Stem cell research is a controversial and hotly debated topic, which has sharply divided opinions among medical scientists. The issue is related to the use of some kinds of cells to regenerate the damaged tissues in the human body. It is a very important debate because of the potential benefits offered by embryonic stem cell research. The central question here is do we need stem cell research? This article takes the position that yes, indeed we do need stem cell research. Here are the reasons.
Cure for Diseases
Stem cell research has potential to aid medical professionals and scientists in discovering treatment to some of the human diseases. Some of these diseases which may benefit from stem cell research include; Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord diseases, cancer, diabetes, schizophrenia and others. Much hope is hanging on embryonic stem cell research as a way forward. A California based Company, Geron received FDA Clearance to begin world’s first human clinical trial of embryonic stem cell-based therapy (see the attached link on Geron)
Stem cell research could offer important insight in the area of cloning. Cloning is a process used to create a new look-alike organism which has exact genetic copy of the cloned organism. The cloning technique is used to match DNA between two organisms, and stem cell research has a lot to offer medical scientists in this field. The first cloning news was made in 1997 when Dolly the Sheep was cloned. Stem cells from cloned embryo could give scientists an excellent opportunity to study the developmental stages of stem cells and how it could be reprogrammed
Growing Human Limbs and Organs
Stem cell research could lead to the growth of human organs and limbs in the laboratory. This is a whole new area of medicine. which could help alleviate the scarcity of human organs needed by critically ill persons. For now doctors and surgeons rely on donated human organs for transplantation purposes. Scarcity of human organs lead to preventable deaths; much hope to change this status quo hangs on stem cell research. According to the US Military report, the army is regrowing human limbs and organs through their embryonic stem cell research.(link enclosed)
Regrowing Human Heart
Experiments conducted by the Mayo Clinic demonstrated that embryonic stem cells are capable of being transformed into functional master cells which could be replanted into the damaged areas of the heart such as the myocardium. The research entitled Stable benefit of embryonic stem cell therapy in myocardial infarction, was published in the August 2004 edition of the American Physiology Journal. According to the findings of the research, embryonic stem cell therapy showed steady benefits in rebuilding infracted heart
Stem cell research offers opportunity to doctors and medical scientists to study the human embryo developmental stages. These studies could not be carried out with the human embryo inside the womb. This area of research is hoped to provide new information and knowledge for such areas as birth defects, infertility and pregnancy. For these reasons, yes we do need stem cell research to continue, humanity would benefit on the long run.