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Biomedical Research Scientists Endorse Specter/Feinstein/Hatch/Kennedy Cloning Compromise.

WASHINGTON -- In a letter sent to Senator Arlen Specter on Friday, twenty-seven leading biomedical research scientists announced their strong support for S. 2439, the Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2002 introduced by Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Edward Kennedy (D-MA). The scientists, who represent a wide variety of disciplines and academic institutions located throughout the United States, are board representatives of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).

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

Website: http://www.faseb.org/
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Date:May 13, 2002
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