Children and Medicine

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Stem Cell Research February 7, 2011

Filed under: Prianca — pmreddi @ 7:48 pm

Stem cell research is a controversial area in medicine. The research and further pursuit of stem cells could lead to cures to many diseases including cancer. There are two types of stem cell research- human embryonic and adult stem cell research. There is no controversy surrounding adult stem cell research, but human embryo stem cells are a different story (Bohlin n. pag.).

Adult stem cell therapy involves taking stem cells from the bone marrow and regenerating new cells. Stem cells can generate many different types of cells including cardiac, skeletal, and nueral muscle tissue. Human embryonic cells on the other hand involve destroying the embryo while harvesting the cells (Bohlin n. pag.). It is here that the controversy arises. Where does human life begin? Do embryonic cells have rights? Scientists believe it is with ES (embryonic) cells that the greatest potential lays. This is because ES cells are easily manipulated in many different cell types (Bohlin n. pag).

One side of the argument is to prohibit any research on embryonic stem cells, whether that is government or private funding (Bohlin). Others want more and more funding into ES cells. When the disagreement is a moral issue, it is harder to come to terms on anything.

According to the University of Michigan, stems cells can be a “revolution” for cancer because of the various treatments they offer. For example one can use stem cell technology to kill cancer stem cells and stop malignant growth (Cancer Stem Cell Research).

Its appears that because Embryonic research is still in its beginnings, this science has not had the opportunity to specialize into Pediatrics. Though, it is believed at this point in time that stem cells will have a great impact on cancer of all types.

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