A Research On Stem Cell Research

1864 WordsNov 21, 20158 Pages
From the beginning of human existence, ideal health persistently remains important for a productive life. As medical discoveries and breakthroughs increase through time, so does human health, making life expectancy profusely high. Stem cell research, a recent field, explores and scrutinises non-specialised cells that lengthen human life. It is a topic that causes great opposition amongst people with different viewpoints. Many believe stem cell research to be immoral and inhumane, while others view it as a medical breakthrough capable of saving many lives. Stem cells are non-specialised cells that have the potential to differentiate into specified cells in the body including blood, cardiac muscle and nerve cells. These undifferentiated…show more content…
Scientists obtain stem cells from three different sources: embryos, umbilical cord and adults. The most controversial source is an embryonic stem cell that exists in a three to five day old embryo (blastocyst). A blastocyst is a ball-like structure containing a cluster of undifferentiated cells that form when an ovum is fertilized. Blastocysts are often generated by in vitro fertilization (IVF) for implantation in infertile women, thereby allowing them to get pregnant. Blastocysts and aborted fetuses have then been used to create embryonic stem cell lines. The second source, umbilical cord, is considered the richest source of stem cells. Cord blood from a newborn baby contains blood cells that can be used immediately or frozen for later use. The newest discovered source is adult stem cells, or induced pluripotent cells (iPS). These can be derived from bone marrowlood cells, muscle, brain and adipose tissues. Blood cells can be used as stem cells by inducing the cells back into un-programmed cells to form other somatic cells of the body. When discussing stem cell research, particularly on embryonic stem cells, there are two moral principles that must be taken into consideration: the moral responsibility to prevent and alleviate suffering or the moral responsibility to respect the value of human life. However, it is impossible to respect both moral principles as one invalidates the
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