ASH WEDNESDAY
February 28, 2001
volume 12, no. 59

New Discovery Erodes Rationale for Using Embryonic Stem Cells



    SCOTLAND, Feb. 26, 01 (CWNews.com/LSN.ca) - Those who support the use of embryonic stem cells for research-- killing the unborn child in the process-- may lose their justification for continuing this practice, according to reports by Britain's BBC.

    The BBC reported Friday that the company which cloned the sheep "Dolly" has announced a new discovery which could make the use of adult stem cells an even more viable alternative than it already is.

    The American subsidiary of Edinburgh-based PPL Therapeutics has succeeded in converting skin tissue from cows into beating heart cells. This was done by "rewinding" the genetic clock of the skin cells so as to create "unprogrammed" master stem cells. "The reverted cells were then programmed to develop into functioning beating heart cells, in the laboratory," reported the British broadcaster. Dr. Ron James, managing director of the company, said that he believed the technology would be equally applicable to humans.

    The news was welcomed by religious leaders and pro-life forces. It is an "encouraging breakthrough" and "certainly a step in the right direction," said Dr. Donald Bruce, a spokesman for the Church of Scotland, upon hearing of the breakthrough.


February 28, 2001
volume 12, no. 59
Pro Life News
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