Stem cell research saves lives and ends suffering

By Nicole Osuch
November 10, 2006

A California biotechnology company, Novocell, has just released news that they have developed a process to turn human embryonic stem cells into pancreatic cells that can produce insulin and other hormones.

While this news is quite controversial, it comes as a relief to me as someone who has grown up with grandparents with diabetes.

Diseases such as diabetes are due to problems that occur somewhere in the process of our genetic make up.

Studying normal cell development will allow doctors to have a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of cells and hopefully fix cells that cause health issues such as diabetes.

Diabetes is not the only medical condition that would benefit from stem cell research.

Many medical conditions including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease would greatly benefit from stem cell research.

Personally, I believe scientist should be able to conduct stem cell research because the research could cure medical conditions such as diabetes.

Diabetes has negatively affected my grandparents’ health and I worry that one day I too will be diagnosed with diabetes.

My family is not alone.

According to the American Diabetes Association 20.8 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.

There are two major types of diabetes. Type 1 is a result from the body’s failure to produce insulin. The American Diabetes Association estimates that 5-10 percent of Americans who are diagnosed with diabetes have Type 1 diabetes.

The second major type of diabetes is Type 2, which results when a person’s body is insulin resistant or in other words does not properly use insulin. While obesity and lack of exercise are major indicators of diabetes, genetics play a major role.

Stem cell research would help in this area.

Pluripotent stem cells come from human embryos and fetal tissue. The controversy lies in the fact that the stem cells are taken from an early stage embryonic cell.

People that believe fetus and embryos have moral rights are against stem cell research.

However, as heated as this ethical issue may be, using a fetus or embryo for good, such as stem cell research, could help future generations combat deadly diseases instead of letting it go to waste.

What has to be done first and foremost in order to use stem cell research for good, we must first ethically reason what is right.

Pursuing research at this time is like opening up Pandora’s Box.

While I think stem cell research is good in that it could help doctors to understand curing diseases better, I do feel that human nature is to take it too far.

I believe that God gave us a great mind and the ability to think and that if doctors are to gain a better understanding in the way stem cells work they may be able to improve the functioning of certain organs like the pancreas in a diabetic’s case by inserting cells developed by stem cells.

The real question that lies is if doctors have the right to be making the decision of who has the right to life.

The biotechnology company Novocell made a big stride in finding a treatment for Type 1 diabetes.

This news is very encouraging for people that have diabetes in their genetic background and have lost relatives due to the disease like myself.

There is not a single person that is not affected by a disease that could not benefit from stem cell research.

Stem cell research would allow for enormous medical growth and help people to live healthier stronger lives.

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Nicole Osuch

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