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A quick Q&A on stem cell research

Posted in Scientific research, Therapeutic treatments by Matt at WelcometoIllinois on December 16, 2008

Stem cell research is a pretty controversial issue for some people. It’s not something I’ve spent too much time thinking about but as I have previously reported, it could potentially lead to improved understanding of, and treatment for, the effects of Down’s syndrome.

It is in that context that I think this Q&A in the New York Times is worth a read. It is an interview with Renee A. Reijo Pera, director of Stanford’s Center for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research and Education.

While it is focused on the use of stem cells for fertility treatment it also helped me to understand some of the basic issues related to stem cell research.


2 Responses

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  1. Chip Bennett said, on December 16, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    The only controversial issue regarding stem cell research is embryonic stem cell research, which (at least currently) requires the destruction of a living embryo in order to harvest the stem cells.

    I read the linked article, but it lost credibility when the interviewer asked, “WHEN GEORGE BUSH ISSUED HIS AUGUST 2001 PROHIBITION AGAINST FEDERAL FINANCING OF NEW STEM CELL RESEARCH…” (all-caps in original).

    President Bush did no such thing. His order only prohibited federal funding of research of new embryonic stem cell lines.

    Interestingly, the breakthrough on which you reported in your linked post comes from research with adult stem cells – not embryonic stem cells.

    All in all, I wouldn’t rely on the New York Times for full disclosure of unbiased information regarding stem cell research.

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