It has been deemed as part of the specialized field of the community of medicine for nearly 140 years (Nirmalanandhan and Sittampalan 755), but the rapid advances that have been achieved in the field in the past three decades have simply been remarkable and have contributed tremendously to a contemporary approach to regenerative medicine. However, stem cell research is controversial due to the debate surrounding the possible sources of stem cells - embryonic stem cells and adult stem cell. In this sense, the research will focus only on adult stems cells (ASC) and its potential. It asserts that ASC has to address the ethical issues surrounding it as it involves human subjects. It will not be dealing with embryonic stem cells (ESC), which have been the center of numerous debates (e.g. David and Kirkhope 2005; Lavi 2007; Meyer 2008). Focus on ASC is significant as it is considered as the most viable option for stem cell therapy without the inherent ethical issues of ESC (Sutton 1444). In light of this, research will have the following structure. The first part of the research deals is the introduction where the topic of the research is introduced, the significance of the study and the structure of the research is provided. While the second section of the research will deal with the technological status of ASC. The third section will discuss the ethical issues surrounding ASC. Finally, the fourth section will focus on the analysis of the ethical issues of ASC. In the end, it is the hope of the research that this study may provide a better understanding of the ethical issues surrounding adult stem cell research in particular and stem cell research in general. 2. Adult Stem Cells Stem cells have been the considered as important because of its distinguishing characteristics which are 1) it is capable of dividing and renewing itself for a long period of time regardless of its source. 2) It is unspecialized. 3) It can give rise to specialized cells (Stem Cell Basics 3). Due to these properties, stem cells are critical in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and drug discovery and development (Nirmalanandhan and Sittampalan 758). There are two deemed sources of stem cells. These are embryonic stem cells and adult or somatic stem cells. As noted, embryonic stem cells are controversial because of it is taken from human embryos and, robust ethical debates relevant to the value and status of the human embryo is, until now, unresolved. On the other hand, adult/somatic stem cells are taken from human persons after birth (Stewart, Dickerson and Hotchkiss 433). As such, there is the notion that adult stem cells are less controversial compared with ES cells, and as such, more feasible to conduct research with even if it is considered as second only to ES cells in terms of its ability to form specialized organs (Nirmalanandhan and Sittampalan 756). The study regarding adult/somatic stem cells have started forty years ago and it has been found out that somatic cells have the ability to self-renew and differentiate into different cell types within the specific tissue they exist.
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In the paper “Potential and Ethical Issues of Adult Stem Cells,” the author provides stem cell research, which is considered as one of the most momentous developments in this area. It has been deemed as part of the specialized field of the community of medicine for nearly 140 years…
The pluripotent stem cells also referred as embryonic cells have the ability to differentiate into every cell of the body while the multipotent (adult) stem cells can only differentiate into multiple cells but not all cell lineages in the body. Research on stem cells spans a broad range of scientific and medical fields.
There are three main types of stem cells: embryonic, adult and induced pluripotent stem cells; of which, embryonic stem cells are found in early embryos and can have the potential of developing into any cell in the body. Adult stems are found in populations around the body after birth such as in the bone marrow and can develop into a limited range of cells, while induced pluripotent stem cells are grown in the laboratory and can be modified to be more specialized.
Currently, no research on human embryos can be supported with federal funds because of the controversial origins of these cells (Gerald D. Fischbach, 2004). The root of the argument lies around embryonic stem cells, which enable research that may support the development of medical treatments, but requires the destruction of an embryo to derive.
The author discusses ethical and moral arguments of using embryonic stem cells. Arguments of groups or sectors opposing the use of embryonic stem cells revolve around the destruction of life because they consider the cell in the embryo as not just a simple cell but life itself or the beginning of a human being.
Science and technology has developed so much that in the recent years scientists hope to use these cells to develop new tissues, treatments and potentially even organs for transplanting into a patient. First and foremost argument made by the scientific community is that human stem cell research is said to promise new life changing treatments and possible cures for many devastating diseases and injuries, such as Parkinson's disease, diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, burns and spinal cord injuries (Young 2-16).
Certain types of tumors called teratomas are extraordinarily adept at generating adult tissues, but unlike embryos, they do so without the benefit of an organizing principle or blueprint. Such tumors rapidly produce skin, bone, muscle, and even hair and teeth, all massed together in a chaotic lump of tissue.
Researchers, policymakers and the public - have a responsibility to explore the potential effects of stem cell research on lives of a common man so that informed decisions can be made.
There are several types of issues to consider as we think about stem cell research.
heart, muscle, and retina), thereby providing unlimited potential for cell and regenerative therapies (Pera, Reubinoff and Trounson). Adult stem cells come from adult tissues. These are called multipotent; they can differentiate only to
These cell based therapies are recognized as regenerative or reparative medicine to treat various illness and diseases. A fundamental unit of life of all living creatures is a cell and different types of cells make up
According to the report there are a lot of ethical issues surrounding the use of stem cells in research and treatment. There are two types of stem cells as outlined by the American Medical Association and these include adult stem cells as well as the embryonic stem cells. These stem cells can be transformed into any type of cell.
6 pages (1500 words)Essay
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