Stem Cells | Teen Ink

Stem Cells

November 20, 2007
By Anonymous

If someone in your family were dying, wouldn’t you do anything to save them? There are things out there called embryonic stem cells that can do just that. You may be wondering what this is. Also what kinds of diseases they cure and how they do it. A lot of people die from the diseases that these cells can cure. Embryonic stem cells save lives so they should be used for research.

Embryonic stem cells are cells that can develop into many different cell types in the body. They get them from embryos that develop from eggs that have been fertilized in a clinic and then donated for research. According to the National Institutes of Health, the embryonic stem cells serve as a sort of repair system for the body. They can divide without limit to replenish other cells for as long the person is still alive. They can become cells such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell. Stem cells have potential in many different areas of health and medical research. Scientists cannot only replace cells but they can also replace or add new genes.

Embryonic stem cells have the potential to cure diseases. According to NHI they can help cure Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, spinal cord injury, stroke, burns, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. By conducting research with these cells, scientists can understand and perhaps correct errors that cause medical conditions. They can understand hoe the transformation of these cells occur. When someone needs an organ or tissue replaced, doctors use donated ones. There are so many people needing a transplant but not enough organs available. Stem cells offer the possibility of a new source of replacement cells and tissues. Scientists have not yet cured anyone due to lack of funding from the government and research is still in its early stages.

Millions of Americans die from all these diseases every year. According to the centers for disease control and prevention, Alzheimer’s disease was listed as the “underlying cause of death for 65,829 Americans in 2004. Deaths for Alzheimer’s have increased over the last 15 years. According to the Alzheimer’s Association every 72 seconds, someone in America develops Alzheimer’s. On it is said that as many as one million Americans suffer from Parkinson’s disease. The cause for Parkinson’s disease is unknown and the is presently no cure. The American Heart Association said that a patient’s own stem cells injected into their hearts after treatment for an ST elevation heart attack improved their heart’s pumping ability. Imagine how many people could be saved.

Even tough embryonic stem cells have the potential to save lives some people are against it. Some people may say that using the embryos is killing a human life. Using stem cells is not killing a human life. It’s saving one. They are not made form eggs fertilized in a woman’s body. The stem cells are four or five days old and are a hollow microscopic ball of cells. They have not yet experienced life like the other dying people, so it should be used to save them.

There are millions of people dying out there from diseases that can be cured. Families suffer from their loved ones passing away. Embryonic stem cells can help cure some of the diseases we face today. The government should fund this research more. They cannot limit the money and expect there to be advances in the medical field. We can’t live forever, but we can do something to try to live a full healthy life. We need to pressure our government to get them to support and fund this research.

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