Cells are the building blocks of life. Your body is made up of millions and millions of cells. Different parts of your body are made of different cells. You have skin cells, blood cells, bone cells, brain cells, and cells for every other part.
Stem cells are one kind of cell found in your body. Stem cells are “blank” cells. They turn into the different cells in your body. Stem cells can turn into the skin, blood, bone, and brain cells.
Some scientists were studying stem cells, and now these scientists think that stem cells can cure diseases. Scientists found ways to make the stem cells grow hair, for bald people, and organs like livers and kidneys, for people whose organs don't work anymore. These scientists are finding more and more things to do with stem cells.
It costs a lot of money to study stem cells. The scientists that are trying to turn stem cells into cures are having a really hard time paying their bills. In the past, rich people who liked science would give money to these scientists. This is called “private funding”. To “fund” someone is to give money to them. It's “private” because it isn't money from the government. In America , the President, Mr. Bush, decided that it's not fair to give money to some of these scientists. This means that he doesn't believe in “public funding”, or giving the people money from the government. Mr. Bush doesn't want them to study some stem cells because of where those stem cells come from.
Some other countries' leaders agree with Mr. Bush here in America . They don't think that stem cells are as cool as some scientists say they are. But there are other countries whose leaders really like stem cell research, and hope that the stem cells will someday be able to cure a lot of sick people. Some scientists from America that can't pay for their research are moving to other countries. The governments of those countries will pay for the research of these scientists.
What do you think? Do you think scientists should be allowed to study stem cells? Who should pay for the research?
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