The applications of stem cells

Review of Literature

Stem cells research is still in its early phase with the research started in human embryonic stem cells not more than 10 years. Adult stem cells only recently realize to have more prospective than earlier thought.

In http://dels.nas.edu/bls/stemcells/working-with-stem-cells.shtml it is stated that stem cells are found in everyone, from the earliest stages of human development to the very last moment of life. All stem cell may be able to be helpful in medical research. Besides that, Stem cells have different types and each gives distinctive promises and limitations, depending on the conditions.

"The embryos that are being discussed, according to science, bear as much resemblance to a human being as a goldfish. We're dealing with flesh and blood people now who feel and deal with real debilitation right now and our obligation is to those who are here."

The main reason for the research is that it could have recovery on many diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. Other purposes of the research are to cultivate replacement tissue that could remedy neurological diseases. Stem cells are ideal opportunity for pharmaceutical developers to test the effect of new drugs. Previously scientist uses mice to test the drugs, even though the mice show reactions and yield results, somehow human are unique species and there is no better substitute.

As a result of researching human stem cells, scientists will be able to gain an improved understanding for the events that take place in embryonic development and study what cause birth defects through investigate the procedures that happen during cell division and differentiation in laboratories.

Despite the vast remedial potential for stem cells to treat a huge array of diseases there are still concerns about potentially hazardous results. Scientists are energized about the possibilities of saving lives from disease but also fears regarding on unpredicted outcomes from stem cell manipulation. With current technologies will trigger a major improvement in stem cell research, the idea of stem cell therapies is no longer unfamiliar or fresh to anyone.

Nevertheless, both scientists and the public should not, in spite of this, simply agree to these technologies without first considering the influence on humanity. Even though the benefits of stem cell therapies are colossal, risks must also be well thought-out.

In http://www.explorestemcells.co.uk/ it is stated the concern of using embryonic stem cells is associated to the quality that made them precious and useful. Embryonic stem cells are new and young cell that will grow in a fast phase. The growth also must be guided by the researcher in proper manner to avoid a production of defected cells.

Stem cells are needed to be 'educated' and directed into specialized cells with intensive care because the risk for residual stem cells to grow unrestrained could be unfortunate for the recipient. These uncontrolled cells could even become tumors and turn into a threat to the body.

Also in the same website it is stated that. At present, scientists are still uncertain of the development of the stem cell differentiation and how to be controlled. An example that recorded was occurred in 2001, when researchers thought they have successfully created cells that can manufacture insulin. This incident was later found to be false because cells had only absorbed insulin from the surroundings which proved failed producing insulin like it suppose to be.

Stem cell therapy could be the best alternative for serious disease. It may even turn to be regular and normal routine for doctors to apply this method. So, it is very important that the safety of these stem cells is guaranteed. Reports and findings should be available for the public to understand. So public could evaluated the method and learn the risk of taking the treatment. The full pros and cons of stem cells must be presented to everyone, especially to those who taking the treatment.

Stem cells have great potential in treating many diseases but they also come with difficulty that must be overcome to ensure their viability. A challenging area is the patient's immune system. It's important to be aware of what occurs during immune rejection before inspect at the special immunological consequences from using embryonic stem cells.

From the website also is stated that. Embryonic stem cells hold colossal possible and advantage for curing disease because they have the capability to differentiate into virtually any tissue in the human body. This means that if scientists can find out how to effectively and undamaged control and adjust their growth, the unspecialized embryonic stem cells can be growth into differentiated specialized cells for almost any kind of tissue in a recipient's body. The problem is that the transplanted cells will likely be acknowledged as unknown and an individual resistant system will reject the potentially lifesaving treatment and cause death.

In http://www.eurostemcell.org/ is stated that stem cells can be used to study improvement in complex living organisms. Besides, stem cells may help us understand how a living organism develops from a fertilized egg to a full grown adult. By indentifying and follow the stem cell dividing process and becoming specialized, scientist can understand what controls a normal development which can be useful in the future in curing genetic diseases.

Also from the same website, it explains why stem cells are unique. Stem cells are unspecialized. Unlike the red blood cell, that brings oxygen in the blood stream, or a muscle cell that makes movement for the body. A stem cell does not carry any specialized physiological properties. Stem cells can be repeating produce an exact same copy of themselves. This process is essential throughout the life of the organism so the cells will be renewed and carry on their specified functions. In contrast, a specialized cell such as blood and muscle do not reproduce themselves. This also means that when the cells are damaged seriously by disease or injury, they won't heal.

Health problems that stem cells could cure

In a web article taken from http://www.usnews.com/ is stated some of the health problems that stem cell research could help in curing them in future days.

Firstly, the spinal cord injury is harm to the spinal cord that causes failure of sensation and motor control. A person who suffers from spinal cord injury would need a long time to recover through rehabilitation. It is a slow process that requires a team of professionals. Including professionals like neurologist, physiatrist, and physical therapist. Other specialists who may be needed include a respiratory therapist, vocational rehabilitation counselor, social worker, nutritionist, special education teacher, and clinical psychologist.

Secondly, the diabetes mellitus is characterized as high blood sugar levels, which result from deficiency in insulin secretion. A person who diagnosed to have diabetes has to cut down on sugar intake to maintain low sugar levels in the blood stream.

Thirdly, the heart disease also a leading cause of death in the world, and stem cells may provide some aid. Researcher promises by injecting new muscle cell in the heart could repair the damaged heart cells and prevent heart attacks. Nevertheless, researchers also have reported achievement in rodents.

Following on is Parkinson's disease. Stem cells may also help those who suffer from Parkinson's, a neurodegenerative disorder that can cause inflexibility on limbs, motor skills and speech problems. Studies show that embryonic stem cells can help in stimulating the dopamine-making neurons that Parkinson's patient needs.

Fourth is Alzheimer's disease. Similarly, embryonic stem cells may aid effectively in Alzheimer's disease, a progressive and fatal disorder that degrades and eradicate brain cells. Thus, the victim will start to experiences memory loss, cognitive skills became low, and some behavioral problems. Stem cells may be the cure.

Fifth is Lung diseases. Via the majestic human embryonic stem cells, researchers in Texas have produced transplantable supply of lung cells. These lung cells could probable use in repairing the damage due to variety of pulmonary conditions or by lung trauma consequential from a car accident or sports injury.

Apart from the above is arthritis, also known as the degenerative joint disease or osteoarthritis. This happens when the protective cartilage in joints worn out. Once it's finished, it is forever. However, stem cells could come to rescue. Scientists are now investigating how to use them to recreate the lost cartilage due to ageing.

Eighth is the Sickle cell anemia. Some stem cell researchers are finding ways to heal several blood disorders, such as sickle cell anemia. This genetic life-long blood disorder could be cured through the only alternative which is stem cell research.

Last but not least, Organ failure. Patients have to wait their turn for suitable organs and it takes long time to get one. With stem cell, doctors can re-plant organ in the patient without worrying the compatibility.

Ethical Analysis

Bush (2001) quoted the issue is debated within the people that holds different perceptions and faiths. Due to this, conclusion can be different. All of the people are looking for more information regarding to the stem cells research. The more they learn the less certain they will say about the correct ethical and moral issues.

Is it acceptable to do research with stem cells, in particular human stem cells? The dispute of whether it is rational to test on animals is a clear glitch when it comes to any scientific argument. Animal is the only best organisms to conduct to the test by scientist. There is no other alternative that is equally as feasible as animals. Most successive research follows with moral and ethical dispute issues, because it is can't be done without using living organisms as test subject to trial the drugs or medicines. How long will it take to determine stem cell is save to use and causes no side-effect remains unanswered.

Currently, the scientific community that is very petty aware of the potential of the stem cells and the public on average fears anything inexperienced and life changing. Does the good will compensate the mischief when it comes to experiments involving stem cells? There are also professional and lawful issues involved in stem cell research so the research being conducted within the limits set by new regulations.

In order to gain more funds, laboratories might become more concentrated on drawing interest from their deduction from the research rather than providing convincing conclusions. Due to privatization of the industry because of insufficient government funding, it become more difficult to regulate and supervise those research. A possibility of a black market for aborted fetuses could available for trading too. This might also encourage a new occupation for a woman of getting pregnant only to get rewarded to have an abortion and acquire the fetus so the stem cell is obtainable.

A vital point in the whole dispute of stem cell research is at what time is life considered to commence for human being? Conservatives believe that from the second that a zygote is produced, a human being will be existent. On the opposite, the liberal will only acknowledge a life form until an organism is capable to stay alive on its own. Unlike embryo that must require a special environment to grow and survive.

Aware of that your body will become a part of scientific experiment after death has a influential negative effect on the human mentality and probably will increases the fear towards death. It is right for the government to support experiments that involve stem cells? By giving money to the laboratories, we might conclude that the government is ultimately supporting in annihilation of organisms lives, or murder. This may be a radical view. Somehow, the money government gives is used in the study of tissue that from aborted fetuses. This issue same apply to the private foundations.

Mandel stated that New Jersey became the first state in the country to gain a public financial support for human embryonic stem cell research, yielding $5 million to 17 scientists at institution of higher education, nonprofit and corporate laboratories. The work will be focused on possible therapies for numerous disorders.

Embryonic stem cell research is similar to abortion to those who against the research. They consider that the embryo is a form life because it has the chance to completely rise into a healthy human. So, to them the research is immoral and unethical to annihilate one life to save another.

In http://www.explorestemcells.co.uk/ it is stated that. By using stem cells and disposing the embryo, it is assume that a human life is being de-valued by this research and making an opening for further scientific procedures that would do the similarly activity. Many religious groups also had damned the evil embryonic stem cell research and all of its applications.

Also in http://www.time.com is stated that. Is destroying that microscopic dot equivalent of stabbing a knife into the chest of an innocent 3-year-old boy?

Ethical concerns: extracting stem cells

In http://www.religioustolerance.org/ website stated the comments by pro-life group.

Founder Dr. James Dobson (2000) stated. Isolating and culturing stem cells must kill a living, human embryo and is unavoidable. Kill one to save another to benefit another is never morally or ethically justifiable. Undisputed, through the destruction of the embryos, the most fundamental human being, the embryonic stem cell research just violated the medical ethic.

Referring to the stem cell harvesting procedure, Keeler (2000) said it kills the unborn child. He also noted that Human Embryo Research Panel and President Clinton's National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) both established that the human embryo must be treated equal as life and deserves the most basic human rights, to be respected as a typical human life. Bauer, a former presidential candidate and pro-lifer stated stem cell research morally bankrupt.

Why shouldn't we use embryonic stem cells for cures and research?

In http://www.catholicweekly.com.au/, Dr Amin Abboud stated the reasons why we should not use embryonic stem cells for cures and research. Also in http://www.prolifetraining.com/, Klusendorf examined the stem cell research ethics.

Klusendort stated that embryos are not stem cells. Stem cells can multiply at a great speed. They are unspecialized cells that can reproduce themselves and grow new organs for the body. All 210 different types of human tissue stem from these primal cells. Because they are possible to develop into almost any kind of tissue such as nerves, bones, and muscle. Researchers have faith in inauguration of fine stem cells into a patient may repair lost function to damaged organs, especially the brain.

Human embryos have plentiful resource of stem cells which scientists are enthusiastic to gather in expectation of treating Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and other illnesses.

Stem cells: cancer risk warning

"The stem cell treatments ranged in quality and safety but very few, if any, offered genuine hope."

In http://www.catholicweekly.com.au/ it is clearly stated the cancer risk warning written by Chris Lindsay. Embryonic stem cells are dangerous as it would cause cancer at a certain chance. If, the body immune system rejected the implant, a malign cancer cell would be formed. Dr Amin Abboud, an authority on medical ethics and health law examined the possible threat of stem cell treatment. Also in http://www.theage.com.au/ stated the stem cell treatment can be ugly at sometimes.

Funding the Embryonic Stem Cell Research

In http://www.genengnews.com/ it is stated that almost all stem cell research funding initiatives presently being measured on the state level involves bond issues that, when all is said and done, will cost tax payers at least twice their real investment in embryonic stem cell research related expenses.

In http://usliberals.about.com/ stated that for many years, all polls conclusion that the American public strongly agree on the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

In http://www.thehastingscenter.org/ it is stated that on the 9th of March, President Obama removed the limitations on federal funding of research on embryonic stem cell lines. Also means that destroy human embryos is made easier currently.

Malaysia Government Respond on Stem Cell Research

From http://medicine.com.my/ it is stated Malaysia had already supported the stem cells research by allocating a sum of RM32 million to develop, research the cord blood banking infrastructure and stem cells researching activities in the country. Health Minister Datuk Liow said RM5.86 million was use to put up a stem cell transplantation laboratory, while RM18.87 million was for the extension of the cord banking in the local hospital.

However, he is concern about the ethical issues and problems and he warned all research must be following the guidelines and regulations to avoid troubles. In order to protect all the potential patients, Liow also stated the improvement and appliance of new, pioneering and trial cell therapy was also subject to the authorization of the ministry. Similar to all tentative treatments, stem cell therapy mist obey all the ethical guidelines agreed and subject to precise scientific analysis not only for effectiveness but for any long term undesirable effects.

Please be aware that the free essay that you were just reading was not written by us. This essay, and all of the others available to view on the website, were provided to us by students in exchange for services that we offer. This relationship helps our students to get an even better deal while also contributing to the biggest free essay resource in the UK!