A few questions about stem cells?

a.) Can stem cells be grown into any other type of cell?

b.) How are they grown into other types of cells?

c.) Are embryonic/fetal stem cells better than those from adult bone marrow?

d.) What are some ethical arguments against using embryonic/fetal stem cells?

e.) Are there any ethical arguments against using adult bone marrow stem cells?

5 Answers

  • Dana
    Lv 4
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    a. yes - everything from heart cells to tumors

    b. It depends on the type of cell - scientists use various cell culture techniques to stimulate the cells to differentiate into the desired cell type.

    c. It depends on what you're trying to accomplish. Adult stem cells have been used for years in bone marrow transplants, but only embryonic stem cells hold the promise of healing spinal cord injuries. Since human embryonic stem cells are so new (first used in 1998), cures are still years in the future.

    d. Mainly, embryonic stem cell research requires the destruction of an embryo. If you feel that an embryo is a human life, than a human life must be destroyed in order to conduct the research. Keep in mind, that the only legal means of obtaining embryos for research is by accepting donated excess IVF embryos. Also keep in mind that once the stem cells have been extracted, they can multiply indefinitely. The stem cell lines created in 1998 are still in use today. There is this notion that every time a scientist wants to do an experiment, they go over to the fridge, crack open an embryo, and use the cells they find. That's absolutely not the case. The vast majority of stem cell researchers have never seen an embryo. They're using the stem cells created 12 years ago.

    e. Not that I'm aware of.

  • 10 years ago

    I know the first one is true. Yes stem cells can grow into any cell but the primary cell that researchers want the stem cell to change into is the nerve cell.

    B is extremely complicated and I'll try to explain it in simplest terms. When the woman's egg is fertilized by the sperm, it becomes known as totipotent. This means it has the ability to change into any cell in the human body. A few days after fertilization, the eggs begin to specialize and form a blastocyst which is basically the structure for the human fetus. The outer layer of the cells become the outer tissue of the fetus, therefore the skin. (This information was taken from the source listed beneath I do not claim any credit for it)

    Stem cell research is considered a waste of time by many people because it is so improbable that when a paralyzed patient is injected at the spinal cord(a very dangerous operation in the first place that may lead to more paralysis) then the cells will change to nerve cells and therefore remove the paralysis from the patient. Stem cells can be used in theory to cure all kinds of diseases that target the nerves in a human body such as Parkinsons and Alzheimers disease which are often genetic.

    Embryonic stem cells and fetal stem cells are as you know, harvested from the fetus and unborn baby. This is illegal and very dangerous and raises several ethical issues.

  • 4 years ago

    a lot have already given the reason that that is embryonic stem cellular study that Catholics are hostile to. that's real. that is likewise major to exhibit screen that human being stem cellular study presently facilitates with the treatment for over 70 ailments. Embryonic stem cellular study isn't very nearly as promising from what they have achieved thus far - it has produced 0 treatments. Why no longer positioned money into the approach that's generating consequences (human being stem cells) quite of putting money right into a pipe dream that a million.) kills embryos and a couple of.) would not look the miracle treatment that human beings develop into hoping?

  • .
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    Unless the last answer is coming from a different country, embryonic and fetal stem cells are NOT illegal.

    Bush passed legislation that prevented federal funding from funding any embryonic or fetal stem cell research with the exception of a handful of projects that had already been proven contaminated or otherwise worthless.

    The research was still legal and could be funded privately or even on a state level. However, since embryonic stem cell research is in its infancy, few private sources were willing to fund the research. Not only is it not 100% certain that the research will pay off, you are looking at 20-50 years at a min before this stuff is available publically and people start seeing returns on investments

    Obama lifted the ban on federally funding embryonic stem cell research. However, with all the other economical issues, not much funding has been directed to it.

    Embryonic stem cells come from IVF's trash pile. Women who go through IVF have their eggs harvested, they are fertalized with sperm in a lab and then frozen. WIth each mentstrual cycle, a few embryos at a time are inserted into the uterus hoping one will implant. They usually dont, it takes several cycles to produce a pregnancy, and all the embryos that dont implant die. When the mother is done trying to conceive, there are often embryos left over. Since most people going through IVF are doing so to have their own biological children, few are willing to donate their embryos to other women or accept donated embryos from other women. So, they are either incinerated as biowaste, or donated for research.

    IVF kills more embryos than embryonic stem cell research, and will continue to, even if embryonic stem cell research stops today.

    Fetal stem cell research is the least effective and least popular. But any woman can donate the remains from her abortion or naturally miscarried fetus.

    C. is difficult to answer. Embryonic stem cells can turn into almost any type of cell in the body, however, early trials have led to cancer and other issues. Adult stem cells themselves arent turning cancerous after treatment (though keep in mind, they CAN become cancerous.... leukemia is cancer of the person's adult stem cells - their bone marrow.. If stem cells can turn cancerous before donation in the host body, they absolutely can after donation). Although, the most popular adult stem cell treatment is a bone marrow transplant, and that requires high dose chemo and full body radiation, which DOES increase the patients risk of cancers, including the same types that transplant treats.

    In addition, adult stem cells have treatments, while embryonic stem cells dont. However, adult stem cells have been researched for about 100 years, and a bone marrow transplant has been available for 50. After all that time and research, they only have a handful of treatments. They just happened to get lucky because a bone marrow transplant can treat like 100+ different diseases - anything that originates or damages the blood system, marrow, or immune system.

    Embryonic stem cells have only been researched for like 20-30 years. You wouldnt expect a treatment out of them, and precious adult stem cells took over 50 years to have a single succesful treatment in a single patient. If we had stopped adult stem cells after 20-30 years of research, we would never have anything that has come from it (and that is my debate against the people who claim embryonic stem cell research is worthless because it doesnt have treatments...... these people have no idea how long it took to develop a bone marrow transplant. and they have no idea how dangerous that transplant still is today, 50 years from its invention.

    So, its really complicated and controversial.

    I dont have any ethical issues against using bone marrow. My problem is that the bone marrow transplant is portrayed to be far safer than it really is. My problem is that anti embryonic people use the number of diseases this single treatment can treat to make it sound like adult stem cells have hundreds of different treatments, when they only have a handful. My problem is the misrepresentation of how long adult stem cell research has been conducted to make it look like they have accomplished way more than what they have in a way shorter amt of time. (for example, there is a particular user on ya that claims adult stem cells have only been researched for 20-30 years as well, but have hundreds of different treatments... its bs, based on manipulating the truth.)

    The only people really against adult stem cell reserach are those against western medicine as a whole, and those who do not understand the difference bw adult and embryonic stem cells. I have been through a bone marrow transplant, so I am not against it. I just support being truthful about its flagship treatment.

    Source(s): In my opinion, there can be nothing ethical against embryonic and fetal stem cell rsearch so long as ivf and abortion are legally protected procedures and for the most part, socially acceptable.
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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago


    The rest of the question are new to me! :)

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