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Sorting Through the Stem Cell Hype

doi: 10.1097/01.CNJ.0000291531.63682.3a
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General Purpose: To provide the registered professional nurse with a basic understanding of stem cells, current research, and the ethical debate surrounding embryonic stem cells.

Learning Objectives: After reading this article and taking this test, the nurse will be able to:

  1. Describe stem cells, their sources, and role in transplantation.
  2. Summarize the ethical debate surrounding embryonic stem cells.

1. Human stem cells are

a. the starter cells that have differentiated into their mature form.

b. pluripotent bone marrow cells.

c. the starter cells that act as precursors of mature bodily tissues.

d. undifferentiated mature cells that differentiate into specialized bodily tissues.

2. One important characteristic of stem cells that allows for cloning is that they

a. replicate once and retain their specialization.

b. replicate once and remain undifferentiated.

c. can replicate many times and retain their specialization.

d. can replicate many times and remain undifferentiated.

3. Which of the following is true?

a. All adult cells in our body once developed from stem cells.

b. Only selected cells in the adult body have developed from stem cells.

c. With a few exceptions, most adult cells of bodily organs continue to divide throughout life.

d. With a few exceptions, adult cells of bodily organs continue throughout life to have pluripotent stem cells to repopulate them when they are damaged.

4. Other than leftover embryos from in-vitro fertilization procedures, which of the following is the only other possible source of embryonic stem cells?

a. embryos derived from human cloning

b. eggs obtained from human ovaries

c. tissue obtained from umbilical cord blood

d. tissue obtained from adult bone marrow

5. Somatic stem cells best refers to those that are

a. derived from in vitro stem cells.

b. derived from embryonic stem cells.

c. not derived from gametes (eggs or sperm cells).

d. derived from infants.

6. Stem cells nearly as powerful as embryonic stem cells can be found in

a. amniotic fluid.

b. umbilical cord fluid.

c. bone marrow.

d. muscle.

7. Which of the following is a known source for adult stem cells?

a. hair cells

b. lymph fluid

c. pancreas tissues

d. liver tissues

8. The phenomenon known as plasticity is best described as occurring when

a. undifferentiated stem cells form differentiated stem cells.

b. mature specialized stem cells divide into immature, undifferentiated stem cells.

c. stem cells from one area of the body are being used to create cells in another area.

d. immature stem cells generate or mold into specialized cells.

9. All of the following are current applications of adult stem cell transplant except

a. adult pancreatic islet cell transplant.

b. liver cell transplant.

c. hematopoietic stem cell transplant.

d. vaginal reconstruction.

10. A common conditioning regimen for stem cell transplantation is

a. chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.

b. prophylactic antibiotic therapy.

c. immunosuppression therapy.

d. fluid and blood infusion therapy.

11. Which of the following is necessary to treat Graft-versus-host disease?

a. blood transfusions

b. plasma transfusions

c. corticosteroids

d. antibiotics

12. One advantage of using adult stem cells for stem cell transplantation is that

a. all stem cell donors are acceptable matches.

b. it is possible to harvest ones own cells for transplant.

c. there is no need for a conditioning regimen.

d. no tissue rejection has been noted.

13. Which of the following best describes the ethical dilemma of stem cell research?

a. The use of in vitro stem cells results in a profit being made on human life.

b. The harvesting of stem cells destroys human life by destroying human cells.

c. Using stem cells results in human cloning.

d. The harvesting of embryonic stem cells destroys human embryos.

14. Based on President's Bush's 2001 position statement, other than the utilitarian rationale for the disposal of embryos already bound for destruction, the other major ethical issue related to human embryonic stem cell research was the

a. basis of personhood.

b. sanctity of human life.

c. definition of human.

d. mortal protection of persons by society.

15. A person who displays moral complicity is one who

a. argued against performing a moral wrong and walked away from the group committing the act.

b. argued against performing a moral wrong, but continued to associate with the group committing the act.

c. talked about the moral wrong but had no opinion for or against it.

d. argued for performing a moral wrong, but took no direct or indirect action to carry it out.

16. Which argument regarding human embryonic stem cells is often described as the “ends” justifies the “means”?

a. sanctity argument

b. utilitarian argument

c. extrinsic argument

d. intrinsic argument

17. Which type of cloning refers to cloning for the sole purpose of producing stem cells?

a. reproductive cloning

b. therapeutic cloning

c. somatic cell cloning

d. scientific cloning

18. What is at stake in the stem cell controversy?

a. the role of science and research in defining morality

b. the role of society in defining morality

c. the way people regard each other

d. the religious rights and freedoms of people



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