Social, Political & Economic Impacts

Political Impacts

     When it comes to hESC research,politics are hugely impacted. This is because of the issue of federal funding for hESC research. There has been an ongoing battle as to whether the government should or shouldn't give money to the research. Under our current president, Barrack Obama, hESC research is in fact being federally funded and is openly supported by the president himself. This policy has been in play since President Obama's overturning of the funding ban in March of 2009 (6). However, the policy could easily change if a different candidate were to be elected in the up and coming 2012 election year. 

Economic (20).

 Economic Impacts

Impacts in the economy from hESC research include funding from federal, state, and private sources. Since the ban on federal funding for the research was lifted in 2009 by President Obama (6), contributions by the government have shot up. In fact, the National Institutes of Health, a government organization spent a total of $287.6 million on embryonic stem cell research, $123 million of that on hESC research. This is a big jump from the 2008 fiscal year, where funding in hESC research was a scarce $88.1 million largely due to the restrictions of the funding ban. All of this information and more can be found on a table describing the amount of federal funding put into stem cell research on the official NIH website at: <>.

Social Impacts

Science wise, the stem cell field continues to expand and develop. Many different treatments are in the works and the possibility for treatments looks promising. But how does this effect our society as a whole? Everyday accidents occur or people get sick, sometimes the effects of these events can be severe or even irreversible. But with the possibility of changing those effects with stem cells is what makes the stem cell research field so important to our society. Take for example spinal cord injuries or SCI's. in the US, their are approximately 250,000 people who have SCI's. Each year 11,000 new cases of  injuries occur (8). One particular case became nationally known when T.J. Atchinson became the first person in the us to receive embryonic stem cell therapy to treat his SCI in 2010. The testing showed some promising results of nerve sensation (9). with continued advancement in research, scientists may eventually be able to change the lives of the 250,000 people with SCI. Along with SCI, other diseases such as cancer has a possibility of being cured as well. Stem cell research also holds promise in reformation of limbs and organs, something that millions of people in the US suffer from each year. 

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