Stem cell research is a relatively new technology that takes primitive human cells and develops them into most any of the 220 varieties of cells in the human body, including blood cells and brain cells. Some scientists and researchers have great hope for stem cell research and its ability to uncover treatments and possibly even cures for some of the worst diseases including heart disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Along with these hopeful possibilities, stem cell research engenders fears of human cloning and serious concerns over the ethics of conducting scientific research on, which includes the destruction of, human embryos.
Human stem cells primarily come from embryos or adult tissue. Embryonic stem cells can be created solely for the purpose of stem cell research or they can be the leftover embryos from other processes, most likely from in-vitro fertilization (IVF). Fertility treatments usually result in the creation of multiple embryos. Since only the most viable embryos are selected for implantation, some embryos are leftover. The leftover embryos can be discarded, donated to others seeking fertility assistance, preserved, or donated to research. Most commonly, leftover embryos are discarded.
· 1 decade ago