Stem Cell Essay

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Sept. 21, 2011 Mapping Stem Cell Research Stem cell research has been a highly controversial topic in the United States since President Bush vetoed researchers’ requests for government funding in 2006. However, the topics of stem cells have been talked about in the Science community since the early 1960s. According to the National Institute of Health, a stem cell is a differentiated cell found in a differentiated tissue that can renew itself and differentiate, with certain limitations, to give rise to all the specialized cell types of the tissue in which it originated. To the average person, this definition alone can cause the wheels in one’s mind to stop in their tracks. It is easy to misunderstand the concept of stem cell research, therefore, making it such a controversial and negative issue. In the film, Mapping Stem Cell Research, Terra Incognita, Dr. Jack Kessler, neurologist and stem cell expert, not only tries to educate his audience, but also puts a human face on this debatable subject. After hearing Kessler’s story and understanding the evidence he has put forth, it is clear that continuing stem cell research can provide huge advancements to modern medicine and possibly bring life back to those who have thought it was lost. Dr. Kessler is not only a distinguished stem cell expert but he is also the chair of the Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurological Sciences at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. After his daughter suffered a devastating spinal cord injury while skiing, Kessler devoted his energy to finding a system in which to repair damaged spinal cords. Although the film itself is largely based on scientific facts, there are still moral discussions introduced by Dr. Laura Zoloth, a professor at Northwestern. The film presents you with an inside look at one of Zoloth’s courses, health ethics, where student

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