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Stem Cells in the News

Our traditional friends, like Ireland, and our current friends, such as Austria and Germany, ban even the private sector from creating embryos for stem-cell research.  The liberals and greedy in the bio-tech industry would not place such a ban, and would demand that the federal government -- our tax dollars -- provide corporate welfare to pay for the destruction of embryonic life.

The latest study comes from the University of Minnesota, where researchers have found that adult stem cells from bone marrow can turn into virtually every single tissue in the body, from muscle to nerve to blood.

The study, published Thursday in the journal "Nature," suggests that these multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPC) found in the bone marrow of rats and could be just as versatile as those from embryos - a point long disputed by proponents of embryonic research.

Moreover, Prof. Catherine Verfaillie said she and her colleagues had not found any evidence so far that the adult cells could grow into tumors, which is a concern with embryonic stem cells.

"These fantastic findings indicate that adult stem cells are as versatile as embryo stem cells and that, unlike embryo stem cells, they will not cause cancer," said Dr. Amin Abboud, director of Australasian Bioethics Information.

Abboud, who lectures in medical ethics at a Sydney university, said the study showed that "we can use the resources of the human body to cure itself without having to kill embryos."

Abboud also accused embryonic stem cell advocates of keeping "under wraps" the propensity of embryonic cells to produce cancerous tumors called teratomas.

Research at the Harvard Medical School published last January suggested that embryonic stem cells from rats could change into cells that produce dopamine, a chemical needed by Parkinson's patients.

But in 20 percent of the rats used in the experiment, the cells reportedly instead formed a teratoma. In humans, such a result would be devastating, according to experts, as many teratomas are inoperable.

Last updated: Nov, 2010
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