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Stem Cells... Good Or Bad?

hey, I need some help… I am in high school, and I’m having to write a report on stem cells and what some of the different views are about them, I believe that they are very useful, and can go on to cure many major afflictions. Please tell me what you think about them, give your opinion and why. Thanks a lot, this will really help me.

Try using a search engine. Perhaps Google. Heck, maybe even the one on this site…

I think it’s good.

If we can improve the quality of life and maybe cure some diseases, I can’t see how anybody can be against it.

They’re good. They are a huge advancement in science that can be used for tremendous good in terms of medical advancement.

They can be good if cooked right, but if they are undercooked, they can be real bad. (They really need chocolate.)

Ok, seriously it is such a twisted issue. It has been politicized to the point that nobody even knows what it really is about. Definitely check out Google, but realize that much of what you find might be very biased, either for or against, and by people who have no knowledge about the subject.

The far right is convinced that all stem cells come as a result of ripping children out of the womb. While the left is convinced that stem cells are the cure for everything, and can even be used to sweeten you coffee without calories.

The truth is somewhere in the middle. There are some potential benefits from the use of stem cells, but research needs to be done to really prove it, and figure out how to go about using it. On the other hand, some believe that ethics about the issue should be discussed and decided before people just jump in.

If there are already aborted fetuses, or embryos that are not going to be implanted, I see no problem with getting some actual benefit from those events. This is not to condone the abortions, but rather to say if they are going on anyway, then you might as well get something out of it.

What some are worried about is experimenting on humans, or harvesting humans for the benefit of others.

The ethics should be decided, and soon. Science without ethics is a problem.

Let me give an example of how ethics should be important. What if stem cells become common to use, and suddenly the supply starts to run short? Should we get girls pregnant, and then abort the fetuses just to get more? (No I am not saying that is the only way, just a possibility.)

In and of themselves, stem cells are just a thing. Whether good or bad is in how they are used.

If you’re doing a report for high school, you should differentiate between fetal stem cells, which are politically controversial, and other stem cells, which are not. Start with that at least in your introduction, and include some info on adult and other stem cells, then in the meat of your paper explore the controversy surrounding fetal stem cells.

That is, if this paper is for a class in which the controversy is meaningful? If not, don’t spend time on the controversy, but still make the juxtaposition between adult and fetal stem cells and research on both types – it will make for good paper organization.

I would say good. They’ve already improved the lives of several people, and saved the lives of others. More research does need to be done though. Check out the articles here for more info:
http://www.discover.com/search-results/?searchStr=stem+cell&submitBtn=1&select=Entire+Site

To-Shin Do

My opinion is that stem cells have a potential to help heal/cure/improve the quality of life for many people. I base my opinion on what I’ve read of the research going on in this area.

I agree with Boston - if you are doing a paper on stem cells alone - it is important to make the distinction between adult stem cells and fetal stem cells.

I would certainly encourage you to research cell type regression and stem cell generation from unfertilized egg cells. (I’d also suggest going to websites from reputable science journals and universities - although I’m sure you know that!)

So now “embryonic” stem cells are to be known as “fetal” stem cells? Was that change in terminology sent out in an email, or did you pick it up from the Sunday morning talk shows? What about embryos that have been stored for or donated for IVF? Are they “fetal” tissue as well?

cjf, keep in mind that the issue with embryonic stem cell research is that it will cause millions of women to run out and get knocked up just so that they can get an abortion and sell the embryos for drug money.

[quote]tme wrote:
So now “embryonic” stem cells are to be known as “fetal” stem cells? Was that change in terminology sent out in an email, or did you pick it up from the Sunday morning talk shows? What about embryos that have been stored for or donated for IVF? Are they “fetal” tissue as well?

Fetal
Pronunciation: 'fE-t&l
Function: adjective
: of, relating to, or being a fetus

Fetus
Pronunciation: 'fE-t&s
Function: noun: an unborn or unhatched vertebrate especially after attaining the basic structural plan of its kind; specifically : a developing human from usually three months after conception to birth

Embryonic
Pronunciation: "em-brE-’?-nik
Function: adjective
1 : of or relating to an embryo
2 : being in an early stage of development : INCIPIENT, RUDIMENTARY

Embryo
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural em?bry?os
Etymology: Medieval Latin embryon-, embryo, from Greek embryon, from en- + bryein to swell; akin to Greek bryon catkin
1 a archaic : a vertebrate at any stage of development prior to birth or hatching b : an animal in the early stages of growth and differentiation that are characterized by cleavage, the laying down of fundamental tissues, and the formation of primitive organs and organ systems; especially : the developing human individual from the time of implantation to the end of the eighth week after conception
2 : the young sporophyte of a seed plant usually comprising a rudimentary plant with plumule, radicle, and cotyledons
3 a : something as yet undeveloped b : a beginning or undeveloped state of something <productions seen in embryo during their out-of-town tryout period – Henry Hewes>

From what I’ve read, the scientists in South Korea have cloned embryos up to 100 cells in size (the largest as of February 2004, if you know of larger, please attach a link to your research sources - I’d love to read it) to harvest stem cells - which according to the definitions above - we could also call them fetal stem cells.

Apologies to the guy who started this thread for the digression but I had the time to respond to tme and decided why not?

I support stem cell research, but only as a byproduct of my support for killing babies.

[quote]en7i7y wrote:

Fetus
Pronunciation: 'fE-t&s
Function: noun: an unborn or unhatched vertebrate especially after attaining the basic structural plan of its kind; specifically : a developing human from usually three months after conception to birth

Embryo
b : an animal in the early stages of growth and differentiation that are characterized by cleavage, the laying down of fundamental tissues, and the formation of primitive organs and organ systems; especially : the developing human individual from the time of implantation to the end of the eighth week after conception[/quote]

Thanks en7i7y. So basically the two are different and distinguishable, and the interchanging of terms is simply a ploy by anti-abortionists to tie embryonic stem cell research to abortion. “Fetal stem cells” are actually more commonly known as embryonic germ cells, and are NOT interchangable. You use the same definition I do, from the NIH:

http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/scireport/execSum.asp
Embryonic stem cell. An embryonic stem cell is derived from a group of cells called the inner cell mass, which is part of the early (4- to 5-day) embryo called the blastocyst.”

Embryonic Germ Cell. An embryonic germ cell is derived from fetal tissue. Specifically, they are isolated from the primordial germ cells of the gonadal ridge of the 5- to 10-week fetus. Later in development, the gonadal ridge develops into the testes or ovaries and the primordial germ cells give rise to eggs or sperm. Embryonic stem cells and embryonic germ cells are pluripotent, but they are not identical in their properties and characteristics.”

You folks couldn’t let the person that started this thread do their own homework and actually have to think?

[quote]vroom wrote:
You folks couldn’t let the person that started this thread do their own homework and actually have to think?[/quote]

okay, okay - this is over for me.

But, I would say that there’s plenty of thinking & research left for cjf.

Here’s an interesting article on some new proposals – is your paper focused on science or ethics?

http://www.techcentralstation.com/121004C.html

[quote]vroom wrote:
You folks couldn’t let the person that started this thread do their own homework and actually have to think?[/quote]

Vroom, did you ever think that his polling a bunch of health-minded people like us WAS part of his paper?

Yeah, if I was doing a paper I’d poll a bunch of bodybuilders to determine their opinions on topics of science and ethics…

It occurred to me… and then I laughed at the idea.

4 out of 5 bodybuilders prefer crest… who gives a shit?

[… edited because one of these days I might learn how to type …]

Scienists have found a way to get embryonic stem-cells, without pissing anybody off (maybe). They inject an egg with a certain enzyme found in sperm called phospholipase C-zeta. That makes it think it’s been fertilized. They add another chemical to keep it from ejecting its other set of DNA, and it starts to divide. Since it only has two sets of DNA from the mother, it cannot form a fetus. I read it in NewScientist.

To-Shin Do

But you have to admit: the chin-rubbing picture lends an air of calm and mature reflection to all of vroom’s posts! And the slight grin lets you know you shouldn’t take what he’s posting personally.

Better than an emoticon, vroom!

[quote]vroom wrote:
Yeah, if I was doing a paper I’d poll a bunch of bodybuilders to determine their opinions on topics of science and ethics…

It occurred to me… and then I laughed at the idea.

4 out of 5 bodybuilders prefer crest… who give shit?[/quote]

Hey, stupid. You may consider your own opinions not worthy of consideration but do us a favor and exclude the rest of us from your moronic insults.