2 VocabularyRemarkable : Worthy of attention; striking Intense : Of extreme force, degree, or strength Replenish : Fill (something) up again Potency : The power of something to affect the mind or body Placenta : A flattened circular organ in the uterus of pregnant eutherian mammals, nourishing and maintaining the fetus through the umbilical cord Coaxed : Persuade (someone) gradually or gently to do something. Outweigh : Be heavier, greater, or more significant than. Fetus : An unborn or unhatched offspring of a mammal, in particular, an unborn human more than eight weeks after conception.
3 Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth. In addition, in many tissues they serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. Stem cell research is used for investigation of basic cells which develop organisms. The cells are grown in laboratories where tests are carried out to investigate fundamental properties of the cells.
4 Stem Cell Research Facts There are three main types of stem cells: adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells and induced-pluripotent stem cells, or iPSCs.In tissues like bone and muscle, adult stem cells can generate replacements for bone and muscle cells that are lost through injury, disease or normal wear and tear. Embryonic stem cells are “starter cells” that can be coaxed into becoming any of the specialized cells of the body, meaning they are “pluripotent.” Embryonic stem cells are derived from eggs fertilized in the laboratory, not in a woman’s body.Induced-pluripotent stem cells are adult stem cells that have been genetically altered to behave like embryonic stem cells. At present, they serve a valuable role in research and drug testing.
5 There were two main issues concerning stem cell research with both pros and cons: 1. How the knowledge will be used 2. Concerns about the methods
6 Stem Cell Research - Arguments Regarding the Usage of the Knowledge Pros : Stem cell research can potentially help treat a range of medical problems. It could lead humanity closer to better treatment and possibly cure a number of diseases:Parkinson’s DiseaseAlzheimer’s DiseaseHeart Diseases, Stroke and DiabetesBirth DefectsSpinal Cord Injuries
7 Replace or Repair Damaged Organs Reduced Risk of TransplantationStem cells may play a major role in cancerBetter treatment of these diseases could alsogive significant social benefits for individualsand economic gains for society
8 Cons : "We should not mess with human life.“ "Humans should not be trying to play God“Some argue that stem cell research in the far future can lead to knowledge on how to clone humans.It is hard to say whether this is true, but we have seen devastating consequences of other research-programs, even with good intentions, such as nuclear research.
9 Stem Cell Research - Pros and Cons About the Methods Involved Pros Before 2007"The benefits of stem cell research have such a great outcome that they outweigh the ethical issues." (Cost-benefit-analysis)"If someone is going to have an abortion, isn’t it better that we use it for something useful?“Adult stem cells would not be that interesting because they do not have the same properties as stem cells from a fetus.The research would give great insights about the basics of the body.
10 Cons Before 2007Critics against stem cell research argued that the ethical issues of scientific work on aborted fetuses did not justify the possible benefits."A life is a life and that should never be compromised. A fertilized egg should be valued as a human life even if it is in its very first weeks. Destroying human life in the hopes of saving human life is not ethical.“We should (and will) develop more ethical methods (such as using adult stem cells) which will enable us to research ethically. We should wait until those methods are available.The scientific value has been overstated or has flaws. E.g. we do not know for sure that we can use stem cells to clone transplantable organs.