Much hue and cry took place when in 2001 George W. Bush put a ban in embryonic stem cell (ES) research. Scientists from different communities talked against it, while the people defending their ethical reasons supported it.
The entire community got divide with the issue. Still now, even when the issue was resolved March, 2009 when the newly elected President Obama, lifted up the ban, and even FDA issued their consent. The proponents against ES put forward a newer type of stem cell - Adult stem cell (AS), to find a solution for ES ban. But why some people disagree about AS when it is ethically approved?
ES cells are extracted from the blastocyst stage of the embryonic cell development since it has been found that these cells have pluripotent property (can develop into any type of cells). It has the potential to find cure to many diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, Diabetes etc. They are thought to replace the impaired cells and organs.
But do you feel somewhere the research may be directed in a wrong path? The religious people moved against this discovery. They condemned the practise and said the stem cell scientists are trying to “play with God’s creation and manipulate according to their will.”
As a result the research progress in stem cells halted abruptly in 2001. Scientists cannot stop. They need to move on and find cure for millions of patients who are crying out of pain in their hospital beds just to get a respite from their killer
d pain. In some cases diseases are so severe that doctors often compel to give “coup de gra’ce” or “mercy killing”. Cases of euthanesia are still a hot topic in lawsuits. Again comes the question of ethics.
So which way to choose? Would it be a “greater good” to sacrifice the budding of human embryos in name of curing millions, or the other way round?
The questions are required to be answered. Scientists have put forward newer theory of using Adult Stem cell (AS), wherein an adult cell is extracted from bone marrow, to similarly function as ES. This theory was also accepted by ethical proponents but there is certain problems with AS which has also com into being.
AS has been found to be less efficient than ES. They have lesser differential potential than ES. Moreover there is a certain problem with ageing with AS. The extracted AS have shorter telomeric tail which brings up quicker ageing to the propagated cell lines.
Therefore still ES is preferred over AS. Although again some people like Christopher Scott argues for AS by saying that:
“Prohibiting one line of research (embryonic Human stem cell) and not another (adult stem cell) is like asking Einstein to understand relativity without gazing at the stars or asking da Vinci to understand flight without watching birds.”
It defends the idea for finding alternatives to ES research by finding something new which can be as efficient than ES and ethically more prudent.
Since the ES research has again revived it is to be kept in mind that it does not imply that scientists would turn their face away from better solutions. The revival of the research is simply to find a quicker solution to the diseases and nothing more. Therefore in a neutral view, we would say that though we are looking forward to development to ES research, conventional prudent methods will always be welcomed which could really benefit human life.