You are on page 1of 7

1

Science
The Embryonic Stem Cell Research Debate
Kaleb Bogale March 26th 2014 CAS 138T Dr. Freymiller Audience: The article is directed towards young adults without a higher education and understanding of stem cell research. The article is focused on this young adult population because the potential benefits of stem cell research can directly affect both their personal and children’s health, yet they lack the information to have a deeper understanding of stem cell research. The reader is expected to gain information allowing them to formulate a more factbased outlook towards stem cell research. Every State Should Support Embryonic Stem Cell Research Every year, countless families across the country are given detrimental news in a doctor’s office. Many times families are told there are no cures near development, but families find comfort in the medical studies that seem promising. For those afflicted with Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal cord injury, burns, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis, doctors in twenty-three states across the country are forced to tell their patients a promising line of medical research is illegal in their state (“Stem Cell” 2008). You can imagine the anger and frustration of these patients and their families, especially when the major argument of those opposing the research has been outdated since 2006 (Nature 2006). Embryonic stem cell research is proving its great potential alongside a new method of stem cell extraction making it indisputably ethical. The states

without any unique regulations on funding from the Federal or State government. which are extracted from 5-7 day old embryos. 2007). Stem cells. unused in vitro fertilized embryos.2 that currently have laws that prohibit embryonic stem cell research should amend their state laws to resemble the Federal Laws that allow it. Historically. coined the “Mother of all cells” by Terry Devitt. Many associate a controversy with stem cell research as a whole. Interestingly. although this is not the case for embryonic stem cell research (Peters 2007). The debate is driven by the origin of embryonic stem cells. embryos could only be gathered through four major methods including aborted or miscarried embryos. Medical research is being funded throughout the country on adult stem cells. and test the effectiveness of medicines. physical impairments. and cloned embryos (“Stem Cell” 2008). a deeper understanding of it is required. function in biological restoration. This trait of stem cells can be used to treat diseases. regular adult stem cells transferred to stem cells. Background Information on Embryonic Stem Cell Research Before understanding why embryonic stem cell research should be allowed in all states. reproduction of existing embryonic stem cells (growth in lab environment). and perinatal stem cells (Mayo Clinic 2013). embryonic stem cells are only one of the four different types of stem cells including adult stem cells. but there is only a debate surrounding embryonic stem cell research specifically. the earliest stage of human development (Mears 2013). There are currently 23 states that prohibit research utilizing embryonic stem cells (“Stem Cell” 2008). The states that currently prohibit embryonic stem cell research should alter their state laws to reflect the . with the potential to develop into many different cells (Haugen & Musser.

is research protecting pancreatic cells in type I diabetic patients. This trait is unique to embryonic stem cells. tissues. One success of embryonic stem cell research was found at the University College London (UCL) in the UK. Regenerative medicine is the process of replacing or regenerating human cells. These medical studies are promising and require embryonic stem cells. one of the world’s foremost medical research centers. and many more serious impairments! Three examples of regenerative research in clinical trials (human testing) being conducted at the National Institutes of Health. which successfully implanted embryonic stem cells into night-blind mice and their eyes developed normally! The implanted cells acted completely similar to retina cells of healthy mice. For example the research using embryonic stem cells is attempting to cure type I diabetes. the repair of heart tissue following a heart attacks. brain. or organs. serious neurological injury including physical restricting walking. cardiovascular diseases. because the other three . One major reason embryonic stem cell research has larger payoffs than other types of stem cells is their ability to become any of the 220 cell types found in the adult body (skin. Embryonic stem cells have great potential in medical research and their use in medical research is ethical. and the repair of lung tissues following pulmonary disease. Great Potentials of Stem Cell Research One major reason the state laws should be altered is the huge potential offered by embryonic stem cell research.3 Federal Laws that allow it. etc. exciting the scientific community with an example of a success. to restore normal functionality (Mayo 2007). Embryonic stem cell medical research has had huge payoffs in both regenerative medicine and testing newly synthesized drugs for safety and effectiveness.).

. it is important to note the Federal Government’s standing on the matter. Under President Bush’s office. Embryonic Stem Cell Research is Ethical Another reason embryonic stem cell research should be legal in all the states is that it is ethical. but refused to fund new research using embryonic stem cells. This incorrect connection by the public is still a common claim by opponents of embryonic stem cell research. It is through these public appearances that the public mistakenly connected embryonic stem cell research to an alternative form of abortion. which was exploited by President Bush position to limit embryonic research to preexisting lines of research. President Bush made public appearances with “snowflake children” on several occasions (Wetzstein. One major reason state laws should be changed to reflect a federal law is the great potential offered by embryonic stem cell research. although they allowed preexisting research projects to continue (“Stem Cell” 2008). the Federal Government supported stem cell research that used adult stem cells.” and were a media sensation.4 types of stem cells are only able to convert into a limited amount of other cells (Solo & Pressburg 2007). The resultant children from embryos that were artificially implanted into women were named “snowflake children. Before I explain the reasons embryonic stem cell research is ethical. The embryonic stem cells offer a greater developmental potential than adult stem cells according to the National Institutes of Health (FAQs 2012). The Nightlight Christian Adoptions Program that sponsored the adoption of 134 embryos (potentially used for embryonic stem cell research) heavily influenced President Bush’s opinion. 2012).

the main reason of the opposition. President Obama signed an executive order titled. Within the next thirty years. The greatest influence a politician in any of the twenty-three states (including Pennsylvania) rejecting embryonic . All states should allow embryonic stem cell research because Dr. Conclusion The states that currently have laws barring embryonic stem cell research should correct their state laws to look like the Federal Laws that allow it. there are no legitimate arguments against embryonic stem cell research. Dr. Lanza created a method that will not harm the embryos while also generating embryonic stem cells that can be used for research. the discovery of Dr. Dr. While there are many reasons for President Obama’s executive order. Lanza’s discovery in 2006 that enables the extraction of embryonic stem cells without harming the 5-7 day old embryos. Lanza’s method of gathering embryonic stem cells does not harm the embryos.5 Under President Obama’s office on March 11th 2009. terminating 5-7 day old embryos is sacrificing human lives (Nature 2006). embryonic stem cells will potentially cure many diseases and physical impairments due to brain or spine injuries. without harming the embryo’s developmental potential. “Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells” (Mears 2013). There is great potential in regenerative medicine and testing drugs utilizing embryonic stem cells. The executive order included that the embryonic stem cell research much be “responsible” and removed any Federal prohibition of funding of embryonic stem cell research (Obama 2009). discovered a method to extract material from an embryo that can be developed into embryonic stem cells. Lanza. Robert Lanza that was published in the Nature Journal resolved the main argument of the opposition. After Dr. In other words. an established scientist and leader in regenerative medicine.

.6 stem cell research can have on the millions suffering from illness is simply embracing the new age of embryonic stem cell research.

eds. Mears.C. 2012. N." The Washington Times. David. Ted. Print. N. Minneapolis: Fortress. MD: National Institutes of Health.p. <http://www. Print.: Greenhaven.com/>. and Gail Pressberg. Solo. 2014. Mayo Clinic Staff. The Promise and Politics of Stem Cell Research. <http://www. "Obama Defunds ‘Snowflake Babies’. Nature 444. "Stem Cells: What They Are and What They Do. The Stem Cell Debate. 2014.1038/nature05142. 2007. Wetzstein. N. . Bill. Cheryl. 2007.org/>. 2012 [cited Saturday. "Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells.org>. 2007. Web. 2014.cnn. 3 Jan. Address transcript.. of State Legislatures. Human Embryo Experimentation. 11 Mar. Washington D.S. N.p. Westport: Praeger.mayoclinic.p. Received 12 April 2006. In Stem Cell Information [World Wide Web site]. 2014] Available at <http://stemcells. U.p. 26 Mar. 2008. Web." The White House. 2013. 23 Mar.p. Print. Department of Health and Human Services. Print. 2013. Web.. 2009. "Supreme Court Allows Federal Stem Cell Research to Continue. "Stem Cell Research. 26 Mar.nih." Mayo Clinic. Barack. 8 Jan. Published online 23 August 2006 Obama.washingtontimes. Peters. 481-485 (23 November 2006) | doi:10. Pam.. Web.ncsl.7 Works Cited: FAQs." CNN Justice. Bethesda. Accepted 8 August 2006.gov/ Haugen. N. 26 Mar. 4 Mar." National Conf. 2014. <http://www. and Susan Musser. March 29. <http://www.com/>. 26 Mar..