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What Is Stem Cell Research?

Every cell in the human body contains the all the genetic material necessary to grow, from conception to death. Newly created cells, which have not yet developed enough to specialize, are called stem cells. Stem cells are cells that may still develop into any kind of body cell. There is great interest in stem cell research in the hope that they might be used to help cure some of the diseases, which still have no solution, especially failure of different organs. Some that easily come to mind may be Parkinson’s, heart problems, burnt skin, and other grafting procedures. While great promise can be expected from stem cell research there are ethical questions to be considered. Especially since stem cell research requires the destruction of human embryos to progress and explore its science.

The two main arguments in the discussion of the stem cell research ethics are first the potential for human cloning and whether the embryos used for the research should already be considered to be alive.

Human stems cell may be obtained from human embryos or adult tissue. Obtaining it from embryos is much simpler and the amount of cells to be harvested is greater then that usually obtained then from harvesting adult stem cells. Adult stem cells may be harvested from adults with no or at most minor injury to the adult from whom it is harvested.

Some countries have given their permission for the development of stem cell research. The most lenient countries for stem cell research being Japan, the United Kingdom, and Sweden while the countries that are most strict with stem cell research are Ireland, Poland, and Austria.

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