Posted by: matt25 | March 3, 2009

Stem Cells – Ethical Moral Uncontroversial

piggybac-system

Here we find common ground between those who rally to the cry of stem cell research as the holy grail of medicine and those who say yes to the use of adult stem cells but not the morally problematic use of fetal stem cells that require the destruction of a life in order to use them.

Scientists in Canada and Scotland have announced a new, safer, and easier technique for making iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells), the embryonic-type cells made without embryos by adding genes to normal cells such as skin cells. A criticism of iPS cells has been that viruses are used to add the genes, and these viruses and the genes remain within the reprogrammed cell, posing potential additional risks for cancer if they were to be injected into a patient. The new technique uses no viruses. Instead, a genetic “shuttle” known as the piggyBac system takes the genes into a cell, and also allows the genes to be removed later without a trace.

Tests on the reprogrammed cell lines show they behave exactly like embryonic stem cells. Embryo-destructive research is not only ethically controversial and has a track record of failure it now appears to be obsolete as well.

If President Obama, Michael J Fox, and other proponents of fetal stem cell research are pragmatic about this, they will value the science over politics and will embrace and promote iPS cell research, as well as the only stem cells that have a track record of success in treating patients–adult stem cells.

You can read the news release on this breakthrough below.

http://www.mrc.ac.uk/Newspublications/News/MRC005642
Breakthrough makes lab-produced stem cells safer for humans
Sunday 1 March 2009

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Responses

  1. It will be interesting to see what the argument for fetal stem cell research will be now from large corporations that have millions of dollars invested in these processes.


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