Human embryonic stem cells and their use in society is controversial due to the process of assembling, Lauren Keenan discovers how research is beneficial to modern society.
Some people believe that using embryos to produce stem cells is not morally right, but there are many benefits stem cells can provide people worldwide.
Stem cells have the opportunity to treat up to 10 million arthritis patients in the UK alone, their undeniable ability to restore joint tissue would come as an advantage to many patients who are in a painful state of living.
They can also have additional benefits for people with diabetes, those in need of skin-graphs and people on the autistic spectrum. However, it is important to take into consideration that stem cells do come from female embryos; often those which are leftover in a fertility clinic.
In order to use the cells, scientists would have to undergo destruction: killing a few embryos in order to help to change millions of lives. Stem cells come from embryos which were fertilised in a fertility clinic, but have never been implanted into a woman’s uterus.
Researchers intend to find out how embryonic stem cells can turn into different cells to form tissues and organs, and how to further control this process. It is down to couples looking to conceive with the help of a clinic, to agree that they are happy for leftover cells to be used in research.
Forming tissues and organs, and how to control this process, the advancement of science has, and will transform, and shape the way in which we live our lives today.
The work of scientists is changing the way people can experience life to their fullest. Stem cell research has improved the lives of thousands of people living with physical, learning or sensory disabilities. This is just the beginning of research into stem cell usage, but from the knowledge available the impact of stem cell research is important for our future.
Words: Lauren Keenan