70 likes | 171 Vues
Stem Cell Research. What are the purposes of stem cells?. Inject stem cells into damaged tissue areas and stem cells regenerate damaged areas Being proposed as a solution for almost any type of sickness, damage, or disease
E N D
What are the purposes of stem cells? • Inject stem cells into damaged tissue areas and stem cells regenerate damaged areas • Being proposed as a solution for almost any type of sickness, damage, or disease • Examples: Parkinson’s, Cancer, Diabetes, Heart disease, paralysis, amputated limbs, etc.
What’s a stem cell • Basically a completely unspecialized human cell which can become ANY tissue in the body • Comes from two sources: • Embryos: at 4-5 days after fertilization, the embryo is taken and destroyed and the stem cells from that embryo are put into culture to divide into many thousands of stem cells • Adult tissue: in our adult bodies and umbilical cords we have stores of stem cells waiting on hand for possible tissue damage; these are extracted basically through a simple blood sample type procedure
How do we obtain Embryonic Stem Cells • Main source is from frozen embryos at IVF (in-vitro fertilization) clinics • Anywhere from 400,000 to 1 million embryos exist in frozen storage lockers at IVF clinics throughout the USA • With no real purpose or way of dealing with such numbers, embryonic stem cell researchers purchase embryos from these clinics to conduct research
What are the main ethical issues with Embryonic Stem Cell Research • A human embryo is always destroyed to harvest its stem cells AKA persons are killed • It reinforces the notion that EVERYTHING is basically raw material for scientific research • It reinforces the notion that you are not a person or worthy of protection unless you can think, feel, talk, reason, act like an adult human being • Scientifically/medically embryonic stem cell research has been ineffective at producing cures for real problems
Embryonic vs. Adult Progress of embryonic stem cell treatments Progress of adult stem cell research Proven cures/treatment for over 70 different conditions from cancer to multiple sclerosis to severe tissue/muscle loss Constantly growing and expanding into other parts of medicine No anti-rejection drugs necessary for treatment Much less complicated process for obtaining the cells: blood sample to cultureto injection or coating treatment • No actual cures of any disease or tissue loss to date • Only received FDA approval in three clinical trials • Most famous company devoted to embryonic research (Geron) had to close its trials due to lack of funds • Scientifically more complicated: anti-rejection drugs needed, prone to forming tumors, more steps in whole process