The Importance of Stem Cells

Paper Info
Page count 5
Word count 6904
Read time 25 min
Topic Health
Type Essay
Language 🇺🇸 US
Stem Cells
Figure 1: Stem Cells (Source: Dialogica, 2007)

Executive summary

This research explores research in stem cells by defining stem cells and explaining their potential in curing diseases. Moreover, a discussion of various controversies regarding stem cell research is also encompassed in this paper. Religious views, political views, views of researchers in stem cell research as well as prospective patients’ views have been examined.

An informative analysis approach is taken in addressing the various areas of interest in this paper. There are three types of stem cell research classified according to the source of the stem cells. These include adult stem cells, stem cells from cord blood and embryonic stem cells. The interesting thing about these cells is their ability to treat severe and chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases and complications in the blood. Religious-Catholic and Islam- views are however derailing this effort by raising serious ethical issues regarding stem cell research, and embryonic stem cell research in particular. Political opinions have also been an influence in the stem cell research debate especially in the area of funding. All these factors and their impact on stem cell research have been discussed in this report. To come up with this report, the author conducted research in well known web sites such as “Google” and OSU Library where scholarly articles, journals and lecture notes were gathered and summarized. In the end, the author came up with an analysis of the readings.

Stem cell research dates back to mid 1880s when it was identified that cell regeneration was possible. The outstanding controversy that emerged in mid-1970s is on ethicality of using fetal stem cells for research. In early 1990s, first “real stem cells” were discovered as capable of generating blood cells. Currently, the most controversial aspect in stem cell research is the ethicality of using embryonic stem cells. This has led to denial of funding by governments with President Bush’s denial of funding of stem cell research being a good example.

Stem cells are cells which have potential to differentiate to any type of cell as may be desired for performing given functions in the body. The cells which are obtained mainly from fetal tissues of embryos can differentiate and specialize into erythrocytes, hepatocytes or even brain cells. Mature persons have limited amounts of stem cells as opposed to embryos. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are therefore highly preferred. However, even cord stem cells and adult stem cells are useful in research and treatment of human diseases. ESCs, which are sourced from additional embryos in fertility clinics, are a preference among scientists due to their potential to investigate early human development and they are unlike adult stem cells which in most tissues are replaced during adulthood.

Stem cell research is pursued due to its potential to unearth abnormal embryonic development. In that way, the cells hold promise in treating a myriad of debilitating diseases. Stem cells can also be helpful in clinical drug tests instead of using human patients. The cells can be used in tissue and organ regeneration such as liver and kidney as well as aiding in in-vitro fertilization. Stem cell research is however limited in that organ construction would require scaffolding and the problem of immune rejection of developed tissue or organs.

Various discussions and views surround stem cell research. There are no laws forbidding stem cell research instituted by the federal government in the U.S. Although federal funding had been suspended for long, it is now available for stem cell research. A timeline of the laws and policies governing stem cell research in the U.S. runs back to 1993 when funding of human embryo research by National Institute of Health (NIH) was done. This was however countered by the passage of the Dickey Amendment in 1995. The Clinton administration was issued with a legal opinion in 1999 regarding carrying out of stem cell research. President Bush signed an executive order in 2004 to forbid stem cell research. Despite lack of funding at the federal level, some states supported and went ahead to fund stem cell research. In 2004, California State set aside funds for furthering research in embryonic stem cell research. In 2008, Michigan also allowed the carrying out of stem cell research using embryos that remain after in-vitro fertilization. Although the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act was approved in 2006, it prohibits cloning of humans. The executive order signed by President Obama in 2008 lifted a ban on federal funding on stem cell research.

The destruction of the embryo to extract the stem cells is a bioethical issue as it is viewed as complete destruction of life by opponents of stem cell research. This is based on both moral and religious perspectives. Moreover, it is likely that patents on stem cell research will be denied due to ethical and legal issues surrounding human embryonic stem cell research. The Catholic Church opposes embryonic stem cell research as it views the destruction of embryos as killing of human life and this halts research using these cells. Islamic law allows in-vitro fertilization but the egg donor should be given back the egg after fertilization and the sperms must be from the woman’s husband. Islamic law however does not oppose use of embryos that have no chance of survival and embryos located outside the womb.

A political viewpoint of stem cell research indicates that ESC research is on revival as evidenced by the executive order of 2009 that allowed federal funding of stem cell research in the U.S. Scientists are of the view that stem cell research will lead to discovery of cures and understanding of human development. Scientists are expected to move to countries where stem cell research has support from governments. While some patients have no problem with stem cell research since after all the embryos that are used would certainly end up being destroyed, some are skeptical about the moral use of stem cell research.

This report has highlighted stem cells as having great potential in curing human suffering despite controversies and objections surrounding the research. This report is suitable for undergraduate students as it would enable them understand stem cell research and surrounding controversies. From this report, students can gain interest in researching more on the topic and thus improve their research skills.

The Scope

The purpose of this report is to define stem cells and assess the research on stem cells by analyzing and summarizing six scholarly articles. In addition, the report explains the potential of stem cells and their ability to treat human diseases. This report also shows some of the controversies surrounding the research on stem cells relative to the Catholic and Islamic Faith.

Introduction

This report is an informative analysis on stem cells, undifferentiated and unspecialized cells that regenerate themselves and increase in size resulting into one or more specific kind of tissue and organs, which possess specific functions in the human body (McKay, 2000). This report is an analysis of stem cells and the research on stem cells in the context of their definitions, types, importance, and controversies that would give the reader a general idea of the current research on stem cells.

According to Siddiqi (2008), there are three types of human stem cells, which are classified according to where they are found in the human body and the stage of development of the donor. Therefore, the human stem cells include adult, embryonic and cord blood stem cells. Moreover, it is interesting to note that researchers have shown the potency of all these three types of stem cells in treating human diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and blood complications in the future. However, the controversies surrounding the research on stem cells particularly from the Catholic and Islamic faith threaten to disorient the efforts made by many scientists in the world in discovering new remedies for the world’s deadliest diseases.

The purpose of this report is to simplify the idea of stem cells to the reader and to make it understandable. Moreover, the writing of this report is directed towards undergraduate students studying medicine who probably need to be aware of current studies that are related to the medical field and to provide a cross cultural and unbiased religious perspective on the differing argumentative viewpoints regarding the heated debate of Embryonic Stem Cell Research.

Methodology

This research consists of well-known web sites, scholarly articles and journals. Some of the articles were retrieved from the OSU library catalog while others were found through internet search engines such as “Google”. Using these sources Alarfaj presents a summary and analysis of the writings, which will then be supported by critical and personal commentaries of his own. In this report, Alarfaj’s previous knowledge on the research of stem cells that was obtained from reading several articles and following health news documentaries on the research of stem cells will enhance his personal interpretation of the materials used.

Background of the study

Brief history and time line of the discovery of stem cells

The beginning of stem cell research has its history in the mid 1880s, a time when discoveries revealed that it was quite possible for cells regeneration. But now, a controversy appears to surround research on stem cells over the decision to utilize human embryonic stem cells for purposes of research. After the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade in the 1970s, research surrounding fetal tissue started pursued with adherence to ethical guidelines.. In the years that have followed, stem cell researchers have achieved significant milestones, the most outstanding one being the ability to isolate the embryonic stem cell of humans (All About Popular Issues, 2010). The discovery of the first “real stem cells” happened in the early 1990s, after discoveries that some cells had the potential to generate blood cells. Progressive presidents and conservatives have been seen to have played a contributing role in restraining the funding of stem cell research by the federal government, citing ethical reasons. However, President Bush assumed to take a position that not only sought to ignore ethical guidelines, but also curtailed developments in regenerative medicine. It has for example been reported that for 21 viable cell lines, 16 had been approved for federal funding as by 2008 and these adhered to ethical guidelines regarding stem cell research then. (All About Popular Issues, 2010).

Definition of stem cells

The best definition for stem cells would be what Dr. McKay defined as the “ undifferentiated and unspecialized cells that can renew themselves and also give rise to one or more specific cell types with specific functions in the human body” (McKay, 2000). Therefore, Bongso’s studies indicate that stem cells differentiate into hepatocytes (liver cells), cells of the brain, and blood corpuscles (red blood cells, erythrocytes, and blood platelets) (Bongso, 2008). Additionally, most stem cells are generated by embryonic and fetal tissues because of their high potency for regeneration, differentiation, and growth. However, some scientists argue that the body of a mature person produces small amounts of stem cells, which possess the potential of differentiating and regenerating new cells, tissues, and organs (Bongso, 2008).

Origins and Categories of stem cells

From the preceding discussions, it is notable that the origins of stem cells are the embryonic and fetal tissues. Additionally, stem cells can also be generated from the tissues of mature human beings but these contain only a few stem cells. They have the same level of regeneration and differentiation as those derived from the fetus and embryos (Siddiqi, 2008). As a result of research by scientists on mice, it is realized that during a specific period of time, certain cells in body have a significant ability to change into a different variety of cells (McKay, 2000). Because of their ability to differentiate into other highly specialized cells, the experimental cells were referred to as Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs). There are three types of human stem cells (ESCs), which are named according to where they are found and the stage of development of their donor. Thus, in human beings, there are adult, embryonic and cord blood stem cells. Each of these cells can be used in the stem cell research, and all these cells have the ability to treat diseases in the future (Biotechnology Australia, 2008). In addition, ESCs in humans are usually obtained from additional embryos that are produced in fertility clinics (Franklin, 2008).

Embryonic stem cells have are highly preferred compared to other types of stem cells for various reasons. Most importantly, there are two reasons that motivate scientists to investigate the early human cells. First, these cells can be used to research specific aspects of development in early human beings. Second, ESCs are the variety of cells that make up the human body. Therefore, the study of ESCs provides clear understanding of human growth by researchers (McKay, 2000). However, there are still barriers in place, which hinder the study of human ESCs. However, the study of human stem cells derived from mature human beings shows that the cells in most tissues are replaced during adulthood and that there are new sources of cells in adults (Biotechnology Australia, 2008).

The importance of the research on human stem cell

According to McKay (2000), stem cells can be used in most scientific studies aimed at examining the process of human development and the diseases that affect the process, which can be reversed by the introduction of new stem cells. Therefore, stem cells have the potency of treating certain human diseases particularly most blood complications. Stems cells can also be used in most clinical drug tests. According to Siddiqi (2008), most of the experimental drug tests that are carried out to determine the efficacy and safety of pharmaceutical products should be performed on stem cells instead of human patients to avoid unnecessary pain, violation of human rights, and possible lawsuits. The use of stem cells in such tests will also allow the pharmaceutical companies to consider the ethical issues involved in experiments done on living human beings (Bongso, 2008).

Moreover, because of the potential of stem cells to regenerate new tissues, they can be used to produce new liver tissues in the lab. These tissues can then be used to replace the damaged ones in patients suffering from liver complications. In this way, the lives of most patients who die because they are unable to get the right organ donors will be saved in addition to averting the problem of organ shortages in most hospitals. Furthermore, stem cells are effective in the future treatment of diabetes mellitus. This is because stem cells with the potential to differentiate and regenerate pancreatic cells, which produce insulin, can be extracted and grown in the lab. These cells can then be transferred into diabetic patients to boost the insulin-producing capacity in their bodies. Overall, stems cells can be used to treat liver complications, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and heart disease among a host others (Siddiqi, 2008).

Most importantly, the research on stem cells has enabled scientists to help individuals who lack the capacity to develop pregnancies to bear children of their own. This occurs through the process known as in-vitro fertilization. Here, the ovum of a woman who cannot develop a pregnancy due to some reasons, is extracted and fertilized externally in the lab using sperm cells from a male donor. After fertilization has occurred, the fertilized egg is transferred into the womb of a surrogate mother whereby the embryo divides and differentiates to form a fetus. Inside of the surrogate mother’s womb, the normal stages of pregnancy occur and finally a baby is born at the end of the gestation period (Franklin, 2008).

Limitations of the research on stem cells

Developments made on tissues from cell lines could provide toxicology testing of potential new treatments and therapeutics for several diseases. Despite these developments, several challenges face this field of research and have to be cleared before advancing of the technology. First, there are barriers to organ construction using human stem cells. Here, organs derived from stem cells will be grown outside the human body and will therefore need some kind of scaffolding during their development. Secondly, unintended side effects like cancer could result from ESCs therapies. Thirdly, the body could reject the newly developed cells and tissues if there is an immune reaction between the cells of the embryo being used and those of the person who will receive the new cells during treatment (Biotechnology Australia, 2008).

Discussions

US laws and policy on stem cell

Lack of federal restrictions on stem cell research has not meant the lack of restrictions on how stem cells should be used and the possible funding. This is stipulated in the Congress spending guidelines. President George W. Bush sought to have the NIH guidelines reviewed in February 2001 (Vestal, 2008). Below is a timeline of the laws and policies on embryonic stem cell in the United States.

Timeline

Human embryonic stem cell research received its first federal funding in 1993 during President Clinton’s era. This was done as provided by the National Institute of Health Revitalization Act. In 1995, the Dickey Amendment was passed, seeking to prohibit the use of funds approved by the federal government for application in human embryonic research. In 1999, a legal opinion was released by the Health and Human Services Department to give shape to the policy on stem cell research by the Clinton Administration (McGuire, 2010).

Between 2004 and 2006, an executive order was signed by President Bush, seeking to forbid stem cell research using funds from the federal government to those cell lines that had already been derived. The passage of Proposition 71 by California State in 2004 led to $3 billion being allocated to human embryonic stem cell research for at least ten years. In May 2006, bill number S.2754 was introduced into the Senate by Senator Rick Santorum. On July 18th of the same year, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act H. R. 810 was voted by the U. S. Senate in favor of the S. 2754 Act as proposed by Senator Santorium (McGuire, 2010).

On July 19th, 2006, President Bush voted in favor of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. On November 7th, 2006, the Amendment 2 was passed by the state of Missouri, effectively enabling the application of research or therapy on stem cells in line with the federal laws, although it still forbids the cloning of humans. The Regenerative Institute of Medicine which is in the state of California received a boost in stem cell research by obtaining a $45 million research grant in early 2007. Later in late 2008, Michigan State approved Proposal 08-2 thus allowing the conduct of stem cell research using remain-zygotes after in-vitro fertilizations. The FDA approved the carrying out of clinical trials involving human embryo stem cell therapy in early 2009. Later in the same year, federal funding of embryonic stem cell research was revived after President Obama signed an executive order. (McGuire, 2010).

General bioethics on stem cell research

Research on embryonic stem cells has generated heated debates ever since they were discovered, in comparison with other forms of stem cell. The reason behind this could be that an IVF (in vitro fertilized) egg needs to be destroyed after 5 days of its development for purposes of facilitating its inner cell mass that often contains the embryonic stem cells. To a majority of the people, this process is usually regarded as a move that at best, results in a complete destruction of potential life. On the other hand, there are proponents of stem cell research who harbor the belief that at that point, life is yet to begin. On the basis of moral context of an individual, and from the religious perspective of different believers, the debate on embryonic stem cell research is an attempt to assess if the fertilized egg ought to be subjected to similar rights as those awarded to a human being?

The ethical question of patents

There is a possibility for the refusal of patents on stem cell research on ethical grounds. Even as this issue has been seen to come up infrequently in the past, nonetheless, following recent development in stem cell research on human embryos, this has effectively elicited conflicting opinions regarding the best approach to utilize in addressing the issue of patents (Sharples 2006). Whereas we have had countries that have been seen to embrace a positive policy as regards the issue of human embryonic stem cells inventions (case in point, the UK Patent Office), on the other hand, others are still yet to grant positive patent policy on the same issue. There are a number of legal questions that have thus far been proposed as regards the ethical roles involved during the process of granting patents. When and if answers to such questions are found, this will greatly facilitate in attempts to resolve the row on the issuance of patents on embryonic stem cell research.

Controversies and views

Religions

Catholic view

The Catholic Church objects the destruction of embryos for the sake of stem cell research. The Catholic Church considers an embryo to be life. Therefore, according to Pope John II, research involving stem cells derived from embryos is equated to abortion, destruction of human life, and euthanasia (Brien, 2008). With this view in mind, scientists find it hard to convince people about the long-term importance of using embryos in research. Therefore the research on human stem cells for the purpose of developing new medications and for clinical tests may be hindered by such opinions. Besides, studies show that the embryonic cells are present in the amniotic fluid, which can be extracted without injuring or killing the fetus (Weismann, 2007; Monroe et al., 2008).

Islamic view

The Islamic view of the stem cell research is different from the Catholic Church’s view. According to the Islamic law (Shari’ah), a man and a woman who are lawfully married but are unable to bear children of their own are given the opportunity to carry out an in-vitro fertilization procedure. Here, an ovum from the woman is extracted and its fertilization is carried out outside of the human body (Jones, 2005). However, instead of the fertilized egg being given to a surrogate mother, the Islamic law demands that the egg should be returned to its original donor (Siddiqi, 2008). Moreover, the Islamic law demands that the sperm cells that will be used in the process of in-vitro fertilization should be donated by the woman’s lawful husband (Siddiqi, 2008). Therefore, it is evident that most of these provisions in the Islamic law contradict the objectives of stem cell research. In addition, these laws may lead to failure of the in-vitro fertilization process.

Furthermore, the Islamic law discriminates between an embryo that has a chance for life and one that does not. Here, the law differentiates embryos on the basis of the exact location where an egg is fertilized. Therefore, the Islamic law states that an embryo is not a human being at the beginning of the pregnancy despite its high chances of becoming one. In addition, the Islamic law posits that outside of the womb, an embryo does not have the environment to become a human being and therefore, it is not a viable fetus as it cannot maintain life without a host. Overall, according to the Islamic law, it is acceptable to use an embryo located outside of the womb in research to find cures for diseases (Siddiqi, 2008; Czarnecki, 2009).

Politics

America and Stem cells

Obama and Stem Cells
Figure 3: Obama and Stem Cells (Source: Meyer, 2009)

At the beginning of 2009, Obama revived the research project on stem cells in the United States by signing an executive order that allows the research to be federally funded after eight and a half years of banning (Childs & Stark, 2009; Meyer, 2009). These funds enable researchers in the United States to carry out their research on ESCs to produce effective medications, vaccines, and other surgical remedies that will see the treatment of millions of people with diabetes and heart disease in the United States. Moreover, these research studies will give many people the opportunity to live a better life in the absence of the deleterious symptoms of diabetes such as blindness and nerve damages (Childs & Stark, 2009).

Other viewpoints

Scientific viewpoints

Scientists believe that stem cell research will open the door for advancement of medical therapy, for understanding human development, and providing treatment for many diseases that are difficult to treat by current therapeutic methods (Moore, 2008). Therefore, these scientists will not stop developing the stem cells in labs even if some countries do not support their activities. Moreover, some researchers are said to leave their countries of birth and live in foreign countries where research on stem cells is funded by the government (Monroe, 2008).

Patient viewpoint

Research on stem cells is often aired by most media stations and a lot of people have strong and divergent views on the origins and the use of embryo cells in research studies. For example, a patient who was asked if she could donate her spare embryos said, “If the spare embryos are definitely not going to be suitable for use during the PGD cycle, then I have no objection to them being used for scientific research as opposed to being destroyed” (Franklin, 2008, 23). While another patient who was unsure of whether or not to donate her embryo commented that, “I am not always confident that research is being done for the ‘right’ reasons rather than because it is simply advancing medical science” (Franklin, 2008, p. 23). Apart from the individualized views, religious groups also have strong feelings about the moral justification of the stem cell research.

Analysis

Stem cells have become an important issue because they can form different types of cells, which create complex organs and tissues capable of saving lives. Despite the controversies and objections on the research of stem cell, the research has spread widely and countries all over the world are competing to develop these research studies to serve humanity.

Recommendation

This report could help undergraduate students in understanding the research on stem cells and some of the controversies behind it. In addition, this report serves as a starting point for additional research on the same topic and thus, it aims to motivate students in terms of reading widely and alternatively to simply developing their research skills.

Conclusion

This report presents the analysis of research articles examining the research and cross cultural and religious views on stem cells. Alarfaj’s writing is relevant to medical students and anyone interested in learning about the idea of stem cells and the current status of the research. Using previous knowledge obtained from following health news on the research of stem cells and reading several scholarly articles and journals on the same topic, Alarfaj describes varying types of stem cells and shows their benefits and the controversies behind allowing research on embryonic stem cells. This report is able to illustrate that stem cells are highly potential in researching cure for diseases, understanding human development and conducting drug clinical trials. This is owing to their ability to differentiate and specialize into virtually any body cell. Three types of stem cells have been highlighted and these include adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells cord blood stem cells. Despite stem cells and their potential being identified as early as 1990s, political debates have been of great influence on its growth with its development being halted by denial of federal funding until in 2009 when federal funding was restored. Despite this success, the opposition mounted by religions such as the Catholic Church on the basis that human embryonic stem cell research promotes killing of human life will continue to derail the efforts of furthering stem cell research. Moreover, individual views on stem cell research will determine the acceptability of stem cell research. Scientists in this field however, are optimistic that human suffering will be eased by continued stem cell research.

Summaries of resources

Childs, D. & Stark, L. (2009). Obama Reverses Course, Lifts Stem Cell Ban. ABC News/Health. 

This web article is from ABC news in March 2009 and it talks about the historic order that Obama signed to support the stem cell research in the United States. At the beginning of Obama’s presidency, he revived the research on stem cells in the United States by signing an executive order that allows the research to be federally funded after eight year and half years of ban. These funds enables researchers in the United States to carry out their research on ESCs to produce effective medications, vaccines, and other surgical remedies that will see the treatment of millions of people with diabetes and heart disease in the United States. Moreover, these research studies will give many people the opportunity to live a better life in the absence of the deleterious symptoms of diabetes such as blindness and nerve damages. During the Bush administration, the research was purely not funded and some researchers in America moved overseas where they could find the necessary funding and resources for their activities.

Biotechnology Australia. (2008). Support for use of embryonic stem cells remains high, but therapeutic cloning not well understood. Media Release, Public Awareness Research 2005. 

This article is from an Australian Biotechnology website. I found this article useful for my paper because it has clear definitions and explanations of stem cells and their usefulness. Besides, the article notes that the stem cell research in Australia is a relatively new area of science. Thus, this article contains basic information on stem cells that might help beginners in the medical field. However, additional research studies on the development and growth dynamics of stem cells is needed particularly in Australia to allow scientists to develop cures for certain killer diseases. These studies will act as a useful literature resource base for the Australian stem cell research, which is currently under the custodianship of the Australian Stem Cell Centre. The centre was established in 2003 by the Australian government with the aim of providing biotechnological tools for most scientists in Australia who are involved in the study of embryonic and adult stem cells.

Siddiqi, M. (2008). An Islamic perspective on stem cells research. IslamiCity. 

This research article is written by Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, a professor in the field of Genetics. The article presents the Islamic view on the research of stem cells and the provisions in the Islamic law, which may interfere with the research. The research article also elaborates on the definition of stem cells and the embryo from the perspective of the Islamic law. Furthermore, the research article provides a wide range of information on the origin and development of stem cells. Additionally, the author explains in detail the importance of stem cells in the human body and to better health. Therefore, this article is significant to the current research study in terms of providing the meaning of stem cells from the Islamic perspective, the importance of stem cells, and the controversies created by the Islamic law relative to the research on stem cells.

Bongso, A. (2008). Human embryonic stem cells: Science and ethics. NUS. 

This is a research paper written by a professor in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the National University of Singapore (NUS). The article presents useful information on the definition of stem cells, the sources and derivation of stem cells, benefits of stem cells to mankind, current state of the stem cells research, and the ethical issues surrounding the research on stem cells. To make the article easier to read, the author divided it into several parts. The first part provides a detailed explanation of what stem cells are and the second part talks about the appropriate use of stem cells in the production of liver cells, brain cells, heart muscle cells, and blood cells. The third part of the article provides the sources of stem cells. Lastly, the fourth part shows the current research and the developments made on the research and how various scientists are extracting stem cells from mature tissues of adult human beings and the process of differentiating them into various cell types.

Brien, N. (2008). Stem- cell Research and the Catholic Church. American Catholic Organization. 

This research is from the American catholic website. It explains the position of the Catholic faith on the study of stem cells, which objects the destruction of embryos for the sake of scientific research. The Catholic Church considers embryos to be full human beings. While the current pope, Pope Benedict XVI, is opposed to embryonic stem cell research, he agrees to adult stem-cell research since it does not violate human dignity. Besides, Pope John Paul II argues that extraction of embryos for the sake of research is equitable to murder, abortion, euthanasia, and unnecessary destruction of the human life. In addition, the article also provides a description of the origins of stem cells and the ethical issues surrounding the study of stem cells. In addition, the Catholic Church feels that some of the ethical issues concerning the research on stem cells have been ignored by most scientists and governments around the world.

The significance of this article to the current study is that it provides useful ideas on the origins of stem cells and the ethical issues that should be considered by scientists as they go about their studies on stem cells. In addition, the article presents a clear view of the controversies of the Catholic Church relative to the stem cell research, which may interfere with the success of the scientific studies.

McKay, R. (2000). Stem cells-hype and hope.” Nature, 406, 361-364. 

This scholarly article was very useful for my paper since it contains useful materials about the stem cells research. Besides, the article gives a lot of information on the sources and development of embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Additionally, the author provides a clear definition of stem cells, which guided most of the definitions provided in this report. Furthermore, the author presents an elaborate discussion on Germ cells and Cancer cells in which he shows how research studies done on mice enable researchers to understand the nature of stem cells and how they develop and differentiate to different cells.

Czarnecki, S. (2009). The importance of stem cell research. Quality Health, Medical Advisory Board.

This scholarly article was very resourceful to my paper because it presents useful facts about the importance of the research on stem cells and its relevance to quality health. In this article, the author starts off with discussions on the historical developments made in the research on stem cells and their impact on the medical field. Additionally, the article describes the major health complications that are treatable through the scientific technologies utilizing stem cells. Subsequently, the article presents a description of the various categories of stem cells that are in use and the ones under development. Overall, the article is significant to the current study in terms of informing and reinforcing my discussions on the importance of the research on stem cells.

Dialogica. (2007). Stem cells. 

This is a scholarly site that presents useful discussions on the division, differentiation, and the regeneration of stem cells. Most importantly, the site contains several pictures illustrating the different categories of stem cells and their respective sources. Subsequently, the site offers a great deal of useful data concerning the different categories and origins of stem cells. Relative to the current study, the site was significant because it is the source of the picture provided on the first page of this research paper. In addition, the site informed the discussions provided in this paper on the different types and sources of stem cells.

Franklin, S. (2008). Human fertilization and embryology authority. 

This article reviews the process of human fertilization and the laws that govern the use of embryonic stem cells in different countries. In this article, the author describes the process of fertilization, the division of the ovum, development of the embryo, and the differentiation of the embryonic stem cells. Furthermore, the different stages in the development of the embryo are provided relative to different stages where scientists can extract stem cells without disturbing the normal process of embryonic development. Thus, the article was useful to the current research study because of its resourceful data on the stem cell research and the fundamental authorities influencing the research activities in different countries.

Meyer, B. (2009). Obama’s lifting of stem cell ban will benefit local National Center for Regenerative Medicine. Health news, Los Angeles Times. 

This article was retrieved from the Los Angeles Times, Health news and it talks about President Obama’s move to lift the ban on the research of stem Cells in the United States. In addition, the article discusses the importance of stem cell research in the United States relative to the critics’ views on the whole process. Subsequently, the author highlights the beneficiaries of the President’s move such as the National Center for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM). In this case, the author argues that the NCRM will benefit in terms of receiving the funds necessary for developing new remedies for several human diseases and complications affecting millions of Americans and the world population. Thus, this article was useful to this paper in terms of providing the information used in the discussions on the importance of the research on stem cells in the United States.

Sharples, C. D. (2006). Ethical questions to ponder in the European stem cell patent debate. J Biolaw Bus, 9(3): 12-16.

This particular journal, published in Pub Med, examines how the issuance of patents on stem cell research could be denied to those undertaking this form of research in Europe. The article further argues that in the past, this kind of issues only occurred very infrequently. However, following the recent developments that has occurred in the field of stem cell research on human embryonic cells, this has acted to elicit the emergence of conflicting opinions in Europe regarding the kind of approach that ought to be embraced in as far as the issue of patents is concerned.

Monroe, K., Miller, R., & Tobis, J. (2008). Fundamentals of the stem cell debate. Berkeley: University of California Press. 

“Fundamentals of the stem cell debate” is an article that reviews the different controversies surrounding the research on stem cells in different parts of the world relative to the Christian and the Islamic faiths. In this article, the author discusses the scientific, the Christian, the Islamic, and the Patients’ views on the research of stem cells. Subsequently, the author takes a stand on the issue of stem cell research based on the information gathered from the opponents and proponents of the research on stem cells. Therefore, the article was important to the current research paper because it informs the discussions on the controversies surrounding the research of stem cells.

Moore, H. (2008). Embryonic stem cell therapy ‘best route’. University of Sheffield: Center for Stem Cell Biology. 

This article was retrieved from the Center for Stem Cell Biology in the University of Sheffield. In this article, the author describes the medical procedures utilizing stem cells to treat different human complications such as the Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy. Subsequently, the article describes the importance of using these therapies to treat diseases that are perceived to have no immediate cure. Therefore, the article is significant to the current research paper because it supports the discussions provided on the importance of the research on stem cells and the future applications of therapies utilizing stem cells to treat emerging human complications.

Weissman, I. (2007). The Politics and Promise of Stem Cell Research. Lecture, Standford Medical School. 

This is a lecture that presents useful information on the political controversies surrounding the research on stem cells and the importance of the research in eliminating some of the human complications affecting millions of people in the world. In this lecture, the author describes the political views that are hindering the progress of the research on stem cells relative to the scientific views on the whole research process. Additionally, the notes offer a great deal of information on the human complications, which can be treated using the stem cell technology and the future uses of the same therapy in eliminating some of the current human complications. Thus, this lecture was useful in providing ideas on the importance of the stem cell research provided in the current research paper.

Young, W. (2007). Stem cell controversy: The science of growing parts. Tonya Winchester. 

While discussing the controversies surrounding the research on stem cells, the author presents several arguments given by politicians, church leaders, Islamic leaders, and physicians concerning the research on stem cells. According to the author, the views of different people interviewed have a bearing in the future direction of the research on stem cells and thus, it is important to consider and address them to allow for the smooth development of the research process. On the other hand, the author identifies other arguments that do not hold any significant impact on the progress of the research on stem cells. Thus, this research article was important in terms of informing the discussions and illustrations provided in this paper concerning the controversies surrounding the research on stem cells.

Reference List

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Bongso, A. (2008). Human embryonic stem cells: Science and ethics. NUS. Web.

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Monroe, K., Miller, R., & Tobis, J. (2008). Fundamentals of the stem cell debate. Berkeley: University of California Press. Web.

Moore, H. (2008). Embryonic stem cell therapy ‘best route’. University of Sheffield: Center for Stem Cell Biology. Web.

Sharples, C. D. (2006). Ethical questions to ponder in the European stem cell patent debate. J Biolaw Bus, 9(3): 12-16

Siddiqi, M. (2008). An Islamic perspective on stem cells research. IslamiCity.

Weissman, I. (2007). The Politics and Promise of Stem Cell Research. Lecture, Standford Medical School. Web.

Young, W. (2007). Stem cell controversy: The science of growing parts. Tonya Winchester. Web.

Appendix A

Figure 1: Stem Cells. Web.

Figure 2: Stem Cells Controversy. Web.

Figure 3: Obama and Stem Cells.

Cite this paper

Reference

NerdyBro. (2022, June 22). The Importance of Stem Cells. Retrieved from https://nerdybro.com/the-importance-of-stem-cells/

Reference

NerdyBro. (2022, June 22). The Importance of Stem Cells. https://nerdybro.com/the-importance-of-stem-cells/

Work Cited

"The Importance of Stem Cells." NerdyBro, 22 June 2022, nerdybro.com/the-importance-of-stem-cells/.

References

NerdyBro. (2022) 'The Importance of Stem Cells'. 22 June.

References

NerdyBro. 2022. "The Importance of Stem Cells." June 22, 2022. https://nerdybro.com/the-importance-of-stem-cells/.

1. NerdyBro. "The Importance of Stem Cells." June 22, 2022. https://nerdybro.com/the-importance-of-stem-cells/.


Bibliography


NerdyBro. "The Importance of Stem Cells." June 22, 2022. https://nerdybro.com/the-importance-of-stem-cells/.