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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » This Sounds Like Excellent News - Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

   
Author Topic: This Sounds Like Excellent News - Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Dagonee
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Labs Create a Stand-In Without Eggs, Embryos

quote:
Researchers in Wisconsin and Japan said yesterday that they have turned ordinary human skin cells into what are effectively embryonic stem cells without using embryos or women's eggs -- the previously essential ingredients that have embroiled the medically promising field in a nearly decade-long political and ethical debate.

The ability to turn adult cells into embryo-like ones capable of morphing into virtually every kind of cell or tissue, described in two scientific journal articles yesterday, has been a major goal of researchers for years. In theory, it would allow people to grow personalized replacement parts for their bodies from their skin cells and give researchers a powerful means of understanding and treating diseases.

I'm left with my usual skepticism about scientific progress reported in the press, although this article seems much more thorough than most.

If the promise suggested in the article comes to fruition, it seems like a serious ethical controversy will be made moot by science (although of course the underlying ethical controversy will still remain).

Does anyone have any insight into whether the optimism in this article is warranted?

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Itsame
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http://www.hatrack.com/cgi-bin/ubbmain/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=050825;p=0&r=nfx#000000
Phanto explained it well there. [Smile]

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Dagonee
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See, this is what I get for traveling for Thanksgiving. [Smile]
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Kwea
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I have a question though....why would the ethical considerations remain? If no fetuses were used, and now eggs, doesn't that pretty much overcome all the serious objections most religious groups have?
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Dagonee
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To clarify: "the underlying ethical controversy" I referred to was the one about the status of embryos - including what to do with frozen embryos nobody wants, in vitro fertilization, early medical abortions, etc.

This controversy, if this technique fulfills its promises, will no longer apply to stem cell research.

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Kwea
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Thanks...I was wondering. [Smile]
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