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Unformatted text preview: arries its own
suite of ethical issues. “Humanising” any animal is
still unacceptable to many people.
• Xenotransplantation carries a risk for the wider community, the major concern being the crossspecies transmission of infectious agents such as
viruses (particularly retroviruses).
• Research to improve the success rate of xenotransplants is needed (especially testing
animal to human transplants in clinical trials).
These are difficult and expensive. Many argue
that it would be better to pursue stem cell
technologies and improve existing human to
human transplant success rates. 1. ESCs are pluripotent, with the correct stimulus they
can differentiate into every type of cell (apart from
placental tissue). As their name suggests, their only
source is from embryos. ASC are multipotent, they
can differentiate into a limited range of tissues, usually
related to their tissue of origin. The name ASC is
misleading as they are found in umbilical cord blood,
children and adults. ASC are found in a limited range
of tissue types (e.g. blood, skin, bone marrow). 2. ESC therapies are only undertaken in a limited
research capacity. This is because the stem cells
are taken from very young embryos (about five days
old), which results in the destruction of an embryo.
Another argument against ESC research is that it is
the beginning of reproductive cloning, which many
groups feel very strongly opposed to. ASC therapies
are less controversial because the cells are harvested
from living donors, and their removal does not cause
damage or death to the donor. For this reason ASC
therapies are already in use (e.g. bone marrow
Note: Currently the source of embryos used in ESC
research come from excess embryos created for in
vitro fertilization. They are donated with consent to be
used for the research. 3. Student's own account. Note: Some points of
discussion are outlined below: Ethical issues to be considered include:
• The moral implications of using human embryos in an exploitative way, i.e. the embryo from
which the stem cell li...
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This document was uploaded on 01/28/2014.
- Winter '13