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Stem Cell Research not using embryos

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Stem Cell Research not using embryos

Postby Maelbox » Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:21 am

I apologise if this seems a bit stupid, or that it's in the wrong section (if so, can a mod please move it), but this is homework and I'm not much good at science. Basically we are doing a report on stem cell research and it's controversies. After researching for a while I cam across something that said we no longer need to harvest stem cells from embryos. We can harvest them from places such as bone marrow and can create, as I understood it, artifitial stem cells (induced pluripotent stem cells) that do the same thing as a normal stem cells. If we can now create stem cells without having to destroy life, why is there still controversy on the topic? If anything I would have said because it interferes with a natural process.

So I need help clarifying this, thanks.

Also, if anyone has any good books on the topic they would like to share, it would be much appreciated.
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Postby biohazard » Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:50 pm

As far as I know, stem cells from mature individuals or engineered, artificial stem cells still do not possess the full totipotency expressed by embryonic stem cells. Furthermore, altering the state of cell differentation by human means (e.g. "making" stem cells) is still an extremely tricky and novel thing.

Few scientists are willing to place their precious research funds on projects using such a shaky technology. Using embryonic stem cells is a "safe bet", so to speak. This may change in the future, but at the moment there is not always a reliable alternative for embryonic stem cells. Furthermore, there is little need to abandon embryotic stem cells, because they can be readily obtained from excess embryos left from the fertility clinics.

So the controversy still exists, and it is mainly due to certain religious groups. Most of the scientists would simply keep using embryonic stem cells until something provenly superioir is available.

edit: typofix
Last edited by biohazard on Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stem Cell Research not using embryos

Postby Maelbox » Wed Mar 10, 2010 7:06 am

Alright, thanks Bio.
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