Jun 11 2007

Skin, Not Emrbyos, New Source For Stem Cells

Published by at 8:42 am under All General Discussions,Stem Cell Debate

Science has a way of solving our problems, and usually can do it within normal moral guidelines if given the chance to work without hype and speculation from the science-challenged media. Case in point, a potentially unlimited supply of stem cells from skin – the one organ that regenerates constantly and which can be harvested in the lab.

Just as lawmakers around the nation, including Illinois, were rushing to spend millions of your tax dollars to kill human embryos for stem-cell research, they were undercut by some inconvenient and untimely news:

Scientists may have found a better way to create the immature, pluripotent stem cells that, by growing into healthy tissue to replace diseased cells, promise great advances in treating or curing some major human diseases.

As the Washington Post put it: “Three teams of scientists said … they had coaxed ordinary mouse skin cells to become what are effectively embryonic stem cells without creating or destroying embryos in the process — an advance that, if it works with human cells, could revolutionize stem-cell research and quench one of the hottest bioethical controversies of the decade.” Much work remains to be done before scientists can conclude that it will work with humans, but it bolsters the argument that there are more ethically pristine ways of creating stem cells without killing embryos.

Skin, being an organ, and not an organism (if you don’t know the distinction then you may consider your qualifications to debate this issue), can be taken from any patient in small sections and then grown into sheets, which can then be used to create vast amounts of patient-specific stem cells. And with 5 billion people in the world that’s a lot of skin. It is time the Embryos-must-be-harvested crowd be required to prove their therapies in apes and monkeys first, now that we have adult stem cell therapies and embryo-equivalent stem cells possibly from skin. They should have been required to prove their therapies on animals first anyway – if the law would catch up to the science and realize embryos are human beings.

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One Response to “Skin, Not Emrbyos, New Source For Stem Cells”

  1. […] The fact is embryonic research should be limited to primate research until the proponents can show they can control the genetic code and translations required to transform the cells into a therapy (right now they produce chaos and cancers). Therapies proven in primates should be the gate prior to destroying human beings. Adult stem cell research doesn’t destroy the human being who provides the stem cells (which include skin, cells found in bone marrow and umbilical cord blood).  People need to peruse my posts on this subject to see the broad range of adult stem therapies now in progress. And people need to know that right now there is no need to harvest embryos at all for stem cells since adult stem cells (skin cells) can now produce unlimited supplies! […]