Proposal 1: Stem Cell Research

Not too long ago, scientist discovered that they could reverse the aging process of a young skin cell in order to bring it back to the very earliest stages of development. At this early stage, the cell, known as a pluripotent or iPS stem cell,  can be reprogrammed to replicate almost another other type of cell in the body. In the future, with further research on stem cells and the development of scientific technology, it may be possible to eliminate some very serious health issues that have caused a great deal of pain and suffering throughout the world.

Stem cell research is a very complicated science that I do not pretend to know anything about. In terms of potential resources, I found a collection of resources from the National Institute of Health that give a detailed overview of the progress made in regenerative medicine and the prospects for future development. The reason I really like this resource is because it is not solely funded by the National Institute of Health and it is updated frequently.

For resources concerning the ethical issues of stem cell research, I found a great deal of information on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. They have a broad overview of all of the individual issues that need to be considered when debating the ethics of stem cell research and also links to further resources.

For my White Paper, I would like to look further into the issue of stem cell research, and more specifically iPS stem cell research. I believe that the potential benefits of stem cell research could change the world as we know it for the better. That being said, there are some obvious ethical concerns that must be considered first. Because stem cell research could allow scientists to clone humans or reproduce cells, organs or body parts, the topic has been widely disputed. In order to understand these concerns more completely, I will look into the debate over stem cell research and analyze each side of the argument. With a stronger base of knowledge concerning the ethical issues with stem cell research, it will be easier to compare them to the potential benefits and come to a conclusion on whether stem cell research is right, wrong. or somewhere in between.


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