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Embryonic Stem Cell

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Introduction

Should the use of embryonic stem cells be made legal? This is the challenging question that the society has to grapple with. By and large, the embryonic stem cell research has been a source of legal, ethical and societal controversy since the preliminary culturing of human embryonic stem cells is the laboratory a couple of years back. In many ways, the controversy has largely delayed the pace of stem cell science and gone a long way in charactering the nature several features of its consequent development. Although the scientific challenges involved in embryonic stem cell research are great, these challenges can be surmounted in a political and social world since the benefits of legalizing embryonic stem cell research far out way the disadvantages.

Human Embryonic Stem Cells Provide Crucial Clues to the Origins of Huntington’s disease

Embryonic stem cells are of great importance especially when it comes to research on the origins of some diseases. In Australia for instance, researchers have discovered evidence of the constantly lethal Huntington’s disease, especially when the cells are just a couple of days old. Huntington’s disease, which is usually based on transmutation, is actually a single gene which begins by causing symptoms when individuals are in mid-life.

This is one of the fundamental reasons why the use of embryonic stem cells should be legalized. This is mainly because the research is a clear indication of the value of being in a position of studying the progression of disease while in a lab dish. In most cases, it is usually impracticable to extract brain cells from individuals and go ahead and study them in a lab dish. However, in this case, the researchers began with IVF embryos that had the Huntington’s disease mutation. These were actually donated by individuals by using IVF to screen for mutation prior to implantation. Otherwise the embryos would be destroyed.

In this way, the researchers are in a position of extracting embryonic stem cells, and then preparing to mature them into types of neurons broken in Huntington’s disease. This is an effective way of comprehending how the disease comes into being. Consequently, the use of embryonic stem cells should be legalized. The embryonic stem cells are also effective in providing an excellent model for the execution of drug texology as well as efficacy testing. According to scientists, this is a model that has not been carried out before.

Stem Cell Treatments for Spinal Cord Injury

Another key reason as to why the use of embryonic stem cells should be legal is because they are a vital element in the treatment of spinal cord injury, a condition which is common especially among victims of road accidents. It is estimated that approximately a quarter a million individuals live with spinal cord injuries in the United States. Living with such a condition requires a patient to use approximately two to three million dollars. It is therefore important to legalize research on embryonic stem cells. This will go a long way in alleviating the suffering that such individuals go through.

Benefits Derived from Stem Cell Lines

Researchers using the stem cell line do not have to go through a difficult procedure of isolating stem cells because the moment a stem cell line has been recognized from a cell in a body; it becomes essentially immortal irrespective of how it was derived (Kevin et al. 303-318). Once it has been established, a cell line is capable of being grown in the laboratory indefinitely and there is also a possibility of cells being frozen for the sake of distribution to other researchers or for storage (Panno 65-68).

Scientists usually want to use stem cell lines grown in the lab because it gives them the opportunity to “engineer” them for the treatment of diseases or in transplantation. Scientists must always overcome attempts by a patient’s immune system to reject a transplant before they can use any type of tissue, cell, or organ for transplantation (The National Institutes of Health Resource for Stem Cell Research, 2010).

Importance of Embryonic Stem Cells to Doctors and Scientists

Stem cells usually have potential in various areas of health and medical research (Andrea, & Horst 961-978). Studying stem cells assists in understanding their transformation into dazzling arrays of specialized cells that make us what we are (Panno 5-14). Some of the most difficult medical conditions like birth defects and cancer come as a result of problems that may occur in the process of transformation. This is the reason why an enhanced comprehension of normal cell growth permits scientists to be in a position of correcting the anomalies that cause the serious medical conditions (The National Institutes of Health Resource for Stem Cell Research, 2010).

Scientists and doctors are also excited about human embryonic stem cells because they are potential in the process of making cells and tissues for medical therapies. Organs and tissues that have been donated are often used in the replacement of those that are destroyed or diseased (Qi-Long, et al. 519-523). Usually, the number of people in need of a transplant far exceeds the number of available organs.

That is why pluripotent cells are used in the treatment of a variety of diseases, conditions, including disabilities like Parkinson’s disease (The National Institutes of Health Resource for Stem Cell Research, 2010). Heart disease, spinal cord injury, diabetes, arthritis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis can also be treated using pluripotent stem cells.

The Use of Human Embryonic Stem Cells in Potential Cures

So far, scientists have been able to do experiments with human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). This took place in 1998 when a group of scientists developed a technique for isolating and growing the stem cells at the University of Wisconsin (The National Institutes of Health Resource for Stem Cell Research, 2010). The hESCs are thought to offer potential cures and therapies for many devastating diseases today although research using them is evidently still in its early stages.

A California based company called Geron in 2009 received FDA authorization to embark on the first human medical trial of cells from human stem cells. Currently, the only type of stem cell commonly used to treat human diseases is the blood forming stem cell in the bone marrow called the hematopoietic stem cells, or HSCs. For over forty years, doctors have been transferring HSCs in the bone marrow transplants and there have been advances in techniques of collecting or harvesting HSCs (Qi-Long, et al. 519-523).

HSCs are currently being used to reconstitute the immune system after the treatment of lymphoma, leukemia, and various blood or autoimmune disorders with chemotherapy (Panno 34-49). There has also been a demonstration of the clinical potential of adult cells in the treatment of other illnesses like diabetes and advanced kidney cancer. These newer uses have however involved studies with a limited number of patients.

Significance of Embryonic Stem Cells

Research on the use of stem cell should also be legalized since studies indicate that stem cells can be used to promote a medical revolution since they are known to mature into specialized cells. In most cases, these cells have the ability to redevelop cells as well as tissues. This is instrumental in providing possible treatment for several sicknesses. In as much as it is costly to undertake embryonic stem cell research, the rewards are colossal. This is mainly due to the amazing fiscal as well as medical potential of embryonic stem cells. It is for this particular reason why the federal government should not ban, but should support and fund embryonic stem cell research(Genetic Engineering).

Due to the fact that embryonic stem cell are able to regenerate cells as well as organs, diseases that seem incurable such as stroke, diabetes, Parkinson’s, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s can be taken care of.  At the moment, it has been proved that stem cells are in a position of being effectively used against cell anemia. Apart from being utilized in the treatment of diseases, embryonic stem cells can also be used in the testing of drugs. It is worth noting that stem cell testing is known to be more effective than animal testing.

On the economic front, stem cell research can be effective in boosting the biotech industry, as well as the economy in general. As the government gets involved in this kind of research, scientists from the country are in a better position of having an edge over their colleagues in other countries. This also creates an opportunity for the creation of jobs.

Additionally, embryonic stem cells are also instrumental in understanding the process of aging. As a matter of fact, scientists are in a position of identifying specific enzymes which cause the aging process. In this way, these enzymes can be blocked or removed to slow the aging process. It is also possible to entirely stop the ageing process.

As a result of utilizing stem cells, it is possible to grow limbs as well as organs in laboratories. These can then be transplanted to assist in treating illnesses. Consequently, the growing of limbs and other organs can go a long way in reducing the trafficking of human organs, a vice that is common in the world today, which leads to untold suffering among many of the world’s poor. Stem cell research is also vital in detecting the origins of the major clinical consequences like birth defects, infertility, as well as the loss of pregnancies. Consequently, a more inclusive conception of normal growth will also be useful in the deterrence and management of anomalous human development.

The use of stem cell is also effective in the treatment of diseases that a patient’s own cells which can be used in the treatment of the same patient. It is also possible to reduce risks due to the fact that a patient’s body cannot reject their own cells. It is also a known fact that embryonic stem cells are able to develop into any type of cells of the body, and may also be more adaptable than adult stem cells.

Another grate significance of embryonic stem cell research is the possibility of its association to cloning. It is ideal to use embryonic stem cells in cloning. This is mainly due to the fact that they have crucial information on every cell in the body. In this way, they can be manipulated to regenerate and open opportunities for the development of other organs.

The Option of Adoption of Embryos

Another vital reason as to why embryonic stem cell research ought to be legal since all embryos will be destroyed; it makes sense to use them to assist in curing diseases. An adoption program, known as the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption program is a key adoption program which is effective in facilitating the adoption of embryos. Since these embryos are human enough to be adopted to join family, they are definitely also human enough for stem cell research.

Public Support

Research on embryonic stem cells should also be legalized due to the fact that for several years, reports indicate that the American public is strongly in support of federal funding of the initiative. It is reported that approximately 60% of the American populace supports loosening the restrictions on funding the research on embryonic stem cells. Though it is illegal in some states, a number of states support the research. In 2004, voters in California voted in support of the research, with $ 3billion bond being set aside to fund embryonic stem cell research. It is therefore logical to legalize embryonic stem cell research.

Conclusion

Embryonic stem cell research is largely a controversial issue throughout the socio-political divide. Over the past couple of years, scientists have proved that these cells are able to offer valuable insights into human development at the early stage of life. This is because they are effective in studying the causes of a number of diseases, and can even be used in the treatment of some of them, including defects, as well as injuries based on embryonic stem cells. The research on embryonic stem cell should therefore be supported and funded by all, especially the key stakeholders (Cloning). Consequently, research on embryonic stem cells should be made legal. 

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