Research on Stem Cells essay
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Stem cell research focuses on the stem cells, which have the capability to regenerate and form human cells used to replace the dysfunctional cellular parts of the body. These cells are categorized into embryonic and adult stem cells. The embryonic stem cells are obtained from the embryo, which is a growth result of the fertilisation of the ova by the sperm, isolated from the inner part of the blastocysts. At the same time, adult stem cells are instituted in the different tissues of the body like the blood, brain and the bone marrow. The extraction of these cells is very crucial in the replenishment of adult dysfunctional tissues. When stem cells are extracted from the embryo, they can form ideal cells known as pluripotent cells, which can regenerate to different body organs, such as skin, blood or muscle tissues. Similarly, adult stem cells are extracted from the different parts of the human body, which include the bone marrow, the adipose tissues and the blood. With the test of the stem cell research, it has been possible to conduct the medical therapies though the extraction process, which may be painful or destructive to other components of the body. In spite of this, research shows that stem cells of pluripotent and totiponent can regenerate to form any tissue in the human body used for health optimization. Although the later stem cells are important, there exist other stem cells, such as multipotent, oligopotent, unipotent and many others (Bellomo, 2006). Despite the significant success of the stem cells, this practice has aroused controversial debate on the ethical standards it possess, especially regarding the destruction of the embryo on extraction of embryonic stem cells.
The stem cell research has contributed significantly to the study of therapeutic cloning and genetic engineering in medicine. Because of the attributes associated with the stem cells, it has promoted the potentiality of finding treatments for numerous deadly diseases, such as; cancer, spinal cord injuries, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and others. This research facilitates the development of new cells, which can be used to replace the dysfunctional tissues, and thus, promoting the achievement of the optimal health. An example of effectiveness of the stem cell research is illustrated from the possibility of the bone marrow transplant or replacing the sensitive tissues of the lungs like bronchitis. Therefore, this makes stem cell research the sole medical innovation for handling such delicate medical practices.
Meanwhile, the conduct of the stem cell research has allowed scientists and doctors to grow body tissues, such as limbs and organs in the lab from the stem cells, which they use to transplant or treat the defective systems of the body. Such innovations have contributed immensely to the search for knowledge on human growth and development, which is crucial in finding treatments and cures for various ailments. This medical improvement has allowed doctors and scientists to test the effectiveness of various medicines. In this regard, doctors minimize the risk of testing the medicine on animals or humans. Consequently, the merits and repercussions of the medication can be realized in advance, before they are submitted to the usage by the patients (Park, 2011).
The success of stem cell research promotes the study of human growth and development stages that is limited to the study of the human embryo. This limitation is mainly due to the major clinical repercussions, like birth defects and sterility. Evidently, previous extractions of embryos from women bodies have resulted in pregnancy losses or infertility, which calls for cautious handling of the procedure. Enhancement of the study on the human development stages will assist doctors to come up with means, in which they can treat or prevent anomalous human development. Moreover, the stem cells facilitate means in which the aging can be treated to promote the longer lifespan. Because of the stem cell research, treatment has been discovered to reduce the aging process and create means of avoiding the aging totally. The success of this discovery promotes the retention of special and resourceful people at younger and energetic stages. Additionally, the use of adult stem cells has been very effective in regenerating new cells from the patient’s cells, based on the concept that bodies accept their own cells. Nevertheless, embryonic stem cells are useful, because of their nature to regenerate into any tissue, which is an additional advantage over the adult stem cells (Shi, 2008).
Contrary to the numerous successes of the stem cell research, there is a multiple setback of its effects, which are purely based on ethical standards. Considering the fact that embryonic stem cells are extracted from the developing embryo at the blastocysts stage, this practice is detrimental to the human life. For most people who believe that life begins at the conception, the advocacy of this research becomes unacceptable to its convictions. Similarly, the research findings are still ongoing, and thus, there are no proven facts that the treatment procedure will be effective for the most of ailments. Additionally, there is a doubt as to whether the use of cells with the ability to regenerate will not be harmful to the body, due to the potentiality to regenerate in the body, and cause the growth of tumors. Thus, if the research is given a pass through by the society, it will lead to dire consequences, because it may not materialize as expected.
The claim by researchers that the stem cells study could be the ultimate solution to the treatment of chronic and deadly diseases has not yet been proven. This implies the destruction of embryos, as the extraction of stem cells is not meaningful. The weight attached to its applicability is not adequately reflected on the results of its usage. An example could be on the usage of the stem cells to treat the heart tissues, and there is a possibility of the cells causing the narrowing of coronary arteries. Because of this adverse impact, it creates an alarm, as to whether the advantages gained from the procedure are more important, compared to the survival of the embryo (Panno, 2005). Notably, most scholars indicate that stem cells are pre-specified in the sense that, wherever the stem cells are extracted from, it should be used to directly replenish the same cells. At some point, this idea creates some contradiction with the versatility of the embryonic stem cells. A clear illustration is the fact that the blood stem cells can only be used to replace blood, and the brain stem cells to replace the brain cells only.
The procedure of extracting embryonic stem cells is believed to create the versatile cells, which can be used to make different tissues. Severally, this notion of such tissue usage is contradicted by the fact that most human bodies tend to reject foreign cells, and thus, cause harm to the body. In the event that the body rejects such tissues, it leads to malfunctioning of the body organs and formation of new cells, which could be destructive to the health of the patient. Similarly, the insistence on the usage of embryo stem cells is very controversial, since there are other means in which one can source for the cells. These sources include the amniotic fluid and the umbilical cord. Considering the fact that there are other possible sources from which the stem cells can be extracted, stem cell research can be accepted, if it adopts the less costly and destructive means to prove its importance (Newton, 2007). Despite all this, there are still unimaginable doubts on the likelihood of the evolvement of the stem cells causing more harm than good to humanity. This is supported by the fact that stem cells used from animals have shown great defects in their usage, and have often leaded to new diseases. Based on this fact, there is the probability that the acceptance of the stem cell treatment could lead to the evolvement of new diseases that human beings are unfamiliar with and unable to control. Additionally, the cost incurred for the stem cell research is far much costly, compared to the benefits derived from its application.
As a result of the many controversies and uncertainties that exist in the stem cell research, a majority of states and countries that appreciate the value of human life have completely halted the process or avoided financing such activities. The predicament facing the stem cell research has had adverse effects in the medical field, because of the earlier anticipated possibility of solutions to various ailments. In this regard, scientists and doctors have been forced to search for other appropriate means in which they can find the right remedies for the challenging ailments. Consequently, in the stem cell research one needs to find the means in which ethical standards and measures can be addressed to be acceptable. However, as the generations change, a time might come when people will have more regards to the current generation and prefer to retain it for longer periods. This will, therefore, necessitate the adoption of stem cell research to check for its effectiveness in finding the definite medical treatments and cures for the known deadly diseases. Overall, the study of stem cells indicates that there are multiple pros and cons, which need to be thoroughly evaluated. Based on the findings of such an analysis, an approval or rejection of the research would be obtained.