Stem Cells:

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Among one of the most controversial issues in the science world today is that of stem cell research. A stem cell is "a cell, often originating in embryos, having the capacity to differentiate into a more specialized cell" (Lilienfeld 92). In other words, these cells have the ability to transform themselves into nearly any type of cell in the body, from skin to lung tissue etc.

http://biochem118.stanford.edu/images/Stem%20Cell%20Slides/04%20Pluripotent%20Stem%20Cells.jpg

Furthermore, there are two type of stem cell research used widely today; adult stem cell research and embryonic stem cell research. The clear difference between these two is that embryonic research requires the manipulation of cells in developing embryos to create different types of cells, while adult stem cells are already developed in each individual's body that can be recreated into other types of cells. The main debate between the two is that embryonic stem cell research is essentially destroying embryos or potential lives to further research, an element that is considered extremely unethical. People not in support of embryonic stem cell research also claim that there have been few if none cases of cures or improvements in patients who use the embryos cells, and instead that embryonic cells can multiply at such an excessive rate that they have tendencies to turn into cancerous tumors. Meanwhile, adult cells do not divide as quickly so they don't cause tumors and the success rate of it is tremendously higher in patients than embryonic. This causes those in opposition to embryonic to also become upset with the fact that a large number of scientists spend their research and experiments on embryonic stem cells which have little or no success while they could instead be using their time and resources to further the success in adult stem cells. Those in favor of embryonic cells say that success is on its way and that in most cases, embryonic cells are being used from eggs in females that would otherwise go unused. In terms of psychology, the issue of stem cells can be applied to the use of using these cells to be recreated into different brain cells that may have been lost or severely damaged from various diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's or even accidents such as a car crash. I found this topic extremely intriguing especially after watching the second video attached below because Dr. Oz claims in this video that cures for diseases such as Parkinson's may be possible within the next ten years, and in being in close relationships in my life with people diagnosed with Parkinson's this cure could be monumental and life-changing. Will this extraordinary feat be made in this decade? We'll have to wait and see.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Axkn8G18t8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDFJOzu9SyM&feature=related
*Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding. Scott Lilienfeld, etc.

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This page contains a single entry by mccud001 published on October 9, 2011 11:31 PM.

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