For centuries, past scientific discoveries have paved the way for future innovations. In addition, they have also positively impacted and influenced the medical and science field. A new discovery that scientists are looking into are Embryonic Stem Cells”otherwise known as ES Cells. While scientists are rushing to observe and experiment with ES Cells, many support the use because of the benefits, while others strongly oppose. ES cells are proven to drastically benefit the medical industry, but the morality of the process of extracting them are questioning and controversial. In this paper, the ethicalness, benefits, and disadvantages of Embryonic STEM cells will be evaluated.
To begin with, an embryonic stem cell is a cell that is derived from an early stage human embryo. In order to be harvested, the egg cell must be fertilized by a sperm cell and be less than a week old. According to the National Institutes of Health, scientists discovered ways to derive embryonic stem cells from early mouse embryos more than 30 years ago, in 1981. The biology of mice is similar to humans, so this aided scientists to take a step further in their experiments. After this discovery, scientists discovered a procedure on how to extract stem cells from blastocysts”or a ball of approximately 100 cells that will eventually form an embryo.
As humans age, their bones weaken and many cells that are essential for health become inflicted with disease and/ or damaged. According to an article, Cell Division Can Be Halted In Multiple Ways, With Implications For Cancer, published by Brown University, Cellsexcept for cancerous onescannot reproduce forever. When aging cells stop dividing, they become ‘senescent.’ Senescent cells do not function the way young cells do, and are believed to be associated with skin wrinkles, immune system problems and age-related diseases, including cancer. In this excerpt, the article points out that senescent cells are in connection with reasons for illnesses in the elder population. As organs and muscle cells deteriorate, the functions of the body system are affected. Moreover, the importance of ES Cells is that they have the possibility of being reprogrammed into any cell. When a fertilized egg in the fetus begins rapidly multiplying, the inner cells in the blastocyst can induce to become any specific somatic cell or vital organ. Since ES cells have the ability to become body cells, heart cells, nerve cells, and blood cells, scientists believe that this can replace deteriorating cells and possibly cure cancer. The benefits of ES Cells can be limitless in the medical field because stem cells can be a possible source for cell transplants, which will reduce the need for organ donations. Also, because ES cells have the ability to differentiate into vital cells, it introduces new propositions to cure cardiovascular disease and type one diabetes. In the future, doctors will have the opportunity of transplanting stem cells and organs produced by stem cells.
Although, ES Cells are exponential and may have the ability to go beyond science and medicine, there are negative aspects that are tied to them. Furthermore, the disadvantages of extracting stem cells from the inner cell of embryo leads to the destruction of the cell. The inner cell of the embryo is essential for life and is needed in order for the human embryo to develop into a fetus. People strongly oppose the use of ES Cells because of the source that it is acquired from, so they see it as an immoral act. There are many other approaches that scientists can take to search for stem cells that include all of the characteristics of the human embryonic stem cells. For instance, new findings have found an abundant amount of stem cells in body fat. According to Susan Lim, adult stem cells can be discovered in our blood, in our bone marrow, in our fat, our skin and other organs. Susan Lim”a surgeon pioneer”has a new proposition for transplanting cells instead of organs. Lim claims that instead of using ES cells for use, scientists can use other sources of stem cells for their studies. While ES Cells are highly significant, the ethicalness of the extraction is controversial. The ES Cells discovery will always be a landmark finding, but, unfortunately, ES Cells are unethical, and a new way must be found to enhance human health.
The importance of Embryonic Stem Cells will effectively encourage scientists to search for additional procedures for cures. While the possibilities of using ES Cells are fascinatingly endless, scientists must discover other types of STEM cells”with the same characteristics as ES Cells”because the extraction of ES Cells destroys the embryo, which is seen as unethical in the eyes of many. As scientists continue their research, new discoveries will uncover ways to enhance human health.
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