Stem Cell Research, Ethics And Policy Essay

2393 WordsNov 17, 201610 Pages
Introduction Stem cell research and engineering is a widely disputed topic that often divides people in science, ethics, and religion. In order to fully understand the controversy surrounding this area of scientific research and discovery, one must be informed as to what stem cells are. In the article, “Human Embryonic Stem Cells: Research, Ethics and Policy”, stem cells are described as “primitive cells with the capacity to divide and give rise to more identical stem cells or to specialize and from specific cells of somatic tissues” (Wert 672). Essentially, stem cells can potentially provide an unlimited supply of cells that could form some or all body cells. This ability to transform into different types or all types of cells depends of the type of stem cell, which can be divided into embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells (Bishop 1). Embryonic stem cells are extracted from preimplantation embryos and are pluripotent, meaning they possess the ability to form cells of all tissues in the adult human body. Adult stem cells, however, are limited to what tissues they can transform into. Currently, our research and understanding of embryonic cells is finite, yet it is evident that the development of this research could have a significant impact on our treatment of various diseases, disorders, and cancers. Conflicting opinions and scrutiny surrounding the ethics of embryonic stem cell research delay the development and expansion of embryonic stem cell research. Many who
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