Nobel Scientists Lobby Bush for Stem Cell Research
WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 23, 01 (CWNews.com) - A group of 80
Nobel Prize winners called on President George W. Bush on
Thursday not to block federal funding of stem cell research
that uses cells taken from aborted unborn children.
"It would be tragic to waste this opportunity to pursue the
work that could potentially alleviate human suffering," the
scientists wrote. Stem cells are the body's master cells
which are used to create all of the various organs and
systems of the body. Scientists hope to understand how to
use the cells to grow new organs and cells to help treat
such malady's as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease,
and spinal cord injury. While stem cells are found in
adults and can be harvested without killing the donor,
scientists want access to embryonic stem cells because they
are easier to manipulate.
While former President Bill Clinton allowed federal
agencies to define the procurement of the cells in a such a
way as to circumvent a federal law banning the funding of
the harvesting of unborn children, Bush has signaled that
he favors a ban on funding for the research.
While federally funded scientists can't use human embryos,
privately funded scientists have harvested embryonic stem
cells in laboratories, and the National Institutes of
Health is prepared to award this spring the first federal
grants for studies with lab-grown stem cells. "It is
important to understand that the cells being used in this
research were destined to be discarded in any case," the
Nobel laureates wrote Thursday.
February 24, 2001
volume 12, no. 55
Pro Life News