Human Exceptionalism

Progress on Regressing Adult Cells into ES Cells

Nature is reporting that scientists may be close to creating a protein “elixer” that would regress adult cells to an embryonic pluripotent state. According to the report, “Doctors might be able to take a simple biopsy of cells from a patient and reprogramme them, using one set of proteins to first transform them into embryonic stem cells, and then another to coax them into growing new blood, pancreas or other tissue.”

If these proteins can applied as scientists hope, it would do away with the need to clone human life for use in ESC treatments. For all the hoopla by politicians and media, we may actually find a scientific way out of our moral dilemma. As one scientist put it, “Obviously that’s where the field is really headed. It’s a terribly exciting time.”