Recent experiments with mice indicate that induced pluripotent stem cells–that is embryonic-like stem cells made from skin–are as effective as their unethically derived cousins. From the Nature News report:
A paper published in Nature today could dispel a cloud over the hopes of turning a patient’s own cells into perfectly matched replacement tissues…Hochedlinger believes that iPS cells are just as promising for cell transplantation as ES cells, although many issues stand between the lab and the clinic. The differences between the two kinds of stem cell are minor compared with the differences in how individual cell lines grow and differentiate in culture, he says. “Based on what we know at this time from mice,” he says, “iPS cells are as good as ES cells, and should be as safe.”
Good ethics and good science have the cultural healing power to produce a common way forward. Onward.