There's news of a scientific breakthough tonight that could help avoid the ethical and religious objections to stem cell research.
Toronto scientists have scored a major coup in stem cell research, coming first in a world-wide race to find a safer way to make human skin cells act like embryonic stem cells. The discovery could well bring the promise of personalized organ repair within reach of patients.
Andras Nagy, and his team of scientists at Mount Sinai Hospital, are the first to re-program adult human cells into embryonic-like stem cells without using potentially dangerous viruses that could cause cancer.
... Embryonic stem cells are known as the body’s master cells and can turn into any type of tissue or blood cell. Scientists want to harness that power for regenerative medicine, but groups opposed to the research say human embryos should not be destroyed to advance scientific study. Both scientists and opponents see re-programmed cells as a way to get around that controversy.
Josephine Quintavalle from the lobby group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, which opposes embryonic stem cell research, said: "What we've got here is something that will bring joy to the pro-life movement, a way of obtaining embryonic-type stem cells without having to destroy human embryos.
"There are some scientists who like to hold on to what they've got, but I don't think people are going to waste time on embryonic stem cells any more. Half of Europe is opposed to embryonic stem cell research. Ideally you want something that everybody can use without any problems. This is definitely a very, very promising way forward and a very promising solution to the embryonic stem cell battle."