POL 364 - What is Holding Back Science? Attempting to...

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What is Holding Back Science? Attempting to override the Bush Stem Cell Research Policy "We don't even know that stem cell research will provide cures for anything — much less that it's very close" to yielding major advances.”: Laura Bush – Posted 8/9/2004 6:12 PM for USA Today http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2004-08-09-bush-stemcell_x.htm “Some must die so that others may live. Know who else feels that way? Dracula.” – Stephen Colbert on Stem Cell Research http://www.comedycentral.com/colbertreport/videos.jhtml?videoId=72149 Avi Kolel 3-22-08 POL 7-364 APSA format
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Abstract Research done on human embryonic stem cells has become one of the most controversial subjects of the 21 st century. Embryonic stem cells show potential in providing cures for debilitating diseases, although, there are ethical and legal problems that have been and are still being debated within congress and between congress and the presidency. President George W. Bush’s policy on stem cell research, in which he implemented on August 9 th , 2001, gave very limited funding for research in this field of scientific study. Congress believes, shown by its voting record, that research funding should be expanded from what Bush determined. The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007 is the latest attempt of congress’s to override President Bush’s executive order, however Bush again has vetoed the attempt to expand research funding of embryonic stem cell research.
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I. Introduction Human embryonic stem cell research is one of the most controversial issues of the 21 st century. It is an issue that has many different aspects to it. There are moral, ethical, scientific, medical, political, and legal facets to the research of embryonic stem cells. This vital piece of organismal development is essential to “growth, maintenance, and repair of our brains, bones, muscles, nerves, blood, skin, and other organs” (Hayes 5). These stem cells were first isolated in mice in 1981, but were not isolated in humans until 1998 (Ydstie & Palca 2007). There are two types of stem cells, embryonic and adult. Embryonic stem cells come from an embryo in the very early stages of development. They are able to mature into any cell an organism will ever need. Depending on where in the body an adult stem cell is located will determine what kind of cell it differentiates into (Hayes 2006). Therefore they do not have all the potential of an embryonic stem cell. Experts believe that research of these cells, particularly embryonic stem cells, could lead to the finding of cures for debilitating and even fatal diseases (Wayne 2008). Another reason that stem cells are being studied is in order to better understand the development of organisms. Under proper laboratory conditions, stem cells can replicate and form colonies known as stem cell lines. These colonies are filled with cells that are genetically identical which allows duplicate research to be performed at anytime, although the lines are not everlasting (Hayes 2006). Most embryonic stem cells that are used today come
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POL 364 - What is Holding Back Science? Attempting to...

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