Two amazing developments occurred back to back in the month of November 2007 that history will remember as the beginning of the end of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research.
- November 17, 2007: Professor Ian Wilmut announced his rejection of human embryonic stem cell research through the method of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) which he used to create the world’s first clone, Dolly the Sheep. Wilmut turned his back on SCNT, commonly known as cloning, and now opts for the process of reprogramming adult stem cells to an “embryonic” state, known as pluripotency.
While he cited pro-life pressure as a reason hESCR became too troublesome, Wilmut made his decision because the new reprogramming method reduce the need to continue with manipulation of embryos.
- November 20th, 2007: The Academic Journal’s Science and Cell published reports by scientists from Wisconsin and Japan which confirmed the process to which Wilmut attested. Simply put, this new method, known as Induced Stem Cell Research (iPSC) makes the amazing potential of embryonic stem cells available without involving or destroying a single embryo.Embryonic Stem Cells have been higly sought after because of their pluripotent ability to differentiate into any cell of the body. Ethical stem cell research, on the other hand, has been looked down upon by proponents of hESCR as “limited”. Now, the ethical work of iPSC makes it possible to have the great “potential” of Embryonic Stem Cell Research without the ethical complications.
Process of Induced Stem Cell Research (iPSC)
In very simple terms, iPSC Research takes a stem cells, and through the introduction of gene therapy, reprograms the cell back to its “embryonic” or “pluripotent” state, meaning it has the ability to be tweaked to any cell of the body.
The process, as it stands now, is relatively inexpensive and can be reproduced by labs thorughout the country.
>>> Read more on iPSCR at the Bioethics Defense Fund.
Conclusion: Backing Cures, Banning Cloning
With the successes of adult stem cell research, the great potential of induced stem cell research, and the destructive and unsuccessful progress of embryonic stem cell research and human cloning, we conclude that we should promote legislation that promotes the research of ethical stem cell research and ban all research that is unethical.