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- Stem Cells
Adult and Embryonic Stem Cells
What is stem cell research? Is it right? What is the difference between Adult and Embryonic Stem (ES) cells? This topic takes study. But, very simply, the ES cells are obtained from human embryos. Prolifers know that life begins at conception, as do scientists! Therefore to destroy an embryo for research destroys human life. Please watch Dr. Prentice's video which is less than two minutes.
Adult Stem Cell Success Stories
Adult stem cells are found in many organs and tissues, in the bone marrow, the brain, blood vessels, skin and other parts. A person’s own stem cells can be used to regenerate his health or cure disease.
Most scientific research favors adult stem cell use because this has led to many successful therapies. A YouTube Channel that features these stories is here. The video at right relates one of many successes from Adult Stem Cell therapy.
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
To avoid the dilemma of destroying human embryos for scientific research, scientists worked toward developing stem cells that are very much like embryonic ones but are actually derived from adult ones. For example, stem cells from a human liver and from molar teeth have been used in clinical trials.
Called induced pluripotent stem cells, they are invented through injection or combination with genes or proteins that have been proven to regulate pluripotency, and then can act like embryonic stem cells with the capability to differentiate into all three germ layers— mesoderm, ectoderm and endoderm, leading to organ and tissue regeneration in humans.
Why would there be any objection to this way of research and therapy? If the injected genes do not come from human embryos there could be none, provided sufficient testing shows that no cancer or tumors will form from the therapy. Or, in desperate cases, a person may be willing to take a risk.
Following is a statement on possible ethical concerns:
Human induced pluripotent stem cells can be obtained from somatic cells, and their derivation does not require destruction of embryos, thus avoiding ethical problems arising from the destruction of human embryos. This type of stem cell may provide an important tool for stem cell therapy, but it also results in some ethical concerns. It is likely that abnormal reprogramming occurs in the induction of human induced pluripotent stem cells, and that the stem cells generate tumors in the process of stem cell therapy. Human induced pluripotent stem cells should not be used to clone human beings, to produce human germ cells, nor to make human embryos. Informed consent should be obtained from patients in stem cell therapy.