SATURDAY
February 24, 2001
volume 12, no. 55

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
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