How would you like to replace broken and worn out body parts? How long does a cell live before it has to be replaced? Can people who are ill correct genetic mistakes? Since the cell is the basic unit of all living things and can perform all the life activities. Would replacing defective, worn out or old cells improve their health or life span? Stem cells is one technique that is presently being researched to replace damaged body cells or defective organs. In New York State stem cells are used for research only while the medical community would like to go further and make it available as a means of replacing defective cells or organs. Others feel that because the source of stem cells is fetal tissue that this is unethical and should not be done.





Your task as a scientific sleuth is to research stem cells to learn how they function and how stems can be used to help bodies heal or replace unhealthy or damage cells. Use Tips website worksheet collecting evidence, attach worksheet to your final product. Determine whether humans should have the right to replace body parts. Evaluate the present policy on stem cells




Divide into groups of three or four. Each group member must take a segment below to research.

Using the worksheets on the tips website, complete worksheet on collecting evidence, attach to complete product.

a.      Research what are stem cells and how they function.

b.     Explore current attempts to manipulate stem cells.

c.     Research current uses of stem cells.

d.     Discuss whether humans should have the right to replace parts for aesthetic or health reasons. Evaluate the present policy on stem cell research in NY State using the Tips worksheet evaluating a policy.





NYS Biology

The Living Environment: Biology by Rick Hallman

Teaching the Body to Heal itself by Nicholas Wade


Web Sites

Biotechnology challenges to Public Policy

Talking and teaching biotech- to regulate or not to regulate

Bioethics and You

Teen: Math and Science

/science and health


Biotechnology research




Each member of your team must turn in a completed paper answering all of the sections a e of the process. 65% of the grade is for your completed paper and 35% is for your individual research that you presented to the group.




Your paper should show your knowledge gained about stem cells and an increase awareness of the bioethical issues that face members of our society daily.