Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Stem cell research breakthrough: Something to be thankful for

This report yesterday on Yahoo! News suggests that stem cells for medical research can be made now without creating or destroying human embryos.

AP Science Writer Malcolm Ritter reports, "Research teams in the United States and Japan showed that a simple lab technique can rival the complex and highly controversial idea of extracting stem cells from cloned embryos."

Ritter's article quotes the Rev. Thomas Berg of the Westchester Institute, a Roman Catholic think tank: "It's a win-win for everyone involved.... We have a way to move forward which ... brings the kind of painful national debate over this controversial research to very much a peaceful and promising resolution."

Who knows if the initial promise of this new method will be realized in further lab testing? But, for now, anyway, I hope Dr. Robert Lanza is right.

Lanza, according to Ritter's story, is involved with Advanced Cell Technology, a company that has been trying to extract stem cells from cloned human embryos. Ritter quotes Dr. Lanza as saying, "This work represents a tremendous scientific milestone — the biological equivalent of the Wright Brothers' first airplane."


Jeni said...

As much as the stem cell research is needed, so many lives can hang in the balance if this turns out to be what they think it is. Certainly would be a big chunk of good news if it all proves out wouldn't it?

katherine. said...

indeed a big step...certainly something to be thankful for.

msb said...

maybe I can grow myself a new liver from the skin on my knuckle. I want a tough liver.