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Stem Cells: Murder, Salvation?

            My grandfather was a great man, but I had to watch the spark in his eyes die, as his mind crumbled and he succumbed to Alzheimer's disease. Ironically, Nathan Jay Friedman lived a healthy life, swimming nearly every day, taking vitamin supplements, washing his hands to the verge of obsession "yet died of an incurable genetic curse. He was always very interested in scientific developments, and must have known of the potential of stem cells. Had he lived just a few years more, these omnipotent cells may have been able to cure his debilitating disease. What are these stem cells, and how could they be used to regenerate the scrambled brain of a dying man? .
             Stem cells are defined as cells that have the potential to become a plethora of cell types. Within the human body, there are hundreds of different types of cells that carry out myriad functions, such as muscle cells and neural cells. Stem cells have immense potential, because they can differentiate into most of the cells found within the body. These cells have been utilized to cure patients stricken with severe genetic disorders, and have the potential to cure many more genetic diseases. Hypothetically, stem cells could one day be used to regenerate entire organs, ameliorating the dire transplant system that currently forces people dying of kidney failure or heart disease to wait many months or even years for a transplant that they desperately need. Some people are morally opposed to embryonic stem cell research, because the extraction of stem cells from the embryo results in embryonic death. These individuals consider stem cell research to be murder, because they believe that human life begins at the exact moment when the sperm meets the egg. Nevertheless, the benefits of stem cell research outweigh the alleged immorality of the process; stem cell technology has mended bodies and will save innumerable lives.
             There are three kinds of stem cells which can be obtained from both adult and embryo cells, as well as from the umbilical cord after birth.

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