Tuesday, November 20, 2007

We were not patient enough

There are moments like this IPS (induced pluripotent stem cells) discovery today when my faith it in science is renewed.

Researchers in Wisconsin and Japan have turned ordinary human skin cells into what are effectively embryonic stem cells without using embryos or women's eggs -- the two hitherto essential ingredients that have embroiled the medically promising field in a nearly decade-long political and ethical debate. Washington Post

Another crucial vote of confidence came from James Battey, vice chairman of the National Institutes of Health's stem cell task force, which oversees decisions about funding stem cell research.

"I see no reason on Earth why this would not be eligible for federal funding," Battey said. "I think it's a wonderful new development."

I would hope that everyone on all sides of this political hot potato can embrace this new technique.

"We were not patient enough," [Yamanaka] said. Great quote. Some were insistent that we had to kill babies to get what we 'needed' now. Their lives were less important than ours and so they must be sacrificed. Not so.

And, thank God, this better way was accomplished by two different teams.
"Apparently there are various ways to get to Rome," said Rudolf Jaenisch, a stem cell researcher at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Mass.
What a great way to start Thanksgiving week.

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