Topic: Stem Cell Research paper

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Stem cell research has gained prominence among many scientists and researchers alike for a variety of reasons. Stem cells can be described as biological cells which exist in multicelluar organisms which can divide into different cell types and can renew themselves to produce more stem cells. This paper is going to unravel the issues and controversies that surround stem cell research technologies.
Stem cells usually develop into several different cell types in the body during their early life in their growth. They act as internal repair tissues where they repair other cells as long as the body is still alive. Whenever these cells divide, they can morph into a new cell with a more specialised function in the body such as a brain cell or they can remain a stem cell. Stem cells are therefore unique when compared with other body cells because they are able to divide and replace worn out tissues in the body. The ability of
stem cells to regenerate offers possibility of using these cells for cell-based therapies in
the treatment of several diseases (Solo & Pressberg 44-46).
Until very recently, scientists had to work with two kinds of stem cells form animals, embryonic stem cells and non-embryonic stem cells. Scientists discovered how to derive embryonic stem cells from mouse embryos about three decades ago and subsequent research tests led to the discovery of ways to derive stem cells from human embryos and growing these cells in a laboratory. These cells known as human embryonic cells have been used in artificial fertilisation procedures to help people get children.
These cells are considered to have contributed immensely to the process of artificial fertilisation without any sexual intercourse between a man and a woman (Solo & Pressberg 52-54).
Stem cell research which today still remains a controversial topic has many benefits that can be adopted if it is well utilised. Research studies into stem cells have unravelled discoveries about the ability of these cells to screen new forms of drugs and medications which were not known before in medical studies. Stem cell research for a long time has been done to uncover methods through which birth defects can be corrected and how to rejuvenate skin disorders. Cancer therapies can also have a significant boost
from stem cell research technologies because of their ability to regenerate damaged tissue
(Solo & Pressberg 56).
However, more knowledge is still needed to uncover the impacts of these regenerative stem cells in combating cancer and other genetic disorders. Further research into the workings of embryonic stem cells can help to come up with therapies which can be of great benefit in eliminating several disorders and diseases from the human body.
There haven’t been any approved embryonic stem cells therapy in the medical field as yet because of ethical and regulatory issues by many governments the world over. The health sector stands to lose if stem cell therapies are not adopted for some chronic health conditions whose treatment has proved to be too expensive (Solo & Pressberg 57).
Treatments and cures to diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injuries , diabetes, cancer and even schizophrenia. These conditions are known to be very expensive to treat and a big number of people lose their lives worldwide because of lack of appropriate therapies that are needed to combat these conditions. Increased funding into stem cell research puts scientists at an advantage of carrying out extensive research into growth and development of human tissues. For instance, scientists have suggested from their studies that stem cell research can help into the development of severed limbs and dysfunctional body organs (Solo & Pressberg 62-64).
This provides a potential way in which malignant infections can be easily rejuvenated to do away with costly amputations of limbs especially after dangerous accidents have occurred. If stem cell research is given the support required, scientists and doctors can be able to test the effect a drug obtained from this research can have on treatment without using animals or humans to carry out the tests. This would provide an effective way of testing the drug’s efficacy without putting human beings and animals
into harm as has been in the past (Solo & Pressberg 66).
Stem cell research has the benefit of allowing the study of development stages that cannot be studied directly in a human embryo before birth. Birth defects, pregnancy loss and infertility can be easily ascertained which can allow doctors to come up with remedies beforehand to correct these defects, allowing for a more fulfilling life for the unborn child and the parents alike. This creates a situation whereby medical workers and scientists have a better understanding of normal human development which can allow the treatment of abnormal human development (Solo & Pressberg 67-68).
One of its most notable contributions is that it can help to reverse the effects which are experienced by the human body due to aging. This means that stem cell research therapies can have remedies for various medical conditions brought about by old age thereby limiting the amount of expenses incurred for dispensing treatments to the elderly. Many western governments have been known to have high numbers of the elderly who are dependant on the state welfare schemes. Therefore old people can carry
on with their productivity levels without being disrupted by health conditions that make
them to become grounded (Solo & Pressberg 68).
A patient’s own cells can be used to treat diseases especially if the patient is an adult. Regeneration of the cells can be used to eliminate worn out body tissues because a patient’s body cannot reject its own cells. Therefore risks associated with the body being allergic to a drug administered are considerably reduced. This is because, embryonic stem cells can develop embryonic stem cells can develop into any cell type in the body and they can easily replace the worn out tissue in the body thereby giving the patient an effective treatment (Solo & Pressberg 69).
There have been opponents of stem cell research and the possibility of its usage in advancing medical remedies in healthcare in various parts of the world. There are some dangers that can be realised if stem cell research would be used for various scientific purposes. The use of embryonic stem cells in research usually causes destruction of blastocysts formed by artificially fertilised human ovaries. Since life begins at conception, the blastocyst is a human life and to destroy it is ethically and morally wrong
because potential life is taken away (Solo & Pressberg 72).
Stem cell technology is relatively unknown and therefore, the long time effects of its usage on humans may not be fully known some of which may prove harmful in the long-run. These embryonic stem cells may not be a solution for all ailments and their usage in therapy may have adverse consequences to the human body. The usage of drugs gotten from embryonic stem cells may cause the body to become resistant to these drugs and they also contribute to the mutation of these diseases to newer and more potent versions whose cure may become difficult to find (Solo & Pressberg 72-74).
Most adult stem cells are specialised in their functions and therefore, getting an effective set of stem cells to regenerate worn out tissue may become difficult because of the genetic predisposition of a patient. Therefore, the usage of stem cells in the regeneration and replacement of some tissue may not necessarily have positive results for the patient. Embryonic stem cells used for therapy may not have been derived from a patient’s body and as a result, they may not have the necessary curative effect on the patient body. This is because the patients’ body can reject the embryonic cells (Solo &
Pressberg 74).
In conclusion, scientists and policy makers alike need to evaluate their views and opinions concerning stem cell research. Scientists should be encouraged to carry out more studies to find out ways in which stem cell technology can be used for mankind’s benefit without exposing people to dangers associated with the technology. The moral issues which have made many critics of the technology to look at its proponents with suspicion need to be addressed so that they are made aware of the benefits of this
technology.

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