Last Updated on March 11, 2021 by Filip Poutintsev
The type of human cells that aren’t developed completely are known as stem cell and the conduction of research on to such cells primarily for understanding the procedures of the occurrence of diseases is known as stem cell research.
Researchers observe the maturing of these cells into full cells in the heart, nerves, bones, muscles, and other tissue and organs to comprehend the development of conditions and diseases.
There are three stem cells type namely adult stem cells, pluripotent stem cells, and embryonic stem cells. The research of these types has a similar procedure in which the stem cells are isolated from their forte and used for treating damaged tissue, disorder, or an area of injury.
Stem cell research is advertised to be very beneficial for treating and eventually curing many severe diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, heart diseases, or neurodegenerative diseases.
However, regardless of its countless benefits, the context of stem cell research has been a prime debating topic among several scientists, doctors, religious people, and politicians mainly because of its human cloning and genetic engineering possibility.
Thus, irrespective of all the achievements in the medical field due to stem cell research, here we will present you with some of the pros and cons of it so that it will be easier for you to determine the difference.
Pros of Stem Cell Research
1. Lessened Transplant Denial
Stem cells extracted from an adult are physiologically and genetically same to that of their body cells which then on the transplantation for therapeutic purpose lessens the denial risk. With this, many hurdles in the medical field can be overcome.
2. Reduced Animal Testing
With stem cell research, testing of drugs has been simpler and humanly as by using stem cells, researchers can grow a cell colony that can be used to mimic disease and also as a treatment and drug testing model. This feature thus reduces the need for animal testing.
3. Early Finding Of Birth Flaws
Through the study of embryonic stem cells, researchers can witness the development process of an embryo along with the changes during that stage leading to the occurrence of genetic and physical defects in the fetus. Understanding what will be the flaws in the baby beforehand aids in early preparation for its care and treatment.
4. Body Organs Generation Enabled
Because of the never-ending ability of the stem cells to duplicate and transmute into particular cells, the regeneration and growth of the bone cells in vitro can be possible by the availability of all the necessary factors of growth by the isolating bone stem cells. Thus, patients suffering from organ dysfunction or loss of a limb can be helped through stem cell research.
5. Limited Miscarriage Incidences
Many pregnancies result in miscarriage mainly due to a flaw that occurred in the development stage of the embryo. Thus, with stem cell research, doctors are able to observe the growth of the embryo and locate the flaw in the early stage that could eventually lead to pregnancy miscarriage. Locating the flaw simplifies the work of the scientists to treat it before the occurrence of any harm and limit the incidences of miscarriage.
Cons of Stem Cell Research
Stem cell research is a very advance and complicated procedure and thus results to be very costly. Because of that, researchers are heavily dependent upon funding from several external sources for conducting the research. However, almost every researchers and scientist think it to be worth the cost.
2. Unknown Long-term Effect
A newly discovered technology seems to be very appealing and convenient, however many remain unknown about the long-term effects of that technology due to the difficulty in discovering its harmful effects right after its discovery. Similar is the case with stem cell research. No matter how appealing its benefits might seem, there are some long-term effects of this technology which might be unknown now but with the further study will surely be seen.
3. Argumentative Topic
Research on embryonic stem cells, regardless of its potential, is the prime reason for the argument between several scientists, politicians, religious peoples, and researchers. The argument is due to the use of embryos, which according to some groups are equivalent to human beings and possess life, for testing and research.
Similar to any other form of treatment, stem cell research also possesses some kinds of side effects. Treating cancer through the transplantation of stem cells can result in the patient with vomiting, nausea, etc.
5. Not a solution
Regardless of being an advanced technology, stem cell research is still unable to treat generic disorders as these conditions are rooted at the level of the gene, and thus a different approach is necessary for curing any sort of genetic disorder. As genetic disorders are too complicated, only its symptoms can be treated through stem cell research.
Ending the article, I would like to point out that on one hand, stem cell research brings forth several new opportunities to deal with numerous disorders and conditions. Also, through stem cell research, the risk of pregnancy miscarriage can be reduced to minimal by detecting and eliminating the flaw causing the miscarriage at the early stage of embryo development.
On the other hand, all those benefits of stem cell research aren’t easy to achieve as this research is extremely costly, and being a new technology, its long-term effects are yet to be discovered which seems scarier as it might be something more severe than the treated disease itself. Also, because of the use of embryo for extracting stem cells, many see it as a violation of human rights.