From the research laboratories where tests and experimentations are conducted, down to the streets filled with protesters hoping to stop stem cell experiments or those pushing for ethical principles behind the experiments, stem cell research has by far been the most talked about topic in scientific history. Although much has been said about many innovative breakthroughs in harnessing the power of stem cells, stem cell research still has a long way to go. With breakthroughs achieved, allowing adult canine stem cells to be used in treatment of a variety of diseases among dogs, still further intensive studies are being conducted since many scientists believe that stem cell therapy holds the promise of radically changing the way canine diseases are being treated. For example, adult canine stem cells are currently gaining widespread use for treatment and therapy, as well as not posing any medical danger to the patient, since findings have already been established about the regenerative and renewal properties of the adult canine stem cell without destructive or damaging side effects.
Adult canine stem cells, also called somatic stem cells, are found throughout the dog’s body and has been linked to the healing properties of living organisms like for example, the ability of the skin to regenerate after it has been injured or the ability of regenerating human tissues due to wear and tear. Theoretically, with findings on recent stem cell research, scientists believe that it may lead the way to addressing better treatment and therapy of certain types of muscle damage, even cancer, as well as with varied forms of tissue or organ impairments and other medical conditions – both treatable and what may have been thought of as untreatable.
Regardless of the benefits of stem cell research and its medical breakthroughs, however, controversies are still rife since the process of obtaining a canine embryonic stem cell for experimentation. Deriving an active embryonic stem cell line through therapeutic cloning would require destroying a canine embryo, since many oppositionists to stem cell research argue that this is a similar process to reproductive cloning and is no less an ethical question why the need to subject the life of a living organism to become an instrument of science. Proponents, however, insist that the pursuit of medical breakthroughs and scientific experiments on the embryonic stem cell is only limited to embryonic samples that are already subject for destruction resulting from in vitro fertilization.
This argument, however, is also being countered by pro-life movers who insist that despite of the process, an embryo is still a living organism, thus has the right to life regardless of the fact that it is already subject for destruction. The never-ending battle between good and evil is seemingly manifested in stem cell research, since it has created a contrasting atmosphere of animosity and excitement over findings resulting from these researches from various sectors, and will continue to face social and ethical challenges for all sectors concerned. All the same, a look into adult canine stem cell research – regardless of the challenges it faces- will continue to provide answers and pave the way for more breakthroughs ahead.