Presentation on theme: "Embryonic Stem-Cell Research Part One How Catholic Ethics Guide Us Adapted from: Catholic Update “Stem-Cell Research” by Thomas A. Shannon Copyrighted."— Presentation transcript:
Embryonic Stem-Cell Research Part One How Catholic Ethics Guide Us Adapted from: Catholic Update “Stem-Cell Research” by Thomas A. Shannon Copyrighted material that appears in this article is included under the provisions of the Fair Use Clause of the National Copyright Act, which allows limited reproduction of copyrighted materials for educational and religious use when no financial charge is made for viewing.
March 10, 2009 President Barack Obama lifted the Bush era stem- cell research federal funding ban. President Obama said, "Our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values,"
Two Ethical Issues First, is the destruction of the very early embryo immoral? Second, would it be unethical to use a vaccine or tissue generated from these human embryonic stem cells?
What Are Stem Cells, Anyway? Stem cells are obtained by destroying a female egg that has been fertilized by male sperm. If left alone the stem cell would develop into an individual human life. By using the cell the human life is destroyed.
First, What Are Stem Cells and Why Are They So Important? Essentially, stem cells are cells that have the potential to become many different kinds of cells. They are the means by which cells in the body can be replenished. Embryonic Stem Cells
There Are Two Kinds of Stem Cells In the very early embryo these cells are totipotent— that is, they have the possibility of becoming any kind of bodily cell. Adult stem cells are called pluripotent—and have the capacity to become a variety of cells, but not any kind of cell. Scientists hope to obtain lines of these embryonic stem cells and coax them into becoming specific kinds of cells. For example, a biologist recently succeeded in having blood cells from bone marrow grow into nerve cells. Other scientists have recently reported success in having embryonic stem cells grow into three different types of blood cells.
What is an embryonic stem cell? Embryonic stem cells are derived from the cells that make up the inner cell mass of the blastocyst. A blastocyst is the very early embryo consisting of approximately 150 cells. This mass forms the placenta. The individual human life created at fertilization is now in the developmental process. Harvesting the embryonic stem cells terminates the continuation of the life process.
Adult Stem Cells Adult stem cells are different from cells isolated from embryos or fetuses and are found in tissues that have already developed. Such as in animals or human after birth. These cells can be isolated from many tissues, including brain. The destruction of human life is not an issue, if the cells are acquired from these sources.
The Goal of the Research The goal of this research is to use these stem cells to develop various tissues that can then be used to repair damaged tissues in the body. Heart tissue to repair a damaged heart. Nerve tissue to repair a damaged spinal column or reverse the effects of Alzheimer's disease. The research is very interesting, complex and promising.
More Ethical Problems? Which stem cells should be used for research, adult or embryonic? Many have argued that adult stem cells are difficult to obtain, very hard to coax into developing into other tissues and, consequently, their use would involve much more time and money to obtain the desired results. Up until very recently, this was generally true.