Tuesday, August 16

Scientist Think Body's Own Cells May Solve Embryonic Stem-cell Debate

Robert Lanza, vice president of Advanced Cell Technology recently told MSNBC that new scientific advances in stem-cell research may put to rest the moral debate surrounding embryonic stem-cell research. His group is working on a way to reprogram existing cells to produce fresh cells.

The process, called somatic-cell programming, may prove to be able to tell the cells in your own body to produce fresh heart cells, regenerate nerve cells to heal spinal cord injuries -- even pancreatic cells to cure diabetes.

"Our group, and I know at least two or three others, are playing with different techniques, and it's very clear that something is going on here," Lanza said. "We're definitely getting reprogramming."

His company has often been the epicenter of the controversy over embryonic stem-cell research.

Leon Kass, chairman of the U.S. President's Council on Bioethics, said the research could give scientists new direction in the area of stem-cell research.

"I think that's where the gold is buried," Kass said. "(This is a) most exciting new development."

"Copyright (c) 2005, Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. This article appeared in CitizenLink Daily Update published Aug. 15, 2005, a policy and culture information service of Focus on the Family. For more information, see http://www.citizenlink.org."