Stem cell research is gaining popularity worldwide. Due to its potential to treat various diseases like spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, juvenile diabetes, it is generating great interest and investment worldwide. But some aspects of embryonic stem cell research may pose an ethical or moral dilemma for some people.
Take the case of Michigan. After a ban in stem cell research, the state is trying to gain its place in stem cell research. The administration is seeking public opinion with ballot measure called Proposal 2. And the way they vote on a ballot measure called Proposal 2 will determine the fate of a Michigan law that currently restricts research using embryonic stem cells.
There are several key facts that citizens can keep in mind as they navigate through a flood of often conflicting information about stem cell research.
1. Scientists generally agree it’s crucial to push forward rapidly in all three key areas of stem cell research: embryonic stem cells, tissue/adult stem cells and induced pluripotent (or “reprogrammed”) stem cells.
2. Embryonic stem cells that scientists study come from early-stage embryos.
3. Adult stem cells are like supporting actors in the quest for stem cell treatments.
4. Induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, are adult cells reprogrammed to behave like embryonic stem cells.
5. Michigan scientists want to explore all types of stem cells to look for treatments or cures. But they currently lack a key tool: the ability to develop their own embryonic stem cell lines.
The proposed constitutional amendment would:
Expand use of human embryos for any research permitted under federal law subject to the following limits: the embryos
* are created for fertility treatment purposes;
* are not suitable for implantation or are in excess of clinical needs;
* would be discarded unless used for research;
* were donated by the person seeking fertility treatment.
Source: Science Daily