New stem cell technique may help solve political, ethical debate
A group of U.S. scientists has for the first time extracted stem cells from human embryos without destroying a budding life in the process.
The breakthrough technique, pioneered at a Massachusetts-based biotech firm, could yield a source of human embryonic stem cells for medical research — and possibly, future treatments — free of the moral and ethical concerns that have mired the field.
By plucking a single cell from a human embryo at a very early stage, researchers at Advanced Cell Technology say they have generated two new stem-cell lines while the embryos remained intact and continued to develop.
Robert Lanza, senior author of the report to be published Thursday in the journal Nature, said in an interview this week that he will soon be heading to Washington to describe the advance.
“Embryonic stem cells have been synonymous with destroying life,” said Dr. Lanza, “But if you’re not hurting the embryo, why wouldn’t you be able to move ahead?
“We think this will solve the current political impasse.”
Once the Political and Ethical concerns are resolved, the two current fields of study (Adult and Embryonic Stem Cell research) should eventually merge. If the scientists and researchers could get back to doing real science and not have to worry about politicking or offending either side of the Embryonic Stem Cell research debate, (thus reducing funding) some true breakthroughs may finally be realized in the Embryonic Stem Cell research arena.