Category Archives: Sociology Essays

Sociology

You tell me (part 2)

  Muslims strongly adhere to and observe their teachings unlike other sects and some punishment to those who break laws and commandments are severely punished and hence even in the countries where there is Islam dominance; there is no robbery and crime. A free society from crime encourages other people to respect Muslims, Islam and its doctrines which in turn bring more converts, young and old. Their (Muslims) teachings encourage and beseech people to respect their parents, strangers, orphans and all people in any given society. The virtue of temperance is properly advocated by the Muslims and hence it encourages those who are Muslims already and those who are seeking to become ones. Temperance outlines that eating must be controlled and good foods should be eaten in order to take care of the body which has been given and blessed by God. This encourages people to respect their bodies by giving these bodies what is clean and good. Therefore the teachings and actions of upright and devout Muslims are visible and they have encouraged others to stick harder to the teachings and given unto them by the Creator. When the Day of Judgment will come, they will be received to paradise. It is encouragement and encouragement everywhere and this is why new Muslim converts and those who intend to convert enjoy and feel secure among the Muslims anywhere in the world. Many Muslims believe in brotherhood that is helping others who are in dire needs.

  Every teaching in Islam has significance and therefore the fruits of Muslim virtues are evident and concrete. Everything is clear and applicable in society, for example the (Koran 3:103) clearly says, “Hold fast, all together, by the rope which God has stretched out for you and be not divided among yourselves and remember with gratitude God’s favor in you”. Many virtues are indeed practiced by the Muslim world except few exceptional like the fanatics who have hijacked some teachings and misinterpret them for their own greed which is vividly forbidden in the Holy Book the Koran. The Muslim teaching guide and counsel all ages and both sexes on how to behave in the society and what is expected from and out of them. The important virtue of all is to do good for others as (The Koran) quips that, “you can not attain to righteousness unless you spend in charity out of these things which you love.” without discriminating anyone and this has been a better proof for the reason that many people have openly witnessed the assistance and the guidance.

You tell me (part 1)

Introduction

  People of any religious background have many things that are in common and that assembly them together as they base their beliefs and values in some truths which are to be revealed through their actions and sometimes their teachings. Muslims have had fundamental beliefs that have been drawn from the Holy Koran. This paper makes it public why truth seeking and good-loving people or person should remain or become Muslim.

Muslim Virtues

  There are so many virtues that Islam teaches through the Holy Koran which every true Muslim must observe and be a true Muslim of all seasons and societies. However, it must be remembered that every denomination or religious sect are liberals and conservatives and even though these two camps exist, there is a general belief of the values and on the same virtues. Nevertheless, there are some who are radicals who distort the truth about the Muslim society and their beliefs and virtues. The actions of every true Muslim are outlined taught clearly in the Holy Koran. Moreover, the best way to live and act are taught and based in the Holy Book, the Koran. Inasmuch one misrepresentations and or misconceptions, there are those who are bent to smear murk and mire the virtues of Islam. For example people who talk about and support jihad which is true and have put many genuine Muslims out in the cold and lastly and ending to loose opportunities. Some people have had phobia when they know they are with Muslims around. Strongly it must be known that true and genuine Muslims either conservatives or liberals live by the principles of Allah and some of them should seek Allah and live by the virtues revealed in and through the Holy Koran, for example the virtue truth and good-seeking. The nxrlxjmfha virtues were given to Muhammad and written in the Holy Koran for every Muslim and those who will like to convert into Muslim everywhere and anywhere in the world.

  The loving Muslim must seek the truth and obtain or learn good qualities that will please the Creator to abundantly bless such a Muslim regardless of age, skin color, social status and gender. A true Muslim can only live comfortably by providing for the needy in the society which is for the purpose of signs of submission to God and respect to his Creation for the reason that He is the one who has created everything and everybody. The morale of good seeking and loving Muslims is ignited by the need to do well and enter into paradise which is the ultimate prize of devout Muslims. There are hundreds of virtues that good Muslims exhibit, which include friendliness, discipline, empathy, honesty, obedience, sharing, openness, self-respect, tolerance, cleanliness, understanding, forgiveness, thankfulness, responsibility, courageous respectfulness, among many other virtues. Many problems are evaded through the observance of the teachings of the Holy book, the Koran. These and other virtues that are not in the list, encourage Muslims to remain steadfast in their belief of doing well to others, the society and the world at large. Not only these virtues that encourage and promote the sense of a good Muslim but other social values like the family where respect for husbands and parents is paramount as the Holy book, the (Koran 3: 104) says, “let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong”. The great teaching of the Koran boosts the morale of those to be Muslims and those who yearn to convert into Muslims.

What potential benefits can medical treatments using stem cells provide (part 6)

The longer that researchers work with embryonic stem cells the more issues seem to crop up. The idea that ESCs can survive indefinitely in culture, thereby providing an inexhaustible source of cellular treatments, is only partially true. Recent studies have shown that while ESCs will reproduce quite happily again and again in suitable growth medium, over time they develop chromosomal abnormalities similar to those found in some cancers. Stem cell pioneer James Thomson agrees that embryonic stem cell lines have a limited "shelf life." He notes that "over time, you accumulate mutations. It’s a fact of life. It’s just a question of differences in the rates. If you accumulate enough of those mutations, you could actually create a cancer." (Humber 2004) In fact, the dual threat of mutations and the introduction of mouse viruses in Thomson’s original stem cell lines is one of the reasons cited by researchers for lilting the Bush administration’s restrictions on funding for new lines of embryonic stem cells. (Humber 2004)

Moreover, while it is true that embryonic stem cells can be used to create "any kind of cell in the body," that same developmental elasticity works against ESCs as well as in their favor. In fact, only a few researchers have been able to differentiate an embryonic stem cell culture into a pure cell culture of the exact kind of cell they were seeking. It is even more questionable whether the researchers who have been able to differentiate the ESCs into targeted cell populations have been able to consistently repeat the task. In the vast majority of "successful" attempts to change embryonic stern cells into specific cell types, the result was instead a petri dish that contained an unhealthy melange of unwanted cells along with the target strain. (Holland et al 2006)

But for now, only embryonic stem cells can he considered truly pluripotcnt, their inner essence still molten enough to shape. "They (ESCs) are a blank slate," stated Dr. Theo Palmer, neuroscientist at the Stanford University School of -Medicine. "They do not know what their role is. An adult stem cell has enormous potential that’s already been realized." (Humber 2004) Palmer asserted that embryonic stem cells should he easier to work with than the adult version for this very reason.

While scientists, admittedly, are still groping for ways to reliably "retrograde" the blank slate of the embryonic stem cell, the possibilities just seem too great to ignore. And embryonic stem cells, since they come from a point where the organism has yet to mature, simply provide much more insight into the complexities of stem cell function and development. Ironically, years of research spent on embryonic stem cells are very likely to teach scientists how to best reprogram an adult stem cell to make tissues as easily as an embryonic stem cell can.

What potential benefits can medical treatments using stem cells provide (part 5)

  At the most basic level, the promise that stem cells hold is also the source of the controversy over them. The idea that replacement parts for our bodies might one day be as easy to create as ordering prescription medication from the local drugstore is breathtaking. But if these same cells can only work their magic through the destruction of human embryos, then cure and curse will be one and the same to many people. To those who see a human being’s life as starting from the moment of fertilization, regenerative medicine via stem cells is nothing more than high-tech cannibalism. There is an alternative, imperfect though it may be. In recent years, scientists have discovered that similar kinds of cells can be found outside the holy sphere of the human embryo’s blastocyst. These "adult" stem cells can be found in the blood, the pockets of our bone marrow, the umbilical cord, under the dermis of the skin, and, just perhaps, buried deep in the brain.

  Adult stem cells (ASCs) are the technology of choice among those who morally object to the use of embryonic stem cells. At a May 2005 White House press conference, President Bush reaffirmed his opposition to funding embryonic stem cell research outside of the existing stem cell lines, but praised the use of "alternative sources" of stem cells. (Potten et al 2006) The ones mentioned in the above paragraph, such as stem cells from bone marrow and umbilical cord blood, are classic examples of ASCs. "With the right policies and the right techniques," Bush asserted, "we can pursue scientific progress while still fulfilling our moral duties." (Potten et al 2006) But is this indeed the case, or is it wishful thinking? As with many complex subjects, there is no clear-cut answer.

The degree to which adult stem cells can be put to use often depends on who is being interviewed. However, if one sticks as closely as possible to what has been reliably reproduced in multiple laboratories over time, some hard facts do become available. That is, at least as "hard" as the facts can be, before the technology advances yet further and changes reality yet again. A fair number of therapies involving adult stem cells are in human clinical trials at present, and the number continues to grow. It is likely that these therapies will make their appearance at the local hospital or health clinic long before embryonic stem cells can even begin to make it to human trials. At the third annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, held in 2005, the clear majority of the presentations dealt with therapies related to adult stem cells. (Holland et al 2006) Clearly, the interest—and, not coincidentally, the private sector venture capital—lies in ASCs for now.

  There is simply no tool as powerful as the embryonic stem cell (ESC). In possesses, in the words of one researcher, "the potential to address every single disease or condition that our species is heir to." (Holland et al 2006) This is because embryonic stem cells, which are extracted from the fifth day of the embryo’s blastocyst formation, have such a high degree of developmental plasticity that they are capable of becoming any type of cell in the body. It is medical fact that ESCs are incredibly pluripotent. (Humber 2004) However, a second look must be taken when advocates of embryonic stem cells claim that the cells can be grown in infinite numbers.

What potential benefits can medical treatments using stem cells provide (part 4)

Regenerative medicine is a field that is still very much in its infancy. "Before stem cells can lie used routinely, there is a great deal more that researchers have to learn," reports one embryonic stem cell researcher. "We still don’t know what signals are required to make the stem cells mature into specific tissue types. It’s also only educated guessing at this point about how to avoid tumor formation or rejection after transplanting stem cells into a new host. You might say that Nature holds her cards close." (Potten et al 2006)

The rejection issue is being researched at Stanford University, utilizing strains of laboratory mice for testing. Dr.Vlicha Drukker has been part of an international research team examining the immune response that might be launched against transplanted stem cells. "We used two experimental platforms to examine the in vivo immune system response toward transplanted stem cells," said Dr. Drukkcr. "First, mice with both normal and iminunodcficieiit immune systems were used to identify T cells as the major component that causes rejection." T cells are a subset of leukocytes, or white blood cells. They can be thought of as the "hunter-killer" cells that swarm an infection. "Second," said Drukkcr, "mice that were conditioned to carry peripheral blood leukocytes from human origin were used to test the response toward undifferentiated and differentiated human embryonic stem cells." (Potten et al 2006)

Using this model, Drukker’s research team detected only a minute immune response toward both undifferentiated and differentiated stem cells over the course of a month. "Our data showed that stem cells evade immune destruction due to a low immuno stimulatory potential," said Drukkcr. (Potten et al 2006) If this feat is replicated in human stem cell transplants, then the possibilities for healing damaged organs and tissue without fear of rejection greatly expands the range of possibilities for stem cell therapies.

Given enough time, it is likely that therapeutic cloning will become more acceptable to the vast majority of Americans who view it with certain queasiness today. This will be for two reasons. First, given the pace of advancements in the field of cellular surgery, it should eventually be possible to remove portions of the inner cell mass of a blastocyst without destroying the embryo. Second, a little noted fact about stem cell research is that the knowledge gleaned at the cellular level allows the best window into how a disease such as Parkinson’s or diabetes works. Stem cells, in other words, can operate as valuable research tools in the background, instead of taking center stage as a transplant therapy. (Lovell-Badge 2001) Once every aspect of a disease’s biology is thoroughly understood, a targeted drug or therapy can be developed and administered. Eventually, it may be one where a patient will never know that a stem cell was involved in figuring out the remedy.

What potential benefits can medical treatments using stem cells provide (part 3)

In therapeutic cloning, the host egg is first isolated in a petri dish. The outer cell wall is then penetrated without destroying the egg, and a tiny pipette is used to gently suck the nucleus, with the host’s DNA, out of the cell in the same way one might pit an extremely tiny olive. The result is a hollow structure called an enucleated cell. The empty space within the host cell is quickly injected with a nucleus from the cell of the donor. (Alternatively, the donor cell can be placed in extremely close proximity and fused with the host cell by means of an electrical pulse.) Now the host cell’s mechanisms have essentially been "reprogrammed" to make copies based on the new nucleus’ genetic codes. (Holland et al 2006)

If ibis procedure were to be used for reproductive cloning, the egg would be stimulated to begin dividing and developing. The newly created embryo would be genetically identical to the donor source of DNA. The resulting offspring would have only one genetic parent with whom it shares all its genes. Once reaching the blastocyst phase, the embryo can be implanted in a womb to develop naturally. In therapeutic cloning, the embryo is also stimulated to begin dividing. Hut the cells will never be implanted in a womb. Instead, the embryonic stem cells are taken from the inner cell mass of the embryo, when it has formed info the ball-shaped blastocyst stage of just a couple of hundred cells.

The technology does not exist for doing this without tearing apart the delicate blastocyst. (Holland et al 2006) The procedure, which is not too unlike shelling extremely delicate peas from a microscopic pod, must necessarily puncture and destroy the embryo. This allows the precious cargo of stem cells to spill out for collection into the petri dish medium like a handful of jewels strewn on a blood-red carpet. One of the major biological concepts overturned by the therapeutic cloning process is that once cells have differentiated, they cannot be induced to revert. Yet in this one circumstance, the rules have been broken. The isolated nuclei of an adult donor cell can revert back to pluripotency by being exposed to the inside of an egg. (Holland et al 2006) In effect, this creates a fertilized egg with the donor’s genetic complement without going through the process of fertilization.

In the past, it has been conclusively demonstrated that human nuclear-transfer cloning works regardless of the most basic differences between the host cell and the donor cell. The nucleus donor and the host egg can be from the same person or from different people. The two parties can be of different races, gender, and ages—nuclei from people as young as 2 and as old as 56 have been successfully transplanted. (Holland et al 2006) Therapeutic cloning has great potential for generating stem cell lines that are genetically matched to the donor’s genetic makeup. These stem cells lines in turn have the potential to provide amazing therapies for illnesses and injuries that have no cure today. Therapies to remedy damage due to disease or genetic abnormality—and eventually, even physical injury—are part of the quickly expanding field of regenerative medicine.

What potential benefits can medical treatments using stem cells provide (part 2)

The therapies being researched stand to decrease human suffering by unheard-of levels. They are replete with cures for multiple types of cancer, liver disease, sickle-cell anemia, and more. However, less than a handful are beyond the earliest stages of development, and even the most basic clinical studies are years—up to a decade or more1—in the future. Slightly more than $1 billion was spent on stem cell work in 2005, which again sounds like an impressive sum. (Carrier et al 2007) However, when compared to the total amount spent globally on health-care R&D, it’s less than stellar: a mere 1 percent. (Carrier et al 2007) The analysis cited also takes into account the potential hobbles of heavy government regulation and environmental concerns. Both are highly likely, given the public’s uneasiness with topics related to cloning and human embryos.

The consultants at Bain & Company predict a far more modest forecast of a $100-million market for stem cell therapies by the end of this decade. (Carrier et al 2007) By 2015, the forecast is more optimistic, rising to $2 billion worldwide. (Carrier et al 2007) Again, impressive numbers when viewed in isolation. And yet one cannot help but notice that the conservative forecast for the decade disagrees with the optimistic one pushed by stem cell boosters by a factor of 100. The same ratio holds in the amount spent on health-care R&D: For every dollar spent on stem cells, $100 is placed elsewhere. (Carrier et al 2007)

Another interesting fact is that more than four-fifths of the global investment in stem cells has come from governments. Private venture capital, the traditional engine of biotech start-ups, pumped an anemic $50 million into the field in 2005. (Carrier et al 2007) The trend is sharply higher today, but why has it taken seven years from the time the first stem cell lines were made available to even start to grow? The real issue at hand for the stem cell industry is funding: specifically, federal funding. Due to the compromise worked out by President Bush and the religious conservative wing of his party, federal funding is only available to firms that are working with stem cell lines derived from human embryos before August 9, 2001. (Carrier et al 2007)

There was a strong backlash against this decision by groups who wanted to press stem cell research forward as quickly as possible. Proposition 71 passed by California voters to hand over $3 billion in state money, was only the beginning. (Carrier et al 2007) Just as California tends to set trends for the rest of the country in terms of culture, the West Coast’s cutting-edge initiative system tends to do the same thing. California’s measure has set off similar legislative issues in other states.

When most people talk about cloning, they generally mean the copying of the entire organism, as in the case of Dolly the sheep. Since this is the kind of cloning that yields offspring, for clarity it is called reproductive cloning. At present, researching this kind or cloning to create new human beings is shunned in the scientific community, and nations that have any laws on the books at all in regards to stem cell research and cloning embryos expressly forbid the reproductive cloning of humans. When discussing the benefits of stem cell research, however, what is actually being discussed is therapeutic cloning. This is when embryonic stem cells are harvested from the newly created embryo and expanded in a culture dish. (Holland et al 2006) Though the goal in therapeutic cloning is different, both types of cloning yield a clump of cells that has the potential to grow into a whole organism.

What potential benefits can medical treatments using stem cells provide (part 1)

What potential benefits can medical treatments using stem cells provide?

Within the scope of this research, we will assess the potential benefits that medical treatment using stem cells can provide. The term "cell" comes from the Latin word cella, or "small room." (Potten et al 2006) Robert Hooke, a seventeenth-century Renaissance man, coined the term when he first peered through his handcrafted, leather- and gold-tooled microscope at a piece of cork. Reportedly, he came up with the name when the little cells he saw through the microscope reminded him of the small rooms that housed medieval monks. (Green 2001) In humans and other forms of animal life, stem cells are the special, primal structures in the body that retain two special traits: first, the ability to divide indefinitely, and second, the ability to differentiate into other cell types.

These traits are at the root of why stem cells are a source of both order and chaos, representing miracle cure and societal curse. Specifically, the cells that show the most potential can only be retrieved with great difficulty—and through the destruction of a human embryo. It’s possible that these "embryonic" stem cells may lead to great things in the future, lint in the here and now, religious conservatives see their destruction as nothing more than a high-tech form of cannibalism. Belief over what is right permeates the field of stem cell study and its researchers.

The race to nail down venture capital for stem cell research is still wide open. Compared to the dot-com days, where venture capital was flowing in like a tidal wave, the behavior of the high-risk start up "angel" investors strikes many as puzzling. While there is a great deal of media coverage about the great things that are just around the corner, the fact is that when a private investor moves to support the industry, it still makes headlines. To take one example. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has donated $100 million to John Hopkins University. (Carrier et al 2007) Even though an unspecified portion of the donation was to support stem cell research, the news reports touted this as a major—if not the sole—reason for the philanthropy. It is also more than a little interesting that other private investors have been much more active in spending money to encourage state government funding, as opposed to direct donation.

Some securities analysts have forecast that by 2010, the market for stem cell technologies will exceed $10 billion. (Carrier et al 2007) These are very heady numbers, ones that would make most investment firms salivate. But others have taken a look at these numbers and dismissed them as the same type of math that led to the over-valuation of the dot-com companies and their subsequent meltdown. According to The Economist, consultants with the firm Bain &c Company have taken a much more sober look at the state of the nascent industry. As of early 2006, there are now roughly 140 stem-cell-related products in development. (Carrier et al 2007) Again, depending on which end of the telescope one looks into, this can look promising or underwhelming.