The Government Should Fund Embryonic Stem Cell Research Essay

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Millions of people die every year from diseases and accidents; the nightly news is filled with reports about the devastating effects of cancer, horrific accidents, and disasters that leave people disfigured or paralyzed. Embryonic stem cell research is a part of biomedical science and has the potential to ease the suffering of sick people by curing diseases and defects, creating organs and tissue for patients needing transplants or skin grafts, regenerating axons in spinal cord injuries, and creating new treatments, drugs, and immunizations. However, America’s government does not support this research to an extent that would make a difference in medicine; only a few stem cell lines are authorized, and federal funding is minimal. The…show more content…
Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are pluripotent and are obtained from the inner mass of a 4-5 day old human blastocyst that consists of approximately 100 cells (“Stem cell research,” 2009). Stem cells are grown on Petri dishes in a laboratory and are never implanted in a woman’s uterus. These cells can be used to create stem cell lines that can grow indefinitely under optimal conditions (“Stem cells and diseases,” 2011). Embryonic stem cells can be obtained from existing stem cell lines (any group of cells that came from the same original embryo), aborted or miscarried embryos, unused in vitro fertilized embryos, and cloned embryos created from somatic cell nuclear transfer (the nucleus from an unfertilized egg is removed and replaced with a nucleus from an adult stem cell). This technique would be used for therapeutic cloning, which could grow organs or skin grafts for patients. However, the only research that is federally funded are a few embryonic stem cell lines created from unused embryos at in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics before 2001 (Dunn, 2005; “Embryonic & fetal research laws,” 2008; Therapeutic cloning, 2009). These lines are not enough to allow scientists to fully explore and take advantage of potential findings. Limited government support may have also contributed to increased political and religious controversy, which has left

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