The Medical Breakthrough of Stem Cell Research
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Someone you care about is suffering from heart disease, juvenile diabetes, Alzheimer’s, or even forms of cancer and the only hope may be through stem cell research. Would, or should, you support this study? You, like many researchers and scientists, should have great hope for stem cells and its ability to cure heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Stem cell research, to begin, is a relatively new process that takes primordial human cells and develops them into a variety of cells like those of the brain and blood. Stem cell researchers are able to work with both embryonic and adult stems cells which have the potential to differentiate into the tissue of almost any organ. Due to this very fact, the people of the United States and its Federal government should continue the studies of such revolutionary ideas like those of stem cell research.
This research is a ground breaking concept that can be used to save lives, conduct cancer studies, ensure a promising future, and promote economic stability. Stem cells are the brilliant building blocks in the human body that can be used to save lives. To this day stem cells have helped successfully treat more than eighty diseases. This is possible because “stem cells are cells that can generate [copies] and become one of the many cell types in the body” (Peduzzi). In other words, the human body has over 200 different types of cells throughout it, and stem cells have the potential to replace them by initially duplicating or transforming themselves into a different tissue type and function.
So, for example, if a person was experiencing a depletion of blood cells, stem cells may take on that particular role and can be used to replace the missing cells. James Thomson, the director of regenerative biology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, believes that stem cell research “is showing more progress than ever before in devising cures for many debilitating diseases” and the experimentation and study of the reactions of these cell “will result in the development of safer and more effective drugs for treatment” (Thomson).This discovery is truly a medical breakthrough. The people of the United States and their government need to understand that this revolutionary research is simply the first step to saving many lives, and should be fully supported.
Similarly, stem cell research can change the face of cancer studies, and possibly one day pave the way towards a permanent cure for cancer. By analyzing the genes that are active in a patient’s cancer stem cell and counting the number of stem cells in a tumor, physicians can target the cancer and eliminate it. Dr. Max Wicha, director of the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer center, explains how stem cell research will change cancer treatment. He states that “new therapies were designed to target stem cells and eliminate cancer without the risks and side effects of current treatments.” (Watkins).
Current cancer treatments like chemotherapy have side effects that include the destruction of healthy cells in the body. However by destroying cancer stem cells in the original tumor, doctors could reduce the risk of further cell destruction and metastasis, the moving of malignant cells from the primary tumor to other places in the body, in other words the spread of the cancer. Suppress Likewise, Stem Cell Research is a fast tracking research that shows many promises for the future.
These include the aid in successful organ transplants. Although most transplants are given immune-curbing drugs, the medications continue to have moderate to severe side effects and do not always prevent the beneficiary immune system from attacking the organ. In an experiment conducted by Dr. Maren Ruhnke, stem cells were taken from the bone marrow of rats, whose hearts were later removed for transplantation into different rats. After the “bone marrow cells were cultured and then injected into transplant recipients rats… they lived over 100 days without rejecting the transplanted heart.” (Runke).
This experiment gives hope to the future of human organ transplants, while using the adult stem cells of humans we may be able to carry out an extraordinary amount of successful transplants without concern for future side effects. By aiding in the reduction of deaths due to organ transplants, stem cells are paving the way to a brighter future for the people of this world, and should be fully supported by the individuals of the United States.
Aside from the medical aspects, stem cell research can spur an economic growth. In a study conducted by Dan Gincel, director of the Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund, it was stated that “investments had directly led to the creation of 500 jobs and had an indirect economic impact to recipients of 71 million.” (Rugnetta).
The economy of the United States could improve with the help of stem cell research. The influx of money used by loans, grants, and income will improve the overall economic circulation, while the need for aid in research could lead to the creation of many needed jobs. During this time of economic frailty, the United States government and its people should understand that this is a great opportunity to help improve their overall economic situation.
However, like all important issues, Stem cell research is open to controversy and critics. For example, religious groups, politicians, and activists have all attacked and criticized the research with arguments citing biblical and ethical sources. In perspective, they all desire to the preserve human life. They believe that “to kill an embryo” is similar to “kill a human”, and they believe that this undeveloped life “must be regarded as higher in value than biomedical research” (George). However these individuals need to understand that by denying scientists the chance to experiment on these embryonic stem cells, they are possibly denying someone the right to live.
Think about it. Is it morally correct to allow someone with cancer to suffer, despite their knowing that stem cells may be the hope they need for survival, in order to let an undeveloped embryo continue to grow? This topic also plays along the ideas that if a woman is willing to abort her baby, then why not use it to save someone’s life? And in question of God, either way someone might lose a life along the way, why not allow for it to be the individual who has not yet experienced life, feelings, love and hope?
Likewise, Stem Cell researchers are beginning to use adult stem cells rather than embryonic ones. Adult stem cells can be found throughout the body after development. This new idea shots down the fact that embryonic stem cells are a “destruction of human life,” because the usage of adult stem cells does not damage the donor and any shape or fashion. In all, stem cell research presents the people of the United States more favorable outcomes that far outweigh its few backlashes. This study is one that raises hope and promotes life in our country.
Stem cell research is a revolutionary idea that can change the face of the world of medicine as we know it. The people of the United States and the Federal government need to understand the numerous benefits of such research and continue to encourage and fund it. If we chose not to follow such studies, we may one day regret it when we lose someone close who had a chance to live. Living is all about hope, and sacrifice. Stem cell research is all too well intertwined in this idea. In order to save the people of our planet, it is important to learn to sacrifice critical thinking and look towards a more hopeful and brighter future.
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