click on the icon to visit an intersting website on public ethics.
Adult stem cells research rather than human embryos.
The issues of stem cells and embryonic cloning remain a confusing aspect for many of us including our parliamentary leaders.
Stem cells are cells, which can become any tissue. They can become liver, nerve, skin and eye or anything else. They are seen as tools of the future to cure the difficult diseases. Sickness like MS, Parkinsonism, or heart and liver disease are seen to be possibly curable with stem cells which are found in embryonic tissue, cord blood and virtually every tissue investigated. An example is bone marrow transplants where the stem cells present in the marrow recolonise to cure leukemia. The debate today is about which tissue to use as a source of stem cells.
Embryonic cells are prepared from embryos left over from a IVF program (currently 70,000 are frozen in storage in Australia alone) favoured by some scientists to be used for research into methods to enable these to grow into the desired tissues. It seems our politicians may have become mesmerised by the proposition of a mass market for stem cell products using embryonic cells, without understanding the alternatives and the ethical questions arising from this type of research. Are we using the left over embryos because there is no other use for them? There is very little known about their properties and research will take at least 5 or even 10 years to yield useable results. It is known however that embryo stem cells in their current state can cause cancerous growths and our immune system will reject them. Research will take us down a dangerous path, which will almost certainly, ultimately lead towards human cloning.
Adult Stem Cells
Adult stem cells come from any other tissue, and also have the property of becoming almost any other tissue under the right conditions. They are the basis of all natural healing processes.
Bone marrow transplants have already been mentioned, but there are reports of eye repair, heart damage repair and many animal instances of repair processes, which can easily be translated into human results reasonably soon. Adult stem cells have already produced promising results without cancer growths or rejection from our immune systems.
Embryonic cell stem research represents a highly theoretical exciting but dangerous research effort for the few in comparison to a developing ethically sound promising source of cures arising from the use of adult stem cells. What are we choosing, the dangerous pathway, which uses human embryos for experimentation or the morally right path using adult stem cells.
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