Friday, August 05, 2005

Positive Developments

Here is something hopeful.

Scientists looking for easier and less-controversial alternatives to stem cells from human embryos said on Friday they found a potential source in placentas saved during childbirth.
They described primitive cells found in a part of the placenta called the amnion, which they coaxed into forming a variety of cell types and which look very similar to sought-after embryonic stem cells.
With 4 million children born in the United States each year, placentas could provide a ready source of the cells, the team at the University of Pittsburgh said.
It is not yet certain that the cells they found are true stem cells, said Stephen Strom, who worked on the study. But they carry two important genes, called Oct 4 and nanog, which so far have only been seen on embryonic stem cells.

I'm in favor of embryonic stem cell research but if we could find a way to avoid the fight I'm all for it. Why do I feel like the moral arbitrators will have a response like...We can't have that, then we will have babies born just for the placentas. ? That's ok, it's the kind of 2 headed logic we have long become use to.


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