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Stem cell research—why is it regarded as a threat?

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❶It is difficult to tell in advance what type of research will give rise to what type of benefit. In a July statement, bioethicists, scientists and legal scholars said they objected to embryonic stem cell research on the grounds that such research is both unethical and unnecessary.

The ‘potentiality’ problem

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Stem Cell Research

They were isolated in mice in , and in humans in Potency is a measure of a cell's differentiation potential, or the number of other cell types that can be made from that stem cell.

Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent stem cells derived from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst. These stem cells can differentiate into all other cells in the human body and are the subject of much scientific research. However, since they must be derived from early human embryos their production and use in research has been a hotly debated topic as the emt introduce new cells into adult bodies for possible treatment of cancer , diabetes , neurological disorders and other medical conditions.

Stem cells have been used to repair tissue damaged by disease or age. Pluripotent stem cells can also be derived from Somatic cell nuclear transfer which is a laboratory technique where a clone embryo is created from a donor nucleus. Somatic cell nuclear transfer is also tightly regulated amongst various countries.

Until recently, the principal source of human embryonic stem cells has been donated embryos from fertility clinics. In January , researchers at Wake Forest University reported that "stem cells drawn from amniotic fluid donated by pregnant women hold much of the same promise as embryonic stem cells.

In , the NIH , under the administration of President Bill Clinton , issued "guidelines that allow federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research. In , Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in the United States. Five years later, the first successful human in vitro fertilization resulted in the birth of Louise Brown in England. These developments prompted the federal government to create regulations barring the use of federal funds for research that experimented on human embryos.

In response to the panel's recommendations, the Clinton administration, citing moral and ethical concerns, declined to fund research on embryos created solely for research purposes, [4] but did agree to fund research on left-over embryos created by in vitro fertility treatments.

At this point, the Congress intervened and passed the Dickey-Wicker Amendment in the final bill, which included the Dickey Amendment, was signed into law by Bill Clinton which prohibited any federal funding for the Department of Health and Human Services be used for research that resulted in the destruction of an embryo regardless of the source of that embryo.

In , privately funded research led to the breakthrough discovery of human Embryonic stem cells hESC. No federal law ever did ban stem cell research in the United States, but only placed restrictions on funding and use, under Congress's power to spend. In February , George W. Bush requested a review of the NIH's guidelines, and after a policy discussion within his circle of supporters, implemented a policy in August of that year to limit the number of embryonic stem cell lines that could be used for research.

In April , members of Congress , including many moderate Republicans , signed a letter urging President Bush to expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research beyond what Bush had already supported.

In May , the House of Representatives voted to loosen the limitations on federally funded embryonic stem-cell research — by allowing government-funded research on surplus frozen embryos from in vitro fertilization clinics to be used for stem cell research with the permission of donors — despite Bush's promise to veto if passed. Frist R- TN , announced that he too favored loosening restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

The Senate passed the first bill, , which would have made it legal for the Federal government to spend Federal money on embryonic stem cell research that uses embryos left over from in vitro fertilization procedures. The second bill makes it illegal to create, grow, and abort fetuses for research purposes. The third bill would encourage research that would isolate pluripotent, i.

Bush and were not enacted into law. By executive order on March 9, , President Barack Obama removed certain restrictions on federal funding for research involving new lines of human embryonic stem cells. Federal funding originating from current appropriations to the Department of Health and Human Services including the National Institutes of Health under the Omnibus Appropriations Act of , remains prohibited under the Dickey—Wicker Amendment for 1 the creation of a human embryo for research purposes; or 2 research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for research on fetuses in utero.

Today, with the Executive Order I am about to sign, we will bring the change that so many scientists and researchers; doctors and innovators; patients and loved ones have hoped for, and fought for, these past eight years: We will vigorously support scientists who pursue this research.

And we will aim for America to lead the world in the discoveries it one day may yield. In , a United States District Court "threw out a lawsuit that challenged the use of federal funds for embryonic stem cell research. Specifically, it legalizes the process of cloning a human embryo, and implanting the clone into a womb, provided that the clone is then aborted and used for medical research. Missouri Constitutional Amendment 2 Missouri Amendment Two was a law that legalized certain forms of embryonic stem cell research in the state.

However, as of June 6, , there were delays in the implementation of the California program and it is believed that the delays will continue for the significant future. Several states, in what was initially believed to be a national migration of biotech researchers to California, [15] have shown interest in providing their own funding support of embryonic and adult stem cell research.

Other states have, or have shown interest in, additional restrictions or even complete bans on embryonic stem cell research. Policy stances on stem cell research of various political leaders in the United States have not always been predictable.

As a rule, most Democratic Party leaders and high-profile supporters and even rank and file members have pushed for laws and policies almost exclusively favoring embryonic stem cell research. There have been some Democrats who have asked for boundaries be placed on human embryo use. For example, Carolyn McCarthy has publicly stated she only supports using human embryos "that would be discarded".

The Republicans largely oppose embryonic stem cell research in favor of adult stem cell research which has already produced cures and treatments for cancer and paralysis for example, but there are some high-profile exceptions who offer qualified support for some embryonic stem cell research.

Orrin Hatch R-UT , a vocal abortion opponent , call[ed] for limited federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research A few moderates or Libertarians support such research with limits. Lincoln Chafee supported federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Ron Paul , a Republican congressman, physician , and Libertarian and Independent candidate for President, has sponsored much legislation , and has had quite complex positions.

These Guidelines were prepared to enhance the integrity of human embryonic stem cell research in the public's perception and in actuality by encouraging responsible practices in the conduct of that research. The guidelines preserve two primary principles. First, that hESC research has the potential to improve our understanding of human health and discover new ways to treat illness. Second, that individuals donating embryos should do so freely, with voluntary and informed consent. The guidelines detail safeguards to protect donating individuals by acquiring informed consent and protecting their identity.

In addition, the guidelines contain multiple sections applying to embryos donated in the US and abroad, both before and after the effective date of the guidelines. Applicants proposing research, may use stem cell lines that are posted on the NIH registry, or may submit an assurance of compliance with section II of the guidelines.

Section II is applicable to stem cells derived from human embryos. First, the hESCs should have been derived from embryos created using an in vitro fertilization procedure for reproductive purposes, and no longer needed for this purpose. Second, the donors who sought reproductive treatment have given written consent for the embryos to be used for research purposes.

Third, all written consent forms and other documentation must be provided. Documentation must be provided regarding the following: The debate over stem cell research continues to be fought at the state level. As described in this analysis by the National Conference of State Legislatures, some states encourage embryonic stem cell research, while others ban such research in whole or in part.

Over the past several years, there has been a heightened focus on ensuring the Food and Drug Administration FDA is equipped to properly and efficiently review the safety and effectiveness of the treatments arising from this rapidly evolving category of medicine.

In , Congress passed and President Obama signed into law a bill that includes provisions designed to facilitate FDA regulatory review and approval of regenerative therapies. More information on the 21 st Century Cures Act can be found here. Timeline of major events in stem cell policy. Access additional resources about advancing stem cell research. Learn more about fetal tissue research.

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Aug 09,  · The Case Against Stem Cell Research Opponents of research on embryonic cells, including many religious and anti-abortion groups, contend that embryos are human beings with the same rights — and thus entitled to the same protections against abuse — as anyone else.

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Mar 15,  · Researchers in the UK are now allowed to use early stage human embryos for therapeutic purposes, mainly to retrieve stem cells. This decision comes amidst a heated debate regarding the medical and economic potential of stem cell research as against its ethical pitfalls.

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Embryonic stem cell research has the greatest promise. Up to now, no human being has ever been cured of a disease using embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cells, on the other hand, have already cured thousands. Sep 05,  · At the same time, many scientists say that embryonic stem cell research is necessary to unlock the promise of stem cell therapies since embryonic stem cells can develop into any cell type in the human body. In late , researchers in the United States and Japan succeeded in reprogramming adult skin cells to act like embryonic .

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The final arguments against stem cell research deal with the actual cost of such treatments is simply too high to be implemented on a large scale. Stem cell research pros and cons have gained a lot of attention lately due to President Obama lifting a ban on stem cell research. What are the arguments against stem cell research? Stem Cell Research I strongly oppose human cloning, as do most Americans. We recoil at the idea of growing human beings for spare body parts, or creating life for our convenience.