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Do you really know what embryonic stem cells are, and how they are formed?

I wonder how many people actually KNOW how embryonic stem cells are harvested because reading the other question, it would appear that there are many people who do not.

If you believe life begins at conception, I can see where you would get the idea that this is similar to abortion, etc, but by the time the embryo is extracted, with informed consent, it doesn't even have a heart beat. It is still in the blastocyst phase of development and is about 4-5 days old...

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Asked by celticreverie at 8:19 PM on Jan. 26, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Level 3 (20 Credits)
Answers (19)
  • Embryonic stem cells, as their name suggests, are derived from embryos. Specifically, embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos that develop from eggs that have been fertilized in vitro—in an in vitro fertilization clinic—and then donated for research purposes with informed consent of the donors. They are not derived from eggs fertilized in a woman's body. The embryos from which human embryonic stem cells are derived are typically four or five days old and are a hollow microscopic ball of cells called the blastocyst. The blastocyst includes three structures: the trophoblast, which is the layer of cells that surrounds the blastocyst; the blastocoel, which is the hollow cavity inside the blastocyst; and the inner cell mass, which is a group of approximately 30 cells at one end of the blastocoel.

    Answer by celticreverie at 8:19 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • Yup. Sure do and I have NO problem with ANY stem cell research. I believe we should have been doing it all along. And the reason we haven't had more research done is because it was stopped by a certain administration.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:21 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • Yes I know what an embryo is and I also know that there is no evidence that there are any future cures to be found in destroying them. They are not blobs of cells. They contain the complete genetic makeup required to for a complete human being. There is evidence that these cells can form tumors instead of cures but that adult stem cells have been used for cures and show promises for many more cures in the future.

    Answer by miriamz at 8:28 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • Yep - they come from the blastocyst stage... when we were just a thin layer of cells wrapped around a hollow middle.
    BUT it does have the potential to develop into a fully functional human being and will do so, barring any developmental problems or stopping of that development. The controversy is should that development be stopped? Should something that has the potential to be a full human being be created and then destroyed? If life starts at conception, then you are killing that life. If life starts later in the process, then you are destroying that potential.

    As others have pointed out, the promise of adult stem cells seems greater and is already bearing fruit. Reversed heart damage, bone marrow transplants, etc. So far, scientists have had very little success with embryonic stem cells.

    Is there an easy solution? No. Is there a solution that will please everyone? No.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 8:52 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • If the embryo is not viable, then why not extract the stem cells. People don't understand just how wonderful stem cells are or how valuable to a sick person. I never did understand the angst over them. They save lives people!

    Answer by muthamayi at 9:34 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • If there was even one potential cure from embryonic stem cells I might not object to it as much but at this point there are none.

    Answer by miriamz at 9:53 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • but you're objecting to embryos cultured for this sole purpose. I mean,l women know what they are doing when they do this. They aren't coerced. There is potential for a cure, and potential to save lives. Just because we haven't found one doesn't mean it's not there.

    Answer by celticreverie at 10:01 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • What stops them from growing those embyos into fetus? There is NO TIME limit in the bill that Obama wants passed.

    An embryo is intended to grow into a fetus and become a baby... it's wrong to use them as science experiments.

    Answer by Tajcc at 10:10 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • An embryo is intended to grow into a fetus and become a baby... it's wrong to use them as science experiments.

    i have to agree with this statement and from what others have said that adult stem cells seem to be working out better.

    Answer by mrssundin at 10:25 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

  • Of course adult stem cells seem to be working better b/c the funding with embryonic stem cells has been limited. People make it seem as if stem cell research is just a high school science project. It has the potential to be one of the greatest scientific finds of our time. It is important research and I think that it is about time that we had more funding available for this research.

    Answer by micrespo at 10:39 PM on Jan. 26, 2009

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