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Stem Cell Research

  1. yes

    12 vote(s)
    85.7%
  2. neutral

    1 vote(s)
    7.1%
  3. no

    1 vote(s)
    7.1%
  1. Mar 21, 2004 #1
    Do you support or agree with stem cell research? Why?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 21, 2004 #2
    It is a vague question.

    what do include in stem cell research? It is a broad field.
     
  4. Mar 21, 2004 #3
    What I mean is the contributions of stemcell research.

    like, there are insulin producing cells that can be manufactured in the lab using stem cells.

    How far can they go with stem cells? Can they grow an arm?!
     
  5. Mar 21, 2004 #4

    Monique

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    You probably mean the use of stem cells generated by fertilization for research?
     
  6. Mar 21, 2004 #5
    Diabetes is a result of an autoimmune reaction, where the body produces antibodies against B-islet cells in the pancreas which produce insulin.

    As for the poll, I definitely feel there is great potential from stem cell research. Its more an ethical question you're posing though, and science tends to advance faster than our ethical perspectives. Public awareness is a very important thing when it comes to our research, and if we'd begin to question these types of things before we began, rather than beginning research and questioning it after, there would be much less potential for wrongdoing.

    So what am I saying? Well possibilities exist for both good and evil with stem cell research. I'd say much more good, but I may be naive. I think as long as we don't allow the research to continue unchecked, many great things can come from the study of stem cells. We have to be aware of the potential for wrongdoing though, and as long as scientists keep this on the top of their minds, it will be a huge benefit to our medical knowledge.

    A follow up question would thus be, how much faith do you have in the scientific community to use research responsibly and ethically? And I'm not so sure about this one. Especially in a capitalist market where money is the driving factor, not so much for the scientists, but for the companies who fund them.

    -------------------------------------------------------
    It is better to live simply, so that others may simply live.
    NONE
     
  7. Mar 21, 2004 #6

    Monique

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    So what potential wrong doing would there be with stemcells, None?

    The whole issue with stem cells has been the way by which they have to require them: by fertilizing an egg and harvesting the desired cells at a certain stage. Governments have prohibited such research since they say the technique interferes with the process of life. Human stem cell research obtained from fetuses is prohibited in the United States for instance.
     
  8. Mar 21, 2004 #7
    Thats exactly it Monique, and its only through restrictions such as the one you stated in the US that we can keep our motivations in check (and I believe that they are imposed in a large part due to public awareness and the general consensus of a population that this research is wrong). In this case it is the method of aquiring them, in others cases it is the potential for misuse of the knowledge.

    Sorry if I wasn't as direct as I could have been, but I was attempting to cover more than just stem cell research with my post. I mean there are tons of examples of controversial research out there; animal experimentation, stem cells, cloning, xenotransplantation, etc. Not all of these have the types of restrictions they should. It seems kind of silly to address one of these without acknowledging the others.

    None
     
  9. Mar 22, 2004 #8
    someone I know insists that stemcell research is immoral because (even though i distinctly pointed out that the stem cells are extracted from an embryo a few days old, before there are any organs or any level of consciousness) the embryo in its earliest stages (A few days old) is an individual, from the zygote and beyond.

    I totally disagree. Are there any other opposing arguments?
     
  10. Mar 22, 2004 #9
    So we are concluding that it is all a lot of fuzz about nothing since there are already ethical criteria in place for biological research in general?

    It seems that it is fashionable to be against stem cell research?!?
     
  11. Mar 22, 2004 #10

    Monique

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    I too don't have a problem with harvesting stem cells from fertilized eggs and using those for research. There is another problem though with stem cell research, it will increase our understanding of cells that are totipotent and might bring us a step closer to cloning. But I think the advantages far outway the risk.
     
  12. Mar 22, 2004 #11

    ShawnD

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    That poll speaks for itself.
    Smart people are in favour of research.

    I can't wait till they're able to regrow kidneys, hearts, livers, and pancreases. If I had 2 hearts, I would be unstoppable!
     
  13. Mar 22, 2004 #12
    an automatic link between stem cell and a new organ seems dubious to say the least despite some claims.


    How do you propose to proceed from a stem cell to a new heart?
     
  14. Mar 22, 2004 #13

    ShawnD

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    The same way we make skin and other organs?
    A new heart might be a stretch because of the complexity but hey you never know.
     
  15. Mar 22, 2004 #14
    skin is not quite on the same level of complexity as most organs.


    So how do your propose we get from a stem cell or a group of stem cells to any complicated organ?
     
  16. Mar 22, 2004 #15
    We'd definitely have to learn more about human DNA regulation
     
  17. Mar 22, 2004 #16

    Monique

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    Well, stem cells could be used to repair organs already there. How about the liver for instance and the islands of langerhals? Or how about brain tissue (after a stroke or alzheimer or parkinson). Maybe we can trick heart cells to grow into bloodvessels after an infarct. Regeneration is the key.
     
  18. Mar 23, 2004 #17
    How do you propose to order stem cells to regenerate an organ that doesn't have already got the natural capability to regenerate?

    What makes you think you can control stem cells in this manner?
     
  19. Mar 23, 2004 #18

    Monique

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    Because the function of stem cells is regeneration in the first place. Stem cells are totipotent, that means they can differentiate into any kind of tissue. I have heard about research reports where they found blood cells differentiating into brain tissue. There are a lot of things we don't know that are going on.

    So if you could have a batch of stem cells, activate them with specific chemicals that tells them to become brain tissue or liver tissue, and you inject those at the site of injury.. they should be able to recognize the cell type surrounding them and act appropriately (future music).
     
  20. Mar 24, 2004 #19
    yes, future music indeed.
     
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