Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Stem-like cells

Philadelphia, Nov. 20, 2007 (CWNews.com) - A new technique for obtaining stem cells could eliminate the public pressure for destructive research on human embryos, a Catholic think-tank reports.

The National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) has welcomed the results of research by Dr. Shinya Yamanaka and Dr. James Thomson, who have found a method of using skin cells to obtain pluripotent stem cells. By "reprogramming" the skin cells, the researchers found that they could reproduce the features that scientists find most desirable in embryonic stem cells.

I feel like I read something in First Things about research towards this technique. It seems good, but I can't help but wonder if there's some moral hazard that careful reflection will bring out. I suppose I'm worried this is another, slightly more devious, form of cloning.

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