Rachel Johnson

Atheist Blogger- the godlessvagina / Podcaster the pink atheist

Stem Cells: The Truth, The Controversy, And The Lies.

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Stem cell research has been a highly controversial issue. This hot topic has plagued the minds of intellectuals and laymen across the world. Critics and opponents of stem cell research have come down heavy on it due to the potential and repercussions. Many misconceptions exist about how stem cells are gained, and limits of stem cell research. There is vital information which must be understood. Information that has eluded the general public. Respectively stem cells have unlimited potential. Understanding them creates the capacity to further our potential in dealing with disease, and organ degeneration. Stem cells have a vital role to play in human defense, and repair. They are not just collected from aborted fetuses, but can be extracted from marrow in the bones, the blood, adipose tissue and the umbilicus.

The controversy over stem cells originates from the abortion debate. Pro life people don’t want women aborting fetuses. When they are aborted the fetuses are seen as victims by many theists and pro lifers. It is rhetoric from the debate on where life begins. Defense of the argument against fetal stem cells is based upon the premise that more fetuses will be terminated to meet the demanding needs of science. It is a baseless claim which shows the superstition and fear mentality of many theists.  The right to use fetal stem cells is important to our future of medicine. They have many potential applications. Ones that demonstrate the need for unlimited research into this vital arena. Post abortion a fetus is basically a mass of cells, which is hard for creationists to understand. Just as a scientific cadaver is not a human being any longer, because it is not alive, neither is an aborted fetus. While there are limitations to the usage of cadavers, they serve a vital purpose in understanding and exploring anatomy for future doctors, and scientists. It is exactly the case here. The value in learning and bettering humanity far outweighs any personal ideologies.

Stem cells are a form of undifferentiated cell which has the potential to become anything in the body. They are useful for studying how our body breaks down, and how repair is initiated. Understanding the process which the body takes in repair can help eliminate the need for organ transplants, amputations, and can even help in replacing organs which never functioned. The potential is limitless, once the process is understood. While stem cells is undergoing many forms of research, it has been limited due to controversy over the cells. Many places such as Harvard are attempting to send the cells into organs and regrown them. But the lack of permissions due to restrictions on access and use of stem cells has abated many possibilities until recently. Just a few years ago Obama lifted the ban placed on research by the Bush administration  during his term.

Research in this area is still in the early stages. Scientists have not worked out how to overcome cell signaling problems. Once stem cells are removed from their environment they begin differentiating, so it is hard to maintain them. There are challenges ahead as with reproducing them so that many cells are readily available. Scientists are hard at work solving the constrictions, and learning about the regulation of these cells. They are testing the ability of the transplanted cells to create gap junctions between themselves and damaged cells. The stem cells have even showed potential to help the damaged cell to keep living.

Stem cells harvested from various sources have the potential to revolutionize modern medicine. Instead of people being on long waiting lists for organs they may never receive, they could be regrown in the person or lab, and the organ has a better potential to not be rejected. Especially if the transplanted cells can reproduce the organ that is not functioning within the body. It can minimize invasive surgeries, and end the need for rejection medications. The benefits outweigh the charges of cruel and inhuman acts on the part of scientists who are looking to pioneer ways to save lives. This type of study can lead to better health, and longer lives. There is no cruelty in using cells which have no other potential, because a fetus was aborted. At that juncture the cells can be used in vital roles to help humanity, or the can be a controversy and reason we never achieve the ability to regrow organs.

The future of medicine means looking to controversial areas and relying on facts, not emotions to make decisions. While pro-lifers are often opposed to the us of stem cells, we know the benefits. Some studies have concluded positive results. Just as the scientific community once faced ridicule over studies of bacteria, and cadavers, and many things which went counter to religion and personal beliefs, it is important for us to pursue this research. It is a positive modern direction with many applications.







1Neurogenesis and Brain Repair Group, Neurobiology Program, Institute for Biological Sciences, National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0R6
2Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1H 8M5
3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1H 8M5
*Mahmud Bani-Yaghoub: Email: mahmud.bani@nrc.ca
Academic Editor: Markus Hengstschläger

Author: Rachel Johnson

I am a writer about atheist issues. Separation of the church and state. Women and their right to choose, and sex. I talk about all of the "taboos" of modern life as well as evolution and science.

One thought on “Stem Cells: The Truth, The Controversy, And The Lies.

  1. In the first few months the fetus is just a bunch of cells. The religious hucksters forget their god does not even consider a fetus to be life until after birth. Of course being Jewish is a plus. The external growth of organs has to happen at some point to assist life so the death of religion is my goal. I agree,enjoyed your article.

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