Carol Platt Liebau: The Blessings of Science

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Blessings of Science

Wonderful news from Harvard Medical School is reported today in The Washington Post. Apparently, scientists have found a way to transform ordinary skin cells into embryonic stem cells -- and there's no need for either human eggs or the harvesting of new human embryos.

How wonderful it would be if the horrible moral implications of creating and then harvesting human embryos could be avoided, thereby enabling scientists to use the stem cells to find cures for disease.

It will be interesting to see if there's as much excitement over this development on the left as on the right. My sense always was that there was a certain eagerness on the part of pro-choicers to try to use the stem cell debate to lower public qualms about acting against the unborn.


Blogger Amy said...

I think they're fooling around with definitions again:

The technique uses laboratory-grown human embryonic stem cells -- such as the ones that President Bush has already approved for use by federally funded researchers -- to "reprogram" the genes in a person's skin cell, turning that skin cell into an embryonic stem cell itself.

This still uses a human being (an embryo) to begin the process. Stem cells derived from skin cells are adult stem cells. Stem cells derived from embryos are embryonic stem cells.

It seems that this process is merely using the nucleus from a skin cell to clone the embryonic cell, but the details in this article are somewhat sketchy. In a nutshell: I don't buy it. I would bet that they're just making another attempt to get pro-lifers to quiet down and leave them alone.

8:43 PM  

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