A stem cell breakthrough by American scientists is set to overturn ethical objections to potentially live-saving research.
They have found how to make stem cells from embryos without destroying the embryo in the process – an advance that could open the door to billions of dollars in research funding.
Stem-cell research, which specialists believe holds the key to treating many diseases, has been crippled in the US by the religious Right, backed by the Bush Administration. Federal support for such research has been banned because it involves the destruction of embryos.
Now a team at Advanced Cell Technology – a private company – has found that it is possible to create human stem cells using one or two cells from an early embryo, without doing any damage to the embryo.
This technique would, in a stroke, end the need to harvest stem cells via the destruction of embryos. Those chosing to continue to destroy embryos would be announcing their utter disdain for the human life involved, or potential human life.
It also vindicates the anti-embryonic stem cell research position in that science was obliged to find a humane way to advance. I don’t expect any concessions from the stem cell research absolutists, but it will astonishing if this breakthrough is met with indifference in the MSM.