However, these funds were only to be awarded for research on already existing stem cell lines. No funding was to be granted for "the use of stem cell lines derived from newly destroyed embryos, the creation of any human embryos for research purposes, or cloning of human embryos for any purposes" The debate over funding for embryonic stem cell research depends heavily on the ethical status of the research.
There are two main arguments surrounding the ethics of embryonic stem cell research: Ultimately, the possible benefits and controversial status of life that an embryo embodies qualify embryonic stem cell research as ethical, as long as the stem cells are obtained in an ethical manner. In the realm of stem cell research, embryonic and adult stem cells are often compared. The controversial use of embryonic stem cells is supported on the basis of the many advantages that they have over adult stem cells.
Embryonic stem cells are easier to obtain; they have a greater cell growth, otherwise known as proliferation, capacity; and they are more versatile. Embryonic stem cells are isolated from embryos in the blastocyst stage and the process damages the structure of the embryo to a point from which the embryo can no longer develop. Because these stem cells are obtained at a point when the inner cell mass is concentrated in the embryo, they are more easily obtained than adult stem cells, which are limited in quantity.
Another valuable benefit of embryonic stem cells is their ability to multiply readily and proliferate indefinitely when cultured in the proper conditions Devolder 9. Lastly, embryonic stem cells' pluripotent quality is the main factor that distinguishes them from adult stem cells The ability to differentiate into any cell type creates greater possibilities for the application of embryonic stem cells.
Supporters of embryonic stem cell research argue that the research is justified, though it requires the destruction of an embryo, because of the potential for developing cures and preventing unavoidable suffering. These backers often disagree with the belief that "a blastocyst — even one that is not implanted in a woman's uterus — has the same ethical status as a further-developed human" Clemmitt Arthur Caplan, professor of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania, asserts that "an embryo in a dish is more like a set of instructions or blueprint for a house.
It can't build the house. For the cells to develop into a human being requires an interactive process in the uterus between the embryo and the mother" Clemmitt Others in favor of the research, such as Heron, a biotechnology company, claim that "not to develop the technology would do great harm to over million patients in the United States alone who are affected by diseases potentially treatable by the many medical applications of hES [human Embryonic Stem] cells" Holland One example is the previously stated method of using embryonic stem cells to repair damaged tissue or organs.
The only way to restore cellular function in an organ is to literally replace the lost cells and embryonic stem cells provide the best option for producing these cells 3. Embryonic stem cells do also have some disadvantages that should be considered when making the argument for further support of embryonic stem cell research.
Unlike adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells have a higher risk of causing tumor formation in the patient's body after the stem cells are implanted.
This is due to their higher capacities for proliferation and differentiation Devolder Embryonic stem cell-based therapies also possess the risk of immunorejection — rejection of the stem cells by the patient's immune system.
Because embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos donated for research after in vitro fertilization treatment, the marker molecules on the surfaces of the cells may not be recognized by the patient's body, and therefore may be destroyed as the result of a defense mechanism by the body Holland This is a problem that will require a solution if embryonic stem cell research is to be the basis for future therapeutic medicine.
Currently, the isolation of embryonic stem cells requires the destruction of an early embryo. Many people hold the belief that a human embryo has significant moral status, and therefore should not be used merely as a means for research. One position that opponents of embryonic stem cell research assert is what "The Ethics of Embryonic Stem Cell Research" calls the full moral status view This view holds that "the early embryo has the same moral status, that is, the same basic moral rights, claims, or interests as an ordinary adult human being.
Therefore, with full moral status as a human being, an embryo should not be deliberately destroyed for research purposes simply because it is human Devolder The Roman Catholic Church is a strong supporter of this view, opposing stem cell research on the grounds that it is a form of abortion. Several other groups, including American evangelicals and Orthodox ethicists, consider "blastocysts to have the same status as fully developed human beings" and therefore oppose embryonic stem cell research for this reason.
Beliefs regarding the moral status of an embryo are subjective, and also their own controversial issue, which complicates the task of creating a universal law for the use of embryonic stem cells for research. Others in opposition, such as Kevin T. Fitzgerald, a Jesuit priest who is a bioethicist and professor of oncology at Georgetown University Medical School, do not consider the moral status of an embryo, but rather assert that Embryos should be protected because they are "that which we all once were" Clemmitt This view is very similar to moral philosopher and professor of philosophy as the University of California at Irvine Philip Nickel's "Loss of Future Life Problem" in regards to embryonic stem cell research.
The Loss of Future Life Problem holds that it is unethical to take the lives of future humans by destroying embryos for research Tobis This stance stresses the potential of those future lives that will never have the chance to reach fulfillment if destroyed for research. This free service is available to anyone who has published and whose publication is in Scopus.
Researcher Academy Author Services Try out personalized alert features. The most downloaded articles from Stem Cell Research in the last 90 days. Stem cell treatment of degenerative eye disease May Comparison of 2D and 3D neural induction methods for the generation of neural progenitor cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells December Optimized procedures for generating an enhanced, near physiological 2D culture system from porcine intestinal organoids April Spermatogonial stem cells and spermatogenesis in mice, monkeys and men May Novel markers of osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation of human bone marrow stromal cells identified using a quantitative proteomics approach January Feedback control of pluripotency in embryonic stem cells: Signaling, transcription and epigenetics May Cell surface markers for the identification and study of human naive pluripotent stem cells January In , researchers made another breakthrough by identifying conditions that would allow some specialized adult cells to be "reprogrammed" genetically to assume a stem cell-like state.
This new type of stem cell, called induced pluripotent stem cells iPSCs , will be discussed in a later section of this document. Stem cells are important for living organisms for many reasons. In the 3- to 5-day-old embryo, called a blastocyst , the inner cells give rise to the entire body of the organism, including all of the many specialized cell types and organs such as the heart, lungs, skin, sperm, eggs and other tissues.
In some adult tissues, such as bone marrow, muscle, and brain, discrete populations of adult stem cells generate replacements for cells that are lost through normal wear and tear, injury, or disease. Given their unique regenerative abilities, stem cells offer new potentials for treating diseases such as diabetes, and heart disease. However, much work remains to be done in the laboratory and the clinic to understand how to use these cells for cell-based therapies to treat disease, which is also referred to as regenerative or reparative medicine.
Scientists are already using stem cells in the laboratory to screen new drugs and to develop model systems to study normal growth and identify the causes of birth defects. Research on stem cells continues to advance knowledge about how an organism develops from a single cell and how healthy cells replace damaged cells in adult organisms.
Stem cell research is one of the most fascinating areas of contemporary biology, but, as with many expanding fields of scientific inquiry, research on stem cells raises scientific questions as rapidly as it generates new discoveries. National Institutes of Health, U.
- Stem Cell Research Stem cells are a large focus of study in today's biomedical world. Stem cell research offers the hope of transplants being done without the sacrifice of another person losing an organ. There are many different pros and cons when it comes to discussing the use of stem cells.
Advances in stem cell research The history of this cells’ research is for more than 5 decades. In the early , there was the discovery that the bone marrow has at least two different types of stem cells.
Stem Cell Research is dedicated to publishing high-quality manuscripts focusing on the biology and applications of stem cell research. Submissions to Stem Cell Research, may cover all aspects of stem cells, including embryonic stem cells, tissue-specific stem cells, cancerstem cells, developmental studies, genomics and translational research. Stem cell research is one of the most fascinating areas of contemporary biology, but, as with many expanding fields of scientific inquiry, research on stem cells raises scientific questions as rapidly as it generates new discoveries.
Ultimately, the possible benefits and controversial status of life that an embryo embodies qualify embryonic stem cell research as ethical, as long as the stem cells are obtained in an ethical manner. Arguments for Embryonic Stem Cell Research. In the realm of stem cell research, embryonic and adult stem cells are often compared. The most downloaded articles from Stem Cell Research in the last 90 days. The most downloaded articles from Stem Cell Research in the last 90 days. Source Normalized Impact per Paper Spermatogonial stem cells and spermatogenesis in mice, monkeys and men. May