Wesley Smith, at his blog Secondhand Smoke, notes that American Cell Technology has received a grant from the National Institute of Health for research on embryonic stem cells. He also points out what should be obvious: ACT must have received this funding for research on the stem cell lines that are authorized under President Bush’s August, 2001 policy.
(In case you can’t remember who ACT is, they’re the organization that claimed to have cloned human embryos back in 2001, and who claimed to have found a way to produce embryonic stem cells without killing the embryo when in fact they killed every one of those human embryos they used. The company is one of the best examples of the sort of ethics that make people like me think of “ethics for sale.” ACT has employed ethicists Art Caplan and Glenn McGee and is very closely associated with Geron, WARF (the research foundation at the University of Wisconsin).
So much for the myth that these cells can’t be used or that there is any sort of “ban.”
The focus of the research is basic research on how Embryonic Stem Cells divide and differentiate.
From the Washington Business Journal:
The money will support an ongoing collaboration between Alameda-based Advanced Cell (OTCBB: ACTC) and The Burnham Institute of Medical Research in La Jolla.
Researchers are investigating the genetic mechanisms and proteins believed to control how basic embryonic stem cells develop and differentiate. That understanding is essential in harnessing the regenerative powers of stem cells in medical applications, the company says.
This is very basic research, not an actual attempt to produce cells for use in treatments. Hopefully, the added knowledge will point to ethical, non-destructive ways to obtain stem cells for treatment in actual patients.