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What is Stem Cells Controversy?
If you have watched the news in the last ten years, you will probably have heard the topic of the stem cells controversy. The medical community seems to be lined up on one side along with those people who suffer from the diseases, disorders and disabilities that stem cell research could help. On the other side, is the religious community. So what is stem cells controversy?
Before you make any judgment calls on the topic of stem cell research, you need to know what stem cells are. They are actually incredibly multi-functional cells that can be engineered or changed to create new cells to replace bad, non-functioning are diseased cells in the tissues of our bodies. There are three types of stem cells: adult, cord and embryonic. The down side on adult and cord stem cells is their limitation. Adult stem cells can be extracted from bone marrow and other bone tissues, but may cause damage. The extraction is also a long term process and may not be accomplished in a sufficient amount of time to address the medical need. Cord cells are excellent stem cells, however, their limitation is that they are DNA specific. They work wonderfully for those individuals that are family members that have a close DNA match. As the match lessens, the chance of rejection increases.
To answer the question what is stem cells controversy, one needs to now focus on the embryonic stem cells. Those in the religious communities insist that the embryonic blastocyst from which the stem cells are extracted, is considered life. The blastocyst usually contains only about one hundred cells, and most of these are stem cells. They are the building blocks of the body, preparing to act in all functions to create a new human being. These are the best stem cells as they are the most flexible and do not have the DNA restrictions.
The religious communities have placed heavy pressure on the government officials so that embryonic stem cell research has not proceeded. Blocking the research due to their concept of the blastocyst as life is the first concern. Their second concern is that, without guidelines, these blastocyst could be created for the sole purpose of extracting the stem cells. In their eyes it is playing God. They also lean towards their own line of argument that cord stem cells offer more promising results. The medical community does not agree with this view. Additional mis-information is sometimes transmitted regarding the method in which the stem cell extraction occurs, often listed as a transfer of the embryo instead of stem cell extraction.
Those that suffer from some of the diseases and disorders that could be cured through the use of stem cells have made their cases to the government. The families and members of our society that are afflicted with diseases as well as spinal cord injuries have petitioned towards the release of additional embryonic stem cell research for the benefit of cures and quality of life. They have additionally petitioned that the stop the research is a direct conflict of the church and state laws.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Supplements Controversy5 Jul 2010