Stem cell breakthrough.Byline: The Register-Guard
Scientists on Monday announced breakthroughs that may one day allow embryonic stem cells Embryonic stem cells (ES cells) are stem cells derived from the inner cell mass of an early stage embryo known as a blastocyst. Human embryos reach the blastocyst stage 4-5 days post fertilization, at which time they consist of 50-150 cells.
ES cells are pluripotent. to be grown in a laboratory without harming healthy human embryos. If such experiments reach fruition, they could overcome religious and bioethical objections to stem cell stem cell
In living organisms, an undifferentiated cell that can produce other cells that eventually make up specialized tissues and organs. There are two major types of stem cells, embryonic and adult. research that destroys embryos when stem cells stem cells, unspecialized human or animal cells that can produce mature specialized body cells and at the same time replicate themselves. Embryonic stem cells are derived from a blastocyst (the blastula typical of placental mammals; see embryo), which is very young are extracted.
In the meantime Adv. 1. in the meantime - during the intervening time; "meanwhile I will not think about the problem"; "meantime he was attentive to his other interests"; "in the meantime the police were notified"
meantime, meanwhile , legislation relaxing restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research deserves to be passed by Congress and signed by President Bush. Congress appears willing; the House has already passed such a measure and the Senate, with support from Majority Leader Bill Frist, appears poised to do the same.
Unfortunately, the president has threatened to veto any attempt to relax the restrictions he imposed in 2001 limiting federal funding to research on the 78 stem cell lines in existence at the time. Only 22 of those original stem cell lines remain viable and eligible for federal funding. With contamination threatening to further reduce the available lines, Bush's limitations must be relaxed to enable vital research.
Efforts to obtain embryonic stem cells without harming embryos should continue on a parallel track, but such research mustn't be used as an excuse to postpone important work that could begin immediately. Embryonic stem cells hold the promise of producing potentially lifesaving treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer's, diabetes, Parkinson's and multiple sclerosis.
Monday's announcement by two independent teams of researchers bolsters hopes that scientists will someday find a more benign way to obtain embryonic stem cells. Their results, while promising, were based on studies with mice. They haven't been replicated with human cells.
And despite the potential for the new techniques to address the objections of those who believe an embryo from the moment of conception represents a life imbued with human rights, the experimental techniques Experimental research designs are used for the controlled testing of causal processes. The general procedure is one or more independent variables are manipulated to determine their effect on a dependent variable. raise ethical issues of their own. One of the new methods still subjects a human embryo to an added risk. The other, more controversial, approach involves deliberately creating an embryo with a disabled version of a gene that is crucial to normal development.
None of the alternatives to traditional embryonic stem cell research is ready for prime time. Discussions are just beginning about the ethical implications of cloning what amount to defective embryos.
Most Americans support embryonic stem cell research. They agree with Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch Orrin Grant Hatch (born March 22, 1934) is a Republican United States Senator from Utah, serving since 1977.
Hatch is a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance, where he serves on the subcommittees on Energy, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure and Taxation and IRS , a staunch pro-life Republican, that "pregnancy does not begin in a petri dish pe·tri dish
A shallow circular dish with a loose-fitting cover, used to culture bacteria or other microorganisms.
a shallow, circular, glass or disposable plastic dish used to grow bacteria on solid media such as agar. ." It's increasingly clear that what is essentially a religious controversy is destined des·tine
tr.v. des·tined, des·tin·ing, des·tines
1. To determine beforehand; preordain: a foolish scheme destined to fail; a film destined to become a classic.
2. to be resolved some day by scientific advances that will protect human embryos.
Meanwhile, federal funding of research on human embryos donated from in vitro fertilization in vitro fertilization (vē`trō, vĭ`trō), technique for conception of a human embryo outside the mother's body. Several ova, or eggs, are removed from the mother's body and placed in special laboratory culture dishes (Petri dishes); clinics in excess of the clinical need of the individuals seeking treatment should be authorized immediately.