Science and technology are constantly evolving. Each year new discoveries are made that have a profound effect on society. With these new discoveries, we are faced with new questions about scientific and moral boundaries. What are we willing sacrifice for the possible benefits of a healthier tomorrow? At what point will we allow our moral standards to become subjective? These are questions that have risen from the current issue of stem cell research. In Congress, the prevalent issue in stem cell research is whether or not this issue warrants federal funding. In general society, the entire idea of stem cell research fuels incredible controversy. Pro-life and pro-choice activists declare this research morally right or wrong depending on their stance on when an embryo becomes a human life form. It is this heated debate in general society that has left Congress unsure as to their decision causing them to maintain a middle ground in the debate. This is an issue that must be looked at carefully. On one hand, the advancement of medical science is at risk while our moral standards hang by a thread on the other. In order to solve this issue, we, first, must better understand the cells that are under scrutiny.
Stem cells are capable of dividing and becoming specialized cells. It is this capability that makes these cells unique. According to Dr. Wolfgang Lillge, "the stem cell with the greatest potential is the fertilized egg cell, which is capable of developing into a complete organism." Dr. Lillge also states that.
"the fertilized egg cell has a totipotential up to the stage of division into eight cells, and in later stages the cells retain only "pluripotential." That is, they can form many different types of tissues, but not the complete organism. Embryonic stem cells - that is, those 50 cells within a blastocyst, which then continue to develop into the embryo proper - have this pluripotential.