Ethical Issues in Stem Cell Research

Stem cells and their applications in tissue regeneration comes with a few interesting controversies regarding the bioethical issues involved in stem cell research. The basic system of regulation and review of research involving humans and animals as subjects is familiar to investigators. Stem cell research offers great promise for understanding basic mechanisms of human development and differentiation, as well as the hope for new treatments for diseases such as diabetes, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, and myocardial infarction. The collection of somatic stem cells from the human fetuses and umbilical cords is the most extreme controversy so far. Other issues involve the potential of stem cells to induce a tumor in the body and use of embryos which are only a few days old. Human embryo cloning was suggested as an alternative to this situation which was highly criticized by the ethical groups. Currently, lack of stem-cell markers and in-vitro systems for manipulation also hinders the research and makes it a daunting task.