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Regenerative Medicine Essay

2605 words - 11 pages

Richard J. Gross, a developmental biologist, once said, “If there were no regeneration, there could be no life. If everything regenerated there would be no death.” In 2001 President George W. Bush banned further funding of embryonic stem cell research. Why? Some feel that embryonic stem cell research encouraged abortion, and that banning the federal funding for embryonic stem cell research would lessen abortion rates. However, just recently President Barack Obama has reversed that law, allowing federal funding for embryonic stem cell research to continue. Why was only embryonic research federal funding banned? Furthermore, why ban funding on stem cells when they could potentially save ...view middle of the document...

However, embryonic stem cells are the most useful and beneficial to stem cell researchers. Embryonic stem cells are the most controversial of all of the stem cell sources and the form that first comes to mind. Embryonic stem cells are extracted from aborted fetuses or from IVF treatments. IVF stands for in vitro fertilization, where a woman’s eggs are placed in a Petri dish and fertilized with sperm. The embryo is then examined and carefully watched for a few days to make sure that it is forming correctly. After waiting for the examination process, the embryo is inserted into the woman’s uterus. Large sums of these embryos are made because many times the IVF treatment is not successful, and then the woman can continue to try and have a successful pregnancy. However, when IVF is successful and the embryos are no longer needed the woman can choose to continue to have the embryos frozen or donate them to stem cell research. The majority of embryonic stem cells are donated stem cells from IVF donations according to biologist Sally Morgan. But, there are still other cells that come from aborted babies. People say that allowing stem cell research encourages abortion. But, the fetuses from aborted babies that are donated to embryonic research are helping find cures for the incurable diseases. Embryonic stem cells have the ability to be transformed into any type of cell. In “Stem Cell Research Medical Applications and Ethical Controversy,” written by Joseph Panno Ph.D., Panno states that “in culture embryonic stem cells are immortal, proliferating indefinitely while retaining an embryonic phenotype.” This is why they have become ideal for regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine involves growing new organs, or tissue from embryos.

3 Those against stem cell research claim that “obtaining embryonic stem cells involves the deliberate stopping, after five to eight days, of the process in which a fertilized human egg develops into a fully formed infant” (Guest Opinion). Pro-life advocates also say that the embryos are unwillingly given to the scientist through in vitro fertilization in which they are later destroyed, or murdered, and placed into injured parts of the body (Guest Opinion). However, according to E.O. Wilson, a Pulitzer Prize winning zoologist, “The newly fertilized egg, a corpuscle one two-hundredth of an inch in diameter, is not a human being” (Scott, 123). The national government has three different views involving the exact moment in which a human life starts: embryological view, neurological view, ecological/technological view. All of these views stem from different religions and backgrounds but they all have in common the one fact that they declare an embryo to be a human lifer after gastrulation at least 12 days after fertilization (http://8e.devibio.com). So, the donated embryos that scientist use for research are not human lives, but rather opportunities to save and benefit thousands of future human lives. Adult stem cells are...

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