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Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

The Extent of the Embryonic Stem Cell Hype is Beginning to be Noticed



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This article in the Journal of Clinical Investigation warns that medical treatments from embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) and therapeutic cloning may be very far away, if they ever come at all. ESCR and cloning have so many hurdles to overcome, ranging from tumor formation in animal studies, to the inability of biotechnologists to control the type of cells that are created in the dish, to tissue rejection, to maintaining proper proliferation once inside the body. Thus, the repeated media assertion that embryonic stem cells "can become any cell in the body," is entirely speculative--unless they remain parts of living embryos, that is. Scientists hope to find cures for these problems--and they might. But if they do, it is going to take a lot of time and money. In the meanwhile, adult stem cell research keeps moving forward with generally hopeful results in early human trials.


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