>Here is one of the clearest explanations I’ve ever seen in the press about stem cells. I’m very impressed.
In every human body there are around 200 different types of cells, all performing their own specific functions and specially equipped to do so. T-cells circulate in the blood ready to engulf microbe intruders; neurons flash electrical signals back and forth inside the brain to communicate with each other. These cells do their jobs well, but age and eventually die.
A few types of cells, however, are more versatile and able to transform themselves into a few other types of cells. These so-called adult stem cells are scattered in isolated clumps around the body — in teeth, bone marrow, umbilical cord blood and other locations.
Research on adult stem cells is currently one of the areas pursued by scientists at the University. The hope is that these adult stem cells can be coaxed to transform reliably into the types of cells that a diseased patient lacks. Controlling this differentiation is a complex matter of balancing an equation of nutrients, growth factors and environmental conditions.
Sean Morrison, an assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, has seen early success in his work with hematopoietic stem cells. These cells are found in bone marrow and eventually give rise to all red and white blood cells.
“We just published a paper in the journal Cell,” Morrison said. For a time, it was the most downloaded paper on Cell’s website. “This indicates we can do stem-cell research that has an impact nationally.”
Deputy General Counsel Edward Goldman said the controversy is centered on embryonic stem cells.
“There is no ethical argument about the use of adult stem cells. The scientific argument is that they are not as useful as embryonic stem cells,” Goldman said.
The rest of the article is just as informative, although it is full of scientist’s pleas for more money for embryonic stem cell research.
These researchers need to understand that Science must be limited. And the standard that limits – prohibits – the intentional killing of human beings is a minimum standard.