Embryonic stem cells could be grown into more specialized cells for screening potential drugs. Cultures of cancer cells are already used for screening cancer drugs, and growing embryonic stem cells into heart, liver or nerve cells could be useful for testing drugs that affect those organs.

Can embryonic stem cells be used in medicine?

These are pluripotent (ploo-RIP-uh-tunt) stem cells, meaning they can divide into more stem cells or can become any type of cell in the body. This versatility allows embryonic stem cells to be used to regenerate or repair diseased tissue and organs.

Should we use stem cells from embryos?

For the foreseeable future, stem cell researchers agree that research should continue along all avenues, using embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, and reprogrammed cells. Adult stem cells have been proven effective in treating more than 70 diseases.

Can IVF embryos be used for stem cell research?

At the end of the IVF process, doctors are usually left with many 1-week-old embryos that are no longer needed. These tiny embryos can be used for research, and scientists used them to figure out how to grow pluripotent cells in the lab (Figure 2). These cells are called embryonic stem cells (ESCs).

What are the pros and cons of using embryonic stem cells?

Table 1

Stem cell type Limitations Advantages
Embryonic stem cells (1) Ethical dilemmas (2) Possible immune rejection after implantation (3) Only a small number of differentiated cardiomyoctes can be generated (4) May lead to teratocarcinomas (5) Genetic instability Can differentiate into cells of all three germ layers

Where do stem cells used in medicine come from?

Stem cells originate from two main sources: adult body tissues and embryos. Scientists are also working on ways to develop stem cells from other cells, using genetic “reprogramming” techniques.

Why are embryonic stem cells so controversial?

However, human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research is ethically and politically controversial because it involves the destruction of human embryos. In the United States, the question of when human life begins has been highly controversial and closely linked to debates over abortion.

What are the risks of using embryonic stem cells?

The risks to research participants undergoing stem cell transplantation include tumour formation, inappropriate stem cell migration, immune rejection of transplanted stem cells, haemorrhage during neurosurgery and postoperative infection.

Why we shouldn’t use stem cells?

Opponents argue that the research is unethical, because deriving the stem cells destroys the blastocyst, an unimplanted human embryo at the sixth to eighth day of development. As Bush declared when he vetoed last year’s stem cell bill, the federal government should not support “the taking of innocent human life.”

What is the main risk factor when using embryonic stem cells in medical therapies?

An important risk factor is the (bio)distribution of the administered stem cells. MSC are known to home to specific tissues e.g. the bone marrow, muscle, or spleen, particularly when the tissues are damaged or under pathological conditions such as ischemia or cancer [32,81,82,84,85].

Is it morally acceptable to use embryos for research?

Therefore, it is ethically permissible for embryos, which have a modest moral status but not the status of persons, to be destroyed in the course of responsible stem cell research—provided they are destroyed with a sincere attitude of respect, for there is a moral loss here—something morally valuable is being destroyed …

Does stem cell research destroy embryos?

Once established, human embryonic stem cell lines can persist stably, apparently for years. At present there is no source of new embryonic human stem cell lines that does not involve the destruction of human embryos. Human embryonic stem cells.

Is it ethical to destroy embryos?

Once embryos have been produced, it is permissible to destroy them in research, provided that they are unwanted and that the parents consent. Therefore, in producing embryos for research, we produce them with the intention of treating them in permissible ways. It is difficult to see what could be wrong with that.

What are the ethical issues of using stem cells?

In the case of embryonic stem cell research, it is impossible to respect both moral principles.To obtain embryonic stem cells, the early embryo has to be destroyed. This means destroying a potential human life.

How are embryonic stem cells harvested?

Embryonic stem cells are harvested in two ways: from existing human embryos and from embryos that have been created using a cloning process known as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). In both cases, the embryo is ultimately destroyed, which opponents of embryonic stem cell research argue is immoral.

What are the disadvantage of stem cells?

Cons of the stem cell therapy include: Adult stem cells are hard to grow for long period in culture. There is still no technology available to generate adult stem cells in large quantities. Stimulated pluripotent cells normally do not have any p method of maintenance and reproducibility.

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