Advantages and Disadvantages of Stem Cell Research

Stem cell research is the use of either adult or embryonic cells to treat and cure diseases. Stem cells are immature and not fully developed cells of the human body that have the potential to be manipulated into different types of cells. There is a large debate surrounding stem cell research, which is mostly a moral one. Let’s take a look at the good and bad that could come from the use of stem cells in our society.

The Advantages of Stem Cell Research

1. Immense Medical Benefits
The main purpose of researching stem cells is to asses their use in the medical field. It has been shown that they can be extremely beneficial in therapeutic cloning to treat chronic illnesses. They have also been a wonderful stepping stone into the advancement of regenerative medicines.

2. A Better Knowledge of Human Growth
By studying the very foundation of human growth, stem cells, in depth, scientists have been able to gain a much better understanding of how our bodies work. This is vital for advancing medicine, medical processes, and even cures for degenerative illnesses.

3. The Key To Reversing Aging
Stem cells are the key to regenerative processes, which could possibly be age reversal. By reviving organs in our body that have become old or worn out, you could essentially live forever or at least greatly prolong the lives of humans.

4. Cure Development Defects Before They Happen
Stem cell research doesn’t just benefit the people walking around the earth, but also the ones that haven’t been born yet. The effects of these cells on embryos could change the way that birth defects are treated. They could possibly be corrected before the child is even born, greatly improving their quality of life and chance of survival.

The Disadvantages of Stem Cell Research

1. High Uncertainties
One of the largest issues that people have with stem cell research is just how risky and unknown it truly is. Major advancements still need to be made and new technology must be developed before it can be used in an efficient and safe way.

2. Unknown Side Effects
Since stem cells are still in their research phase, the true long term effects of their use is not known or understood. Using them could cause new illnesses and disease to develop, or even interfere with the natural functions of the body.

3. Playing God
The moral argument is another big one when it comes to this topic. Many people believe that altering the basic structure of a human’s genes is putting hands somewhere they should not be. The moral issue is the most frequently argued.

4. Perpetuates Cloning of Humans
Cloning is the process of making an exact genetic copy of a living organism. Stem cell research also aids the research into human cloning. Human cloning has been widely reviewed as a detriment to society with many negative benefits.

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Important Facts About Stem Cell Research

  • Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, birth defects, damaged organs, and cancer could all be possibly treated with the use of stem cells.
  • Bone marrow transplantation is the only form of stem cell research that has been proven to be effective and safe.
  • Manipulating cells and their functions in a clinical setting or laboratory can hinder their normal functions and render them dangerous for use.
  • Stem cells can copy themselves for an unlimited period of time.
  • The reason that they have gained so much attention, is because stem cells are “blank” cells that can be turned into almost anything that the body needs.
  • Therapeutic cloning is a type of stem cell research.
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