Ethical Issues Brought Forth by Stem Cell Research

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Would you be willing to sacrifice your unborn child for the potential cure for cancer? Stem cells are the future, but it may come with a heavy price. The potential benefits of stem cells are unbelievable. Stem cells could save many lives. Imagine not having to worry about organ transplants or having diabetes. But stem cells bring many issues with them too. Is killing embryos ever ok? Should cloning be allowed in stem cell research? This is a very complex topic that changes directions every day. Stem cells are unspecialized cells that have the ability to renew themselves though cell division. Most importantly, they have the potential to become tissue or organ cells with special functions. Stem cells can be used to replace worn out or damaged tissues (“Stem Cell Basics”). Stem cells have been known of since the mid 1800s. Thompson, from the University of Wisconsin Madision, was the first scientist to isolate cells from the inner cell mass of early embryos and then develop embryonic stem cell lines in 1998. Later, in 1999, scientists discovered that adult tissues could also produce stem cells, though they weren’t quite the same as embryonic cells. Over the years stem cell research has really taken off (“History of Stem Cell Research”). There are two primary different kinds of stem cells; embryonic cells, called pluripotent, and somatic/ adult stem cells, called multipotent. Stem cells are imperative to all living beings. In a 3-5 day old human embryo, called a blastocyst;

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