Pros & Cons of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Written by ron augustine
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Pros & Cons of Embryonic Stem Cell Research
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Embryonic stem cell research is one of the most politically and ethically charged debates in the U.S.. The most outspoken anti-embryonic stem cell research groups say that stem cell research is unethical, on par with murder. But those groups who support the effort aver that there is much to gain from the possibilities that embryonic stem cells provide to the world of medicine and health. There are advantages and disadvantages to embryonic stem cell research, and the controversy over the issue has not been settled.

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Pros & Cons of Embryonic Stem Cell Research
("Searching" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: kevindooley (Kevin Dooley) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.)

Embryo Destruction

The embryo that is used for this research must be destroyed in order for the research to commence. To anti-embryonic stem cell groups, this is considered homicide since an embryo is a living organism. Some conservative and religious organisations have been protesting the use of embryonic stem cell research, claiming that it is an unethical practice.

Adult Stem Cells Comparison

Though many groups call for more research with adult stem cells, most studies show that adult stem cells are less flexible and weaker than embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cells do not last as long as embryonic stem cells. There is a greater quantity of embryonic stem cells as well. Overall, there is less margin of error in embryonic stem cell operation than with adult stem cells.

Alternatives

Since embryonic stem cell research implies ethical problems, and adult stem cells are not as reliable, scientists are looking for alternatives. Skin cells may be a viable option in the future, or possibly even umbilical cord cells. The main reason scientists are looking for alternatives to embryonic stem cell research is not because of their effectiveness, but because of the political quandaries that have become attached to the push for embryonic stem cell research.

Funding

The political controversy over embryonic stem cell research has led to a lack of funding put toward government programs for stem cell research. This creates roadblocks in making sure that embryonic stem cells are realising their full potential. Some states fund embryonic stem cell research on their own, but this never comes without much protest and uproar from opposing residents.

Potential

While the pros and cons of embryonic stem cell research mostly depend on political and religious affiliations of the person asked, there's no question that embryonic stem cells offer potential to the future of regenerative medicine.

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