Our Opinion

While human embryonic stem cell research can be risky and controversial, we believe that, when performed by the right people with the right intentions, it can lead to great things. If the science is eventually perfected, stem cells could be used to cure the diseases and heal the injuries that have affected our families (and millions of others) for generations.

What it means to us

  • With group members coming from families with histories of Diabetes and Cancer, we would generally benefit from the progression of stem cell technology.
  • All four group members are women; In the future, any of us could become pregnant and decide to donate our embryo for research.

How Embryonic Stem Cell (hESC) Research Affects Our Lives

50% of our group members’ families have a history of diabetes.  Embryonic stem cells could be converted into insulin-producing cells.  Diabetic mice have been injected with hESCs.  The mice’s diabetes was alleviated after the treatment.  hESC research could also cure fatal cases of cancer.  Scientists at the University of Minnesota found that cancer-killing immune cells derived from human embryonic stem cells completely eliminated cancerous tumors in 13 of 13 mice tested.  In the future, all four of us could potentially donate embryos to hESC.

The Ethical Questions of Stem Cell Research

Positive Aspects of Embryonic Stem Cell Research:

  • There is less margin of error in embryonic stem cell operation than with adult stem cells.
  • Most studies show that adult stem cells are less flexible and weaker than embryonic stem cells.
  • There are tests being done to determine the safety of human embryonic stem cells-derived retinal cells to treat patients with an eye disease called Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy (SMD) which causes macular degeneration and legal blindness.
  • Unlike adult stem cells, embryonic cells contain the genetic information for every cell type. This means that scientists can use any cell to grow nerve, blood, tissue or other cells
  • Studies on embryonic stem cells will allow them to find the exact point certain cells mutate and a birth defect is formed.