Home > Uncategorized > Repairs for a Broken Heart?

Repairs for a Broken Heart?

I read today about new findings from a scientific experiment reported on by CBS.  Evidence from the experiment that CBS has been following for two years suggests that stem cells have the ability to regenerate damaged hearts. The study cites in particular one forty year old patient, Ken, who suffered a serious heart attack, and was facing a life of breathing difficulties and limited exertion.  Ken participated in a risky clinical study that sought to reverse his heart injury by inserting bits of healthy heart tissue (which were cultivated to manufacture millions of stem cells) into the damaged part of his heart.  Previously bone marrow stem cells have been used for this type of procedure, with poor results.  Ken had 50% improvement in his heart’s condition, the average for improvement among others participating in the same trial.  These are the first positive results of this kind, and they look promising for a future of medicine using stem cells.

The question I pose to you is: how do you feel about the use of stem cells in scientific research?  As evidenced in this study, they have the potential to be very useful in matters of health and human repair.  But does that potential make their use morally justified?  Do you even feel that their use is immoral?  I’d enjoy feedback on this controversial topic.

Advertisements
Categories: Uncategorized
  1. November 15, 2011 at 7:11 am

    The topic of this subject has a lot to do with that I want to deal with later on in life. Stem cell research has always fascinated me, especially embryonic stem cell research. However, with that said it kinda involves taking a life for saving a life. I am a biomedical engineering major here at the university, and potentially i want to get involved with something that deals with manufacturing “stem cells” without the killing of embryos. Also artificial tissues and cells are of a great intrerest of mines. What i personally feel about the use of stem cells is that if a person is old, and has a problem within themselves, embryonic stem cells shouldn’t be used. However I have also considered the donation of an embryo for stem cells as another option for mothers instead of abortion. Yes, there are places out there that get their stem cells from abortion clinics however, if we made the donation of an unwanted embryo an option for mothers things would come into good use. Its a touchy subject, but other options really are just to find new ways to engineer and maunfacture stem cells artificially. Personally I would one day potentially want to work with a company that manufactures artificial tissues for burn victms and hopefully in the later future with the help of more biomedical engineers we can find a better solution to this controversial problem.

  2. November 15, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Scientists have invented a way to clone stem cells so it is no longer necessary to take them from embryos. This might be a significant advance because it is more ethical than taking these cells from aborted children.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v478/n7367/full/nature10397.html

    • November 15, 2011 at 4:56 pm

      It prevents pro-life folks (like me) from complaining about how it’s dehumanizing and how stem cell researchers are the Devil.

  3. November 20, 2011 at 5:04 am

    I see a lot of potential in stem cell research. It could potentially provide cures for currently terminal diagnoses; however, there is the snag that scientists run into when dealing with embryonic stem cells. As I understand it, embryonic stem cells provide the most complete transformations into other types of cells whereas stem cells derived from fat or other sources are not as “pure” for lack of a better word.

    Personally, I side with the pro-life argument that life begins at conception, so embryonic stem cell research raises the issues of taking a life. While an embryo is at a very early stage of life, it still has the potential to develop into a functioning, conscious human being worthy of respect, dignity, and the basic rights everyone else is entitled to. Taking a person’s life is not a valid justification for research, no matter how beneficial. It’s one matter if a person is willingly and of their own accord, sacrificing themselves for someone else, but it’s another matter entirely to make that decision for someone else, not matter how small or consciously/cognitively developed.

    I think there are better ways of getting stem cells to research than killing embryos. If we can utilize those sources then I have no problem with stem cell research, but the destruction of embryos, in my opinion crosses a moral line.

  4. November 21, 2011 at 3:38 am

    I think that we should increase stem cell research usage but using them from other sources like umbilical cord blood and bone marrow. These methods are more humane and can produce the same results. We can make great strides in medicine if we increase stem cell use. Unfortunately when people here the term stem cells, they automatically think of embryonic stem cells, causing them to develop a harsh stance against them. I think it is this type of thing that is hindering more research into stem cells. So i believe the types of stem cells need to be more advertised so that people don’t automatically go against them because they think embryonic stem cells are the only kind. Stem cells have a lot of potential and it would stink to see them go to waste because people didn’t know that much about them.

  1. November 16, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: