Stem cells are primordial cells originating in the bone marrow, from which red and white blood cells arise. I'm not knowledgeable about efforts to develop organs and tissues from these cells. In vitro (inside a testube) development of organs from stem cells skirts (I think) the issue of transplant rejection.
I know a few people could use a new pancreas; they're fed up with insulin and syringes.
It's a really important issue in the diabetic community. Apparently almost any tissue can be "made" from stem cells, including islet cells which produce insulin. The ethics and morality of using embryonic tissue is being hotly debated. I have diabetic friends who are opposed because they view it as killing someone potentially to help them. I understand that there is research being done on being able to use adult stem cells for the same purpose, which would really help the ethics debate. It is not an easy issue and I'm afraid that I am fence sitting. The question was raised recently in our diabetic chat -- you may disagree morally with the research to benefit yourself, but what would you do to be able to help your child?
I do not understand what the problem is. Every year Fertility Clinics throw 1000's of embryo's in the trash. All which could be used for research. If they actually created a market for embryos then I would have a problem but since they are already thrown away it doesn't make sense not to use them. I don't understand why people do not get upset at the fact that they are throwing them away. They say that they are trying to protect all humane life, but they don't care that the exact same level of humane life is just thrown away. Personally think the ideas of cloning are far more dangerous to humanity than stem cell research. I couldn't imagine telling someone "Well we could help quadriplegics to walk again but we threw out all the research material"
just my 2 cents