Monday, January 08, 2007

Non-Embryonic Stem Cells

Researchers at Wake Forest and Harvard have made an announcement that they have a "plentiful source" of stem cells at their disposal that do not involve destroying embryos.

The Associated Press published the announcement today that amniotic fluid has yielded stem cells that show much promise in being able to grow tissue types that can be used for regenerative medicine. While they are still uncertain just how many of the more than 220 different human cell types these stem cells will be able to generate, these and stem cell lines from other non-embryonic sources have already successfully produced a "a broad range of cells that may be valuable for therapy." According to the article, the scientists have already managed to "turn amniotic fluid stem cells into heart cells that could be grown into replacement valves."

The issue of stem cell research continues to be a hot topic. This obviously puts one more hole in the case for the life-destroying harvest of embryonic stem cells. Don't expect them to back down though. As one wise slashdot commentator said:

If we agree not to harvest embryos for stem cells because they are human, then they must be human when considering an abortion. If an embryo is not human, then why the rub about abortion?
More comments later...


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