Stem Cell research: What is the Controversy?

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Ivellious
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Stem Cell research: What is the Controversy?

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Post by Ivellious » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:04 pm

I have been reading some intriguing bits and articles about stem cell research and my university is now offering an introduction to stem cell research course that discusses, among other things, the controversy and applications of stem cell research. My university currently has over 50 labs devoted to stem cell research in medicine. I just wanted to ask for those opposed to stem cell research, why are you opposed to it? I understand the topic is rather complex (the introductory course I mentioned is for seniors in college only), but I'm curious as to what concerns the general public might have.

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Re: Stem Cell research: What is the Controversy?

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Post by RickD » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:13 pm

Ivellious wrote:I have been reading some intriguing bits and articles about stem cell research and my university is now offering an introduction to stem cell research course that discusses, among other things, the controversy and applications of stem cell research. My university currently has over 50 labs devoted to stem cell research in medicine. I just wanted to ask for those opposed to stem cell research, why are you opposed to it? I understand the topic is rather complex (the introductory course I mentioned is for seniors in college only), but I'm curious as to what concerns the general public might have.
Using unborn humans, to harvest stem cells. If you search along those lines, I think you'll find that's the main objection.
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Ivellious
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Re: Stem Cell research: What is the Controversy?

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Post by Ivellious » Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:26 pm

Right, I kind of expected this to be the main issue.

However, at least among reputable universities and labs in the US, there are three types of stem cell "origins" so to speak, that are used. The first kind are the most well known, those being the stem cells taken from embryos of either humans or other animals. These are typically taken from animals and from human embryos grown in vitro (test-tube babies, per say, like the ones grown for couples who cannot themselves produce a child). The second type are called "induced pluripotent" stem cells, which are grown from human skin cells and are often used to create insulin-producing cells to fight diabetes. The third type of stem cells come from adult human bone marrow donations.

At least at my university, the vast majority of stem cell research is done on induced pluripotent stem cells, with 6 labs working on human embryonic stem cells and 6 more working on animal embryonic stem cells. To my knowledge none work with adult human cells, mostly because those cells are more limited in their functions.

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Re: Stem Cell research: What is the Controversy?

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Post by SnowDrops » Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:40 pm

I don't think anyone objects to the other kinds.
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