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Stem Cell Research

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February 6, 2011

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Stem Cell Research

THE BROOKE ELLISON PROJECT believes that stem cell research is among the most exciting and potentially revolutionizing issues today. This is an issue unlike any other, as every day that passes is another opportunity or even life lost. This is a time unlike any other, as the potential and goal are well within our grasp. This is an issue that is life-affirming and based in hope, and THE BROOKE ELLISON PROJECT is focused on its realization.

Here are some important facts surrounding stem cell research:

  • Stem cells are unspecialized (or, undifferentiated) cells that have the capability to become other types of cells in the human body.
  • What makes stem cells so exciting is that they potentially can be used to repair cells damaged by disease or injury.
  • Stem cells can be derived from a number of sources, including bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, or the inner cell wall of blastocysts (fertilized eggs less than one week into development).
  • Embryonic stem cells are widely considered by field experts to be the most promising, as they can replicate themselves indefinitely and are universal in their ability to transform.
  • There are currently nearly 500,000 embryos frozen in clinics, stated to be discarded. Rather than be wasted and of no use to anyone, many of these could be directed toward the benefits of research.
  • 74% of U.S. adults support public funding for stem cell research.
  • 60% of couples pursuing in vitro fertilization would prefer to donate their excess embryos to research, but are either not permitted to do so voluntarily or are not informed of this possibility.
  • Advances in stem cell research have the potential to treat the leading health risks in the U.S., including cancer, heart disease, HIV, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, diabetes, and spinal cord injury.
  • In the United States*:
    • One million children live with juvenile diabetes
    • One million people live with Parkinson’s disease
    • 4.5 million suffer from Alzheimer’s disease
    • 2.5 million people live with multiple sclerosis
    • 450,000 people are paralyzed by spinal cord injury
    • 30,000 people face ALS
    • 58 million people live with heart disease
    • 8.2 million people face cancer
    • 10 million people are confronted with osteoporosis
    • 43 million people suffer from arthritis

* from the Stem Cell Foundation

 

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