‘Embryonic-Like’ Cell Discovery Could Affect Ethics Debate

Daily News Article - August 19, 2005


1.  Define stem cell and human embryo.

2.  What are the three types of stem cells mentioned in this article?
Which type is controversial?  Why?
Which type has the least potential to create treatments or cures for diseases?  Why?
Which type has displayed a tendency to produce cancerous tumors?

3.  How are the following stem cells acquired?
- adult stem cells
- umbilical cord stem cells
- embryonic stem cells

4.  What success have researchers had with umbilical cord stem cells?

5.  What are the main reasons people have for supporting embryonic stem cell research?
What are the main reasons people have for opposing embryonic stem cell research?

6.  How do opponents of embryonic stem cell research address the points made by supporters?
For a commentary by an opponent, click here, and for further information and commentaries, click here or here.
(For an alternative use for unused human embryos, click here.)

7.  Search the following websites that support embryonic stem cell research.  Why do you think they don't mention any information on umbilical cord stem cells?  Or address the concerns of opponents of embryonic stem cell research, including the ethical and moral questions people have about using human embryos?

For the International Society For Stem Cell Research click here,
for Stem Cell Action click here and for the Stem Cell Research Foundation, click here.

8.  Do you support the use of human embryos for stem cell research?  Explain your answer. 
*If you said yes, answer: if other stem cells (ex: umbilical cord) were proven equally effective, should embryo stem cell research end?  Why?
*If you said no, answer: if a cure for alzheimers or diabetes were found in the next year using those extra human embryos from fertility clinics, would you still oppose embryonic stem cell research?  Why?