogenes may potentially be triggered. In February 2008, scientists announced the discovery of a technique that could remove oncogenes after the induction of pluripotency, therefore increasing the possible use of iPS cells in human diseases. However there is still much to be researched. As I have acknowledged in the introduction I have a brief personal story to explain why I believe the continued research and use of stem…