Stem cells

Question of the week: Do you support stem cell research?

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 January, 2008, 12:00am

Taral Gurung, 15, YMCA of HK Christian College

A stem cell is a cell whose main function is to repair lost or damaged cells in all parts of the body.

Stem cell research has led to the possibility of therapies for a wide range of diseases, including spinal injury and heart disease. It also repairs muscles damaged after heart attack. While these treatments are still being developed, I think stem cell research is very important.

Victoria Cindy Lai, 15, South Island School

I support stem cell research provided that unethical actions are avoided. A breakthrough in this research would mean cures for diseases such as cancers, but research on embryonic stem cells requires the destruction of human embryos - the earliest stage of human life.

It can save many lives, but lives are sacrificed at the same time. I think research should continue but be conducted under strict supervision. Only the most advanced and morally responsible organisations should be given permission for this to prevent abuse.

Ophelia Chan, 17, St Clare's Girls' School

I totally support stem cell research. Stem cell treatments can be used to cure diseases that are caused by the loss of a particular cell function or tissue function.

Everyone was shocked by Dolly, the cloned sheep, as producing cells from a clone can result in health risks due to mutation of genes. It's much safer to use stem cells. Stem cell research may hold the key to treating so far incurable diseases such as cancer.

Germaine Sng Qi Min, 15, South Island School

I'm opposed to embryonic stem cell research, as the extraction of stem cells from an embryo requires its destruction. I view this as no different from murder. In addition, studies have shown that embryonic stem cells stored over time produce the type of chromosomal anomalies that create cancer cells.

Instead of wasting billions of dollars funding embryonic stem cell research, researchers should devote all the funds into researching the other two types of stem cells, adult stem cells and umbilical cord stem cells, which are less controversial and more promising.

Melissa Albarus, 15, German Swiss School

I find it hard to completely support embryonic stem cell research. To me, no matter how young the foetus is, it represents a human life that deserves to be protected.

But I think research on stem cells from the umbilical cord or the placenta, for example, needs to be supported. If there is any way to fight diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, it needs to be pursued.