Stem Cell Research Project
Nia C., Baye N., Tatiana R., Sonia P.
What is Stem Cell Research?
Stem cell research is research conducted on a stem cell to get information on sicknesses and diseases.
What types of illnesses or diseases might/does it provide a viable cure for?
What are the two basic types of stem cell research?
- Embryonic stem cells and non-embryonic ("Somatic" or "adult" stem cells).
Is one more controversial than the other? If so, why?
- Yes, Embryonic Stem Cells are more controversial.
- The controversy surrounding stem cell research led to an intense debate about ethics: mainly because it involves taking tissue from an aborted embryo.
- Typically done just days after conception or between the 5th and 9th week.
Adult Stem Cells are a relatively rare undifferentiated cell found in many organs and differentiated tissues with a limited capacity for both self renewal (in the laboratory) and differentiation.
How long has stem cell research been around? Is it still happening today?
- Stem cell research has been around since 1968.
- But Embryonic Stem Cell Research has been around since the 90’s.
- Yes, Stem Cell Research is currently still happening today.
How is stem cell research funded?
How does this add to the controversy?
They don't have much government regulation.
How has the government gotten involved in stem cell research?
In 2009 President Obama issued an order allowing federal money to pay for stem cell research.
Have they worked to stoke or quell the controversy?
- They have worked to quell the controversy
- In 1987 a law was passed prohibiting the use of taxpayer money for research in which an embryo is destroyed.
As a group, do you see stem cell research/ cures as a worthwhile investment, or should we (as a society) be investing in alternative medicines?
- Stem cell research is a worthwhile investment.
- It can help cure many diseases.
Pros & Cons
The pros of stem cell research are:
- it could potentially cure a variety of diseases
- it can help with spinal cord injuries, reduced risk of heart transplant injuries, and to replace/repair damaged organs
The cons of stem cell research are:
- concerns that scientist can get carried away with the research and that it could lead to human cloning
- there are also many ethical and moral debates about the method from which embryonic stem cells are taken from aborted embryo
Has it been used to clone a human?
- No because it is prohibited by laws and regulations
What can it do and how does it do it?
Stem cells can do many thing like:
- Increasing the understanding of why different diseases develop by watching stem cells mature in human bodies.
- Repair damaged tissue in humans by generating healthy cells to replace the diseased cells.
- Test new medicine for safety and effectiveness by observing its effects on stem cells.
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