Biomedical Research Scientists Endorse Specter/Feinstein/Hatch/Kennedy Cloning Compromise.
The scientists expressed their support for a ban on human reproductive cloning, but reaffirmed their support for research using nuclear transplantation to produce stem cells, a procedure sometimes referred to as "therapeutic cloning." In the letter, the scientists discussed the benefits of nuclear transplantation research over other human embryonic stem cell research.
The undersigned sent the following letter, dated May 7, to The Honorable Arlen Specter:
As board members of 21 scientific societies represented by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), we are writing to thank you for introducing S. 2439, the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2002.
We strongly support your efforts to ban human reproductive cloning and to permit research involving nuclear transplantation to produce stem cells, under appropriate ethical guidelines.
We believe that human embryonic stem cell research offers significant therapeutic promise for treating a host of diseases and debilitating disorders afflicting millions of Americans. While we are grateful to the President for his decision last year to allow research on a qualified number of human embryonic stem cell lines, the usefulness of these cell lines is limited by a number of factors that can be addressed through nuclear transplantation. First, nuclear transplantation research will enable the production of embryonic stem cell lines that more fully represent the genetic diversity of the U.S. population. Second, nuclear transplantation will enable scientists to identify and understand the interplay of heritable genetic factors that gives rise to diseases such as diabetes or Alzheimer's. Third, in the field of cancer research, nuclear transplantation will enable scientists to examine a variety of mutations that produced certain cancer cells. Finally, nuclear transplantation research raises the hope that, in the future, patients will receive therapies that are individually developed for them -- dramatically reducing the risk of immune rejection.
For more than a half-century, America's best scientists have produced spectacular medical advances. The exciting new field of regenerative medicine now offers substantial potential for greater breakthroughs. S. 2439 would assure that this vital research is conducted under appropriate ethical guidelines -- and that Americans have early access to its therapeutic benefits.
Once again, on behalf of FASEB's 60,000 member scientists, we thank you for advancing biomedical research and strongly endorse S. 2439.
Robert R. Rich, MD President, FASEB American Association of Immunologists Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, GA Leo Furcht, MD American Association of Investigative Pathology University of Minnesota Medical School Minneapolis, MN Marlene Cohen, PhD American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Lilly Research Laboratories Indianapolis, IN Richard G. Lynch, MD American Society for Investigative Pathology University of Iowa College of Medicine Iowa City, IA Barbara A. Horwitz, MD The American Physiological Society University of California - Davis Davis, CA Janet Hall, MD The Endocrine Society Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School Boston, MA Gerald F. DiBona, MD American Physiological Society University of Iowa College of Medicine Iowa City, IA Michael Conn, PhD The Endocrine Society Oregon Health and Science University Portland, OR Karen L. Bennett Society for Developmental Biology University of Missouri Columbia, MO Richard Marchase, PhD American Association of Anatomists University of Alabama - Birmingham Birmingham, AL Robert D. Wells, PhD American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Texas A&M University Houston, TX Mary J.C. Hendrix, PhD FASEB Past President American Association of Anatomists The University of Iowa Iowa City, IA Alfred H. Merrill, PhD American Society for Nutritional Sciences Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA James C. Rose, PhD Society for Gynecologic Investigation Wake Forest University Winston Salem, NC Roger A. Sunde, PhD American Society for Nutritional Sciences University of Missouri Columbia, MO Jerry Mitchell, MD, PhD American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Baylor College of Medicine Houston, TX C. Robert Matthews, PhD The Protein Society University of Massachusetts Medical School Worcester, MA Garry Cutting, MD The American Society for Human Genetics Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD John A. Smith, MD, PhD American Peptide Society University of Alabama, Birmingham Birmingham, AL David Valle, MD American Society for Human Genetics Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD David G. Kaufman, MD, PhD FASEB Past-President University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC Robert D. Koos, PhD Society for the Study of Reproduction University of Maryland Baltimore, MD Michael A. Levine, MD American Society for Bone & Mineral Research Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD John M. DeSesso, PhD Teratology Society Mitretek Systems Falls Church, VA Paul W. Kincade, PhD The American Association of Immunologists Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Oklahoma City, OK Steven Teitelbaum, MD FASEB President-Elect American Society for Bone & Mineral Research Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis, MO Bettie Sue Masters, PhD American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, TX
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Contact: Pat White of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, +1-202-543-1155