The misconceptions related to stem cell research and the natural production in our bodies, is outrageous! To know if you stand for or against the idea of manipulating stem cells in labs, to aid in medical uses, you must first understand just what the different types of stem cells are.
Adult Stem Cells
Adult stem cells occur naturally throughout our body. Different forms have different applications to both our healing processes and to the maintenance of body functions. Scientists are only now finding all the capabilities that attribute the use of a patients own stem cells to aid in the repair of injuries and disease. Our stem cells are found from the marrow of our bones to the skin. They are everywhere in our body. Right now, we are at the stage of our intelligence and understanding, to harvest and produce more stem cells externally from the body.
Scientists take the donor's stem cells, separate them from the other cells, and they are induced in multiple ways to reproduce thousands of times in a sterile lab. Stem cells replicate, and just recently, found to repair and replace damaged cells with their natural-occurring "self cloning" process. Any cell that is introduced to a stem cell, it replicates and builds more of these now "healthy" cells to replace the damaged ones. The ultimate quest is to understand why as we get older, these stem cells lay so dormant in our body. Scientists have not yet found out what "activates" our stem cells into repair. If we could find a way to control or induce this process internally, we would literally, never get sickness or disease.
Embryonic Stem Cells
This has become very debatable among people all over the world, but that I will not mention here. The fact is: Embryonic stem cells by all standards, are considered the "gold standard" in stem cell research. Why, you might ask? They are easier to use. Without any manipulation, and far less work, they can conform to any cell type in the body. Adult stem cells are manipulated into the process, or limited to the organ or cell type they were taken from. To be manipulated, adult stem cells are introduced to a virus or even cancer cells are being used to induce the process of being able to produce any cell type desired. This makes it difficult to argue the safety of this development to officials who oversee the use of this technology. Other countries other than the U.S. have applied this technique with successful results.
That is why scientists prefer the use of Embrionic stem cells, yet then they are halted by the debate, that prevents them from paying for donated eggs (even though, fertility clinics can offer to pay for them.) For this research, women may only donate, and not be paid.
The U.S. And Stem Cell Research
The problem comes down to this one sad fact: The FDA does not approve the products or procedures that have any remark or claim to "cure" anything. So, how does this limit our research? Countries all over the world have cured diabetes, found promise to cure Parkinson's Disease, Muscular Dystrophy, and the more they use this process in medical application, the more success stories come to life. They even have found through their research, that you can live longer......... a lot longer. BUT, U.S. research is limited to using the research to reproduce diseased and mutated cells, to test drugs that may "treat" these diseases. HEY! You can't make as much money off of cures as you can to a disease that can be "suppressed" rather than cured. Think about it.