6 Advantages and Disadvantages of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Stem cell research has been used for medical discoveries such as the potential of these cells to repair damaged tissues and be used for organ transplantation. Despite the benefits it offers, this issue remains to be a controversial one, particularly the use of embryos in one of the two types of stem cell research. This is known as embryonic stem cell research. Supporters and critics argue have conflicting views on this topic because of several factors. Here, we will discuss the positive and negative attributes of this type of medical research.

List of Advantages of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

1. It offers possibilities to curing medical conditions.
Embryonic cells are undifferentiated cells which can be used in almost all parts of the body for medical purposes. With research, scientists will be able to explore these embryonic cells more and discover how they can be used to replace damaged tissues and organs in the body. By combining them with mature cells, they can cure many ailments in the future. Moreover, they can reproduce themselves indefinitely so they can be used extensively in research and medical cure.

2. It keeps the embryos from being destroyed without purpose.
Embryos are used for in vitro fertilization and there are several embryos used in a particular attempt. However, there are embryo types which do not get fertilized or are not used since they do not meet the criteria and in the end are just destroyed. Embryonic stem cell research reduces the number of these embryos being destroyed deliberately. Instead, these harvested embryos are used in stem cell research laboratories. This way, these embryos are not destroyed without a reason at all but instead, serve a purpose beneficial to medicine.

3. It is capable of turning embryonic cells into models of genetic disorders.
Scientists are now able to identify prenatal genetic diagnosis (PGD) in diseased cell lines and also mutate embryonic cells. With the studies done by researches, genetic abnormalities which do not have existing models yet such as cystic fibrosis can be explored.

List of Disadvantages of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

1. It results to taking life.
Despite the embryos used coming from unwanted types used for in vitro fertilization, critics still argue that these embryos are already human beings. Having said that, the use of these embryos for research and manipulating them go against morals and ethics.

2. It still costs taxpayers money.
President Bush prohibited the use of Federal funds for destroying embryos stem cell research but allowed the funding for research on cell lines. According to opponents of ESCR, this still costs money and are expensive. Moreover, these funds come from the people. Additionally, despite the law against the destruction of embryos, no law exists that protects pre-embryos or those younger than 14 days from being manipulated and destroyed.

3. It has reported failures and complications.
Although ESCR seems to offer scientific breakthroughs, this is not the reality, as seen in different occasions. There have been reports about cases where fetal brain cells where injected in the brain cells of patients with Parkinson’s disease and manifestations of head-jerking, twisting and the like were seen. Also, people who will be using embryonic stem cells damaged tissues will have to take drugs for the rest of their lives to prevent rejection of the tissues.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research, just like any clinical trial research, has advantages and disadvantages. What is important is to ensure these benefits have more bearing than the setbacks.