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June 26, 2009

Human life now a commodity

Topics: Faith, Political News and commentaries, Pro-Life

Welcome to the brave new world of creating human embryos in order to use them as commodities.

Fact: Adult stem cell research has produced 72 cures and treatments. Embryonic stem cell research and human cloning has produced "0" cures and treatments.

Sadly, embryonic stem cell research is unnecessary. As Dr. Bernadine Healy, MD, pointed out in US News & World Report in March of this year (Why embryonic stem cells are obsolete), such positions are looking more and more extreme with each passing week.

Even for strong backers of embryonic stem cell research, the decision is no longer as self-evident as it was, because there is markedly diminished need for expanding these cell lines for either patient therapy or basic research. In fact, during the first six weeks of Obama's term, several events reinforced the notion that embryonic stem cells, once thought to hold the cure for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and diabetes, are obsolete. The most sobering: a report from Israel published in PLoS Medicine in late February that shows embryonic stem cells injected into patients can cause disabling if not deadly tumors.

Even as the future of embryonic stem cells has dimmed, adult stem cell research has scored major wins evident just in the past few months. These advances involve human stem cells that are not derived from human embryos. In fact, adult stem cells, which occur in small quantities in organs throughout the body for natural growth and repair, have become stars despite great skepticism early on. Though this is a more difficult task, scientists have learned to coax them to mature into many cell types, like brain and heart cells, in the laboratory. (Such stem cells can be removed almost as easily as drawing a unit of blood, and they have been used successfully for years in bone marrow transplants.)

So, there we have it. Despite the growing and ovewhelming evidence against embryonic stem cell research, and the growing and overwhelming evidence for adult stem cell research, President Barack Obama insisted on overturning the ban on taxpayer funding for ESC research and subsequently, we have the state of New York paying women to donate their eggs for embryonic stem cell research. (Hat tip - Bob Ellis)

Related:
Embryonic Versus Adult Stem Cells? It's Really No Contest
Adult Stem Cell Pluripotency (pdf)

Posted by Richard at June 26, 2009 8:04 AM



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