Stem Cells-No Cloning Or Killing Embryos!
Dolly The Sheep
Creator Quits Cloning To Pursue New Avenue.
In STUNNING stem cell news,
two teams of scientists announced that they have
successfully reprogrammed adult stem cells back to an
embryonic-like state without killing embryos. This could
break the rationale for cloning and in the process it
vindicates President Bush’s stem cell policy. This news
has led the “creator” of Dolly the Sheep to quit cloning
and pursue this new research which does not kill any
The Journal Nature reports that "Shinya Yamanaka of
the University of Kyoto in Japan reported that his team
had created pluripotent cells from human skin cells and,
on the same day, a team of researchers led by James
Thomson at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, reported
the same." Pluripotent cells are stem cells-like embryonic
stem cells-which are believed to be able to become any
kind of cell.
Bioethicist Wesley Smith says that " researchers
reverted human connective tissue cells back to an
embryonic- stem-cell-like state - and then differentiated
them into all three of the body's major tissue types. If
this work pans out, there will be no need to create human
cloned embryos for use in embryonic-stem-cell therapies."
This is great news. And this avenue of stem cell research
is so promising for creating pluripotent/embryonic like
stem cells, that Dolly the Sheep Creator Ian Wilmut
sent shock waves through the scientific world this weekend
when he announced that he was dropping human cloning to
pursue this new research. Wilmut said that the new
research was "extremely exciting and astonishing" and that
he has no doubts "that in the long term, direct
reprogramming will be more productive" than human cloning-
called therapeutic cloning, which creates a cloned embryo
to be destroyed for stem cells.
This discovery could mean the end of the rationale to
to obtain patient specific cells for treatment because it
is no longer necessary to clone and destroy human embryos
to obtain embryonic stem cells that will not be rejected.
Many researchers support cloning because even if
scientists could make use of all the embryos frozen in
lockers in fertility labs, they would not begin to provide
the genetic diversity necessary for patient specific
matches. Cloning is their attempt to procure genetic
This news has wide ramifications.
Our friend Wesley J. Smith is saying that " We now have
the very real potential of developing thriving and robust
stem cell medicine and scientific research sectors that
will bridge, rather than exacerbate, our moral differences
over the importance and meaning of human life."
There's also vindication of President Bush's policy.
Smith says that "President Bush deserves some credit for
the exciting research into 'alternative methods' of
deriving pluripotent cells. Had the president followed the
crowd instead of leading it, most research efforts would
have been devoted to trying to perfect embryonic stem cell
and human cloning research- which despite copious funding
have not worked out yet as scientists originally had
hoped." Thank you President Bush for standing tall!
And since cloning humans for stem cells is no longer
necessary to create a source of embryonic stem cells, the
NIH and the states should stop funding this sort of
research and move the billions of dollars in taxpayer
funding to more promising alternatives. The Congress
should move to outlaw human cloning by passing the
Brownback Landrieu Human Cloning Prohibition Act.
Cloning to create human embryos not only treats human life
as raw materials for manufacturing, it increases the
chance that cloning to reproduce children will occur. If
human cloning is allowed, it will not be long before
children are engineered to meet our specifications.
All of this is experimental, and pluripotent/embryonic
stem cells have been shown to be difficult to control and
are prone to tumors and these new cells may likewise
present the same problems. But, no destruction of human
life is required and scientists have an ethical source of
these cells to work with and the method is reportedly easy
to use if there is real potential for pluripotent/embryonic
stem cell research. Dr. Yamanaka says, "Any scientist
with basic technology in molecular and cell biology can do
reprogramming." "If we can overcome the issue [of having
to use dangerous viruses to ferry the genes into cells],
many more people will move from nuclear transfer (Cloning)
to this method."
Readers of the Nevada LIFE updates are already aware that
tiny human livers have been created from umbilical cord
blood and that a new kidney was created from a woman's
stem cells. The successes from non embryonic stem cell
research are pouring in and this new discovery should not
impede that these great discoveries.
expect ESCR supporters to debunk, down play these
discoveries and to say that there is still important work
to be done with cloning humans for embryonic stem cells.
There is way too much money involved and this kind of
ESCR has way too much political value. Supporters have
expended too much political capital and credibility to let
go of this so easily.