Even though this hot button topic seems to have fallen into the shadows, it is still a viable scientific method. A stem cell can be put into any foreign group of cells and attach itself to the area. A stem cell can be put in a cancer patient to rebuild an organ which has been killed off by chemotherapy treatments. Stem cells can also be used to regenerate any organ in the body which has been damaged.
The three main places to find stem cells are in adults, umbilical cords and embryos. To obtain cells from an adult donor, a doctor will extract them from the bone marrow. This is a painful procedure, but if the actual patient has healthy ones left after whatever necessitates the transfer of the cells, this is the best option. This will ensure the body will take the transfer since it is from the same immune system.
Another option to receive stems cells from is the umbilical cord. There have been movies that deal with this issue, such as My Sister’s Keeper, where the umbilical cord of children is stored to be harvested for cells at a time that may be necessary down the road. The umbilical cord can be donated to science for a fee or kept for your family for just in case situations.
The most controversial source of stem cells is the embryo. In this instance, the cells are extracted when the embryo is still technically considered a blastocyst, which is before the cells start to split and differentiate. The controversy lies in the fact that a blastocyst who has stem cells extracted from it, is then destroyed by the procedure. This is usually done when a woman makes the choice to abort a fetus and allows the stem cells to be taken and used.
This is all to say that knowledge is power and there is truth and honesty even in the largest controversy.