Stem Cell Research, it's Past and Current Policy.
Stem cells are the latest controversial topic in the forefront biological research. No other ongoing areas of research have been the focus of Presidential and Congressional scrutiny, ethical debates and numerous other national media. This lengthy focus on this research is attributed to their amazing but controversial potential of a specific type of stem cell, the embryonic stem cells. The primary issue that is being dealt with is the issue over Federal funding for research using embryonic stem cells; the very nature of these cells cause strong opinions and bring up serious ethical concerns.
To produce an opinion on this subject requires a background on the ongoing research of the stem cells. In particular, ideas of the various types of stem cells and the potential and current possible uses of these cells are necessary. Also, before coming to any form of conclusions, it is important to observe the various positions and developments of the debate on the stem cells. By understanding the nature and the potential of the stem cells, it is possible to understand why embryonic stem cell research should continue to be Federally Funded.
Stem cells are valued for its "pluripotentiality", meaning it has the potential to develop into all or nearly all of the tissues in the body. There are several types of stem cells in the human body, though some are more specific to a particular function tan others. Thus the term stem cell " commonly is used to refer to the cells within the adult organism that renew tissue." (NBAC ) First isolated in 1997 by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, (Tenebaum) the embryonic stem cell is a recent addition to the list of stem cell type already found. Embryonic stem cells are unlike any other adult stem cells. They are only found in the early stages of embryonic development and are totipotent, meaning they can form any type of adult cell or adult cell precursor.