disorder, Battens disease.
Embryonic stem cells are a different matter. So far no medical treatments are available. Current research, however, is exploring ways to coax stem cells to grow into the specific cell types that die off in diseases like diabetes, Parkinsons disease, and heart disease, hence all the hype about potential cures. To harvest stem cells, the embryo has to be destroyed.
Stem cell research is vigorously opposed by elements in society ranging from the Vatican to US President George Bush, Christian fundamentalists and some bioethicists and doctors, who argue that the promise of stem cells should not be realized at the expense of human life, even in its most nascent, embryonic stages.
Embryonic stem cell research remains a contentious field of medicine because it requires the creation and then destruction of a human embryo. Scientists say these early, all-purpose cells can be induced to form nerves and specialised tissues to repair this host of life-threatening afflictions because stem cells have the ability to develop into all sorts of specialised body tissue. Stem cell research is not new, but is often misunderstood because it is seen as opening the door to reproductive human cloning, which is rightly outlawed.
A great deal more study is necessary before the therapeutic promise of stem cells is fully understood and the benefits achieved and needs support for stem-cell research techniques that bring science and ethics together to promote life, protect life, and save lives.
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