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Stem Cell Biology and Its Complications

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Stem research is a controversial topic that has been debated since it was discovered some years ago. The purpose of the study is to determine what has happened as far as stem cell research is concerned since it was first discovered, and whether the debate is all the same: do we need embryonic stem cells? This is because stem cell research is a controversial subject. The hypothesis is that as far as embryonic stem cell research is controversial, we may need it for a while before we can do away with it. 

Stem cells are multipurpose cells in our bodies, which are able to reproduce or produce more specialized cells. Stem cells can be used to treat such diseases like heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and stroke. The cells are obtained from a human embryo, or from newly born babies depending on circumstances.

The writer’s purpose is to draw into attention the complexity that has surrounded stem cell biology since it was discovered. Gina Kolataseems to say that although a controversial topic, we need human embryonic stem cell research for now, before alternatives can be developed, and then we will be able to do away with it(embryonic stem cell research). 

Gina has been a science reporter for the New York Times since 1987. She had previously worked at Science Magazine for 14 years. Kolata has been writing ‘Free’ articles in the New York Times. She has been awarded on severally and she usually bases her articles on molecular biology. She is a graduate of molecular biology from MIT. She has also authored several books, including “Clone: The Road to Dolly and the Path Ahead“and “The Baby Doctors: Probing the Limits of Fetal Medicine” among others (Source watch).

Kolata’s Stem Cell Biology and its Complications was first published in the New York Times, in August 25, 2010.

People have argued either for or against stem cell research citing different reasons for their arguments. Kolata says that these stem cells, which are blank slates taken from embryos only few days after fertilization, have excited scientists for the simple reason that they can turn into mature cell like brain, blood, or liver. She indicates that although they are used to treat different diseases, there is a problem - they come from human embryos. She argues that for scientists to obtain stem cells, they must destroy embryos first. This presents an ethical dilemma. She then goes on to quote prominent scientists to support her ideas on stem cell research. She quotes Dr. Timothy Kamp, who is a stem cell researcher and a medicine professor at the University of Wisconsin, John Gearhart, the director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. George Daley, who is a stem researcher at Children's Hospital in Boston, among other renowned scholars on the topic.  

Kolata is opposed to embryonic stem cell research because of different reasons. Some reasons against the use of stem cell research include arguments that embryos are lives, human beings and should be valued as such. This opinion often comes from religious background, and the argument is that this kind of stem cell research destroys human life. Another argument against stem cells is that when used as therapy, they may contain flaws; studies show that embryonic stem cells may suffer from immune rejection although they are generated for therapeutic cloning. Studies have shown that stem cell treatment might be ineffective and dangerous, and this cannot justify the cost of an embryo. Last, but not the least, argument against embryonic stem cells concerns the actual cost of such treatment; they are very expensive and cannot be implemented on a large scale (Bootstrike.Com). All these arguments, thus, rally around the idea, which Kolata is purporting that of against stem cell research.

Kolata’s arguments about stem cell research can be seen from the light of a person who is well informed on about her subject matter. She can be descried as a master of researching complex data, developing her story and then breaking the story into a dynamic clear prose. Dowie says that when it comes to science matters, she has ways of demystifying esoteric matters. This is because she is considered brilliant, insightful, talented, and gifted. She, therefore, seems to understand whatever she is arguing about, and people tend to believe her.

The article is well represented and very elaborative. Kolata achieves this by using opinions of different renowned stem cell researchers around the country to articulate her points. She, thus, concludes that although most people argue that can do without embryonic stem cells we still in some way go with it. She echoes Dr. Jaenisch’s sentiments that we need embryonic stem cells for now, as researchers continue to search for reliable alternatives to them, albeit its controversy. She is able to juxtapose different researchers, who are for embryonic stem cell research, and those, who are against. She later draws her own conclusion that despite being controversial, and before researchers can find an alternative, we may need human embryos for a while. 

The article seems to persuade the audience that we still need to use stem cells, especially in treating illnesses, as we wait for an alternative, and probably soon we will do away with stem cell research for good. To her, embryonic stem cells were not that bad if they did not come from human embryos.

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