As Mr. Murdock noted, the House passed a bill last May (and the Senate could pass any day) that supported increased Federal Spending on embryonic stem cell research, relaxing the restrictions which require scientists to obtain funds from non-Federal sources if they want to kill more human embryos in stem cell research.
Just a few comments on current news on cloned and other embryonic stem cell research:
Wi-Cell is a pseudo-independent group that is associated with the University of Wisconsin. In order to destroy new embryos to create stem cell lines, scientists set up laboratories next door – or in another building – to the Federally funded labs. No money or equipment may be shared, but the same researchers often work in both labs. Of course, there’s the added benefit that the lead researchers can also set up corporations and file for patents in their own names, in the hopes of earning money from their research.
(Interesting: the Scientific Director of Wi-Cell, James Thomson, DVM, PhD, is a veterinarian, not a human medical doctor.)
Wi-Cell announced on January 1st that they have a new technique for supporting and feeding cell lines that can be used in the development of stem cell lines without foreign animal proteins. In order to prove the usefulness and benefits of the new growth medium and process, two new embryonic stem cell lines were produced from 2 newly-killed human embryos. These were “donated” embryos, “left over” from in vitro fertilization.
(This technique for supporting cell lines could be useful for research into ethical adult and umbilical cord stem cell lines and other types of cell lines used in research, too, but the reports never mention this.)
In other words, these two young human lives were the no-longer needed or wanted brothers or sisters of children who are already in their mother’s arms.
(Actually, I would imagine that more than 2 embryos were “disaggregated” – the production of embryonic stem cell lines is not efficient enough to get lines of stem cells from each embryo used.)