A Great Step for Human Biology

by luca.lamontagne23 on September 3, 2013 - 7:57pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-23863544

The idea of growing a human brain even though it is miniature is an interesting topic for me because of the program I am currently in, Pure and Applied Sciences. The idea of scientist being able to start growing a human brain is really significant to understand the human brain which is still unknown to scientists. This means that the further that they grow a human brain in the laboratory the older it can get and the more we can understand the brain and the functions it has. This can also be the beginning of many other human organs being studied and one day used to replace the non-functioning organs.

Should scientist be allowed to grow human organs?

I think that it is a good idea for scientist to start the growth of human organs because it can explain a lot of unknown diseases to men. With the nine week old fetus, the scientists were able to discover new properties about rare diseases. Also, it can start the process of organ replacement for people who have organ deficits and would need a new organ to prevent death.  

In contradiction, the idea of organ growth is an ideal people would not consider because they may think that the growth of human parts is unnatural. The idea of organ replacement can also be contradicted because many would suggest the start of biological human improvement would benefit those who can afford it.

Is it a possibility that we might use this power for more than research and try to perfect the human body?

Comments

Étienne Dubé
Humanities for Science programes
Blog Comment
Human biology is one of my favorite subjects, which is why I’m currently in health science to go in Medicine at university and I like to understand how do the different part of the body work and how they are related to each other. I find that organ growing is a very interesting avenue to understand the human body and I think that scientists should be allowed to do these experiments. I agree with this perspective because this could help us to prevent and cure a lot of diseases and save millions of lives. In terms of improving the human body, I think that in a sense it has already begun with several accessories such as lenses, brooches and many more and people don’t see an ethic issue in it. Also, saying that it would not be a good idea because it would only benefits to those who can afford it is not such a strong argument because we all know that this phenomenon is already present not only in our society, but all around the world. It would be interesting to investigate on this point: http://ucatlas.ucsc.edu/access.php

My curiosity and interest for this subject (biology) which could be related to my future job and my hope in the achievement of such projects drew my attention to this article. In recent years, a lot of advances have been done in biotechnology. We have discovered stem cells and are now on our way to create lab-grown complex organs that could possibly be transferred in the human body to replace malfunctioning organs. Is it that amazing? In my opinion, it is.

In fact, the growth and creation of such artificial organs should be permitted at all events because it would save the lives of millions of patients having organic malfunctions and waiting for organ transplantation all around the world. On this matter I agree with Luca. From the two articles I read on the subject (below), I learned many interesting things. Many parts of our body have already been successfully cloned and/or transplanted. Examples include eggs, sperm and even a young girl’s trachea. New practices are also emerging. Indeed, what we call “regenerative cells” have been conclusive in creating new tissues or parts of the body from the patients’ own cell. This new technology would reduce the chance of rejection of the new organs.The organ transplantation would be safer. Another new practice is the growth of human organs in the pigs’ own organs. Japanese scientists have been working on this in the last few years. It could be a good growth medium. Organs could be grown naturally. New techniques could solve two problems that some had about it.

In response to the argument saying that those advances would only benefit those who can afford it, it is true in a medical system like the United States’ medical system. However, in a medical system like ours, medical treatments are free and it would be available to everyone. A question still arises from this argument: Should we slow down medical improvement concerning the growth of orgams only because it would not be available to everyone? To this question I would respond no because if we should not penalize a majority on the basis that a minority will not benefit from it. Also, we should not stop medical improvement at any cost because the lives of millions are in need of it.

To the question, “Is it a possibility that we might use this power for more than research and try to perfect the human body?”, I answer yes. If the results of those investigations and research are conclusive and the transplantation techniques are proven to be safe for patients, I think we should aim greatly at using those techniques. It could become “more than research”. However, I think we should not just use it to create the “perfect body” or for operations similar to plastic surgery. I think we should use it for medical matters and for patients in need only. It would be a great advance for our society and would save many lives!

For further reading:

http://news.discovery.com/tech/biotechnology/stem-cell-complex-body-part...

http://theweek.com/article/index/246171/human-organs-grown-in-pigs

Calin Buzdugan
Humanities for Science programs
Blog Comment

I was interested in this article because it was in the same domain as mine: growing human organs. The human body is fascinating because of its complexity, and with our progress in technology, scientists start to understand more and more how each organs systems work in the human body.

Of course that there is a possibility that some people might use this power to perfect certain parts of the human body. Like any aspect of our society, there are always going to be extremists that will take any idea to its maximum. As long as the scientists control every action when dealing with the growing of human organs, it could be a huge step in curing some major handicaps for instance.

Furthermore, scientists in the medical field should be allowed to grow organs because it is their job to research and experience new methods of curing. In this case, scientists found a way to repair damaged organs and recreate certain organs, and it is fantastic! As long as tests are made and the medical field is sure that it is a safe method, why shouldn't they use it for patients?

As for the counter-argument that it is unnatural, consider the fact that donating organs is unnatural too: you basically take the organ of another human being. This is the method we currently use, and no one says it is unnatural. To add up, drug pills that you take when you feel sick are unnatural too: you boost your immune system with a bunch of stuff you don't even know what they are or do to your body specifically. In other words, nature has to be broken sometimes in order to do certain important things such as growing human organs to help patients in need.

There is another method to grow human organs, check this out:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/10132347/Human-organs-co...

Like I already state it in my previous comment, I like genetic but also science in general. I really like to learn about all new discoveries that have been made.

The opposing argument is well developed. We can easily identify the main ethical belief. However, the first argument, even if it is based on moral values, seem to be more a precautionary argument that an ethical argument.

Should scientist be allowed to grow human organs?
I think that scientific should by allow growing human organs. Because it could help developing cure for all sorts of diseases without using any animal or individual to test new cure. Many animals die because of those test, and those test can be harmful to people who participate at medical studies. If we allow scientists to grow human's organs, we could help reduce the bad effect of medical testing on living subject. I agree to let scientists grow human's organs because I think that we should promote this scientific discovery to help the population.

Is it a possibility that we might use this power for more than research and try to perfect the human body?
This is plausible that we can try to use those studies to do more than their original purpose. However, I think that people will realize that perfecting the human body, in a lot of cases, is useless.

Further link
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2181873/Genetically-modified-ath...