President Barack Obama has finally lifted the ban on federal funding for stem cell research.
Of the two types of stem cells, adult stem cells are multipotent and have the potential to become any of several mature cells associated with specific functions or organs and tissues for the body, while embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, and have the ability to become any of the more than 220 types of human cells.
However, embryonic stem cells are highly controversial. Many pro-lifers believe that using embryonic stem cells kills the cell, and therefore kills the “promise” of new life.
It is this reasoning that led former President George W. Bush to ban federal funding in stem cell research and put a halt to promising medical treatment research.
But with Obama’s signature on an executive order, the federal funding ban has been lifted.
Many American scientists are thrilled, and some have declared that the war on science is over and that true innovations and findings can now resume.
Former First Lady Nancy Reagan, who spoke out publicly against Bush’s policies, said countless people, suffering from many different diseases, stand to benefit from the decision.
Looking at the past eight years, it is apparent that science has been undermined in a major way. Bush’s religious beliefs superseded our need to retain our position as leaders in the global scientific community.
What many seem to be unaware of regarding the use of embryonic stem cells is that the majority of those stem cells come from the overabundance of cells created during the in vitro fertilization process, which would otherwise be destroyed.
Instead of destroying the cells, scientists use them to discover new findings and to help our fellow man.
These scientists aren’t doing this to benefit themselves, but to benefit the people who suffer from diseases for which there is currently no cure.
Obama also declared, for those still unsure of stem cell research, a “strict oversight” of how the work is conducted. He asked the National Institute of Health to develop new guidelines within four months.
It’s about time scientists were allowed to help us, and I praise Obama’s brave decision to renew our country’s commitment to advancing medical care by encouraging the use of stem cell research.
Vlora Bojku is a junior business major from Colleyville.B