Why is Stem Cell Research controversial?
Stem cells are those cells that are able to get differentiated. Differentiation is the process that can give rise to any type of cell which in turn can lead to the development of an organ. Stem cells find a way to help improve medicine as these cells can grow as any type of cell. For example, the damage in the spinal cord and the problem with the neural cells in the brain can be replaced by stem cells. The stem cells will divide and give rise to the concerned brain cells. In the case of cancer treatment, the destructed cells due to chemo and radio therapies can be replaced with the stem cells. The healthy stem cells that are newly placed here will get adjusted to the diseased area. The diseased area might include heart, brain, lungs, liver and so on.
The sources of stem cells are adult stem cells, cord cells and embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cells are considered as more advantageous than the other types. They are taken from the same human body and hence can be compatible with the body’s immune system. Adult stem cells shall be extracted from the bone marrow of the same person. The stem cells taken from bone marrow will be available in large quantities and the body will not reject it. Umbilical cord cells can be extracted during the time of pregnancy and can be stored in ice banks. The donation of cord cells are also encouraged these days. Embryonic stem cells are extracted from the embryo in its Blastocyst stage.
The controversy about this stem cell usage is that extraction of cells from an embryo causes it to get destructed. Some people also take it emotionally that destructing the embryo is equal to killing it. But the researchers say that no human features are observed in Blastocyst stage. The new stem lines were generated by now as a result of in Vitro fertilization. These studies also consider that the fertilized cells were kept in bank for their further use in stem cell administration.
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