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Pioneer Says Stem Cell Wars Are Now Over

From, of all places, the New York Times:

Man Who Helped Start Stem Cell War May End It



If the stem cell wars are indeed nearly over, no one will savor the peace more than James A. Thomson.

Dr. Thomson’s laboratory at the University of Wisconsin was one of two that in 1998 plucked stem cells from human embryos for the first time, destroying the embryos in the process and touching off a divisive national debate.

And on Tuesday, his laboratory was one of two that reported a new way to turn ordinary human skin cells into what appear to be embryonic stem cells without ever using a human embryo.

The fact is, Dr. Thomson said in an interview, he had ethical concerns about embryonic research from the outset, even though he knew that such research offered insights into human development and the potential for powerful new treatments for disease.

“If human embryonic stem cell research does not make you at least a little bit uncomfortable, you have not thought about it enough,” he said. “I thought long and hard about whether I would do it.”

He decided in the end to go ahead, reasoning that the work was important and that he was using embryos from fertility clinics that would have been destroyed otherwise. The couples whose sperm and eggs were used to create the embryos had said they no longer wanted them. Nonetheless, Dr. Thomson said, announcing that he had obtained human embryonic stem cells was “scary,” adding, “It was not known how it would be received.”

But he never anticipated the extent and rancor of the stem cell debate. For nearly a decade now, the issue has bitterly divided patients and politicians, religious groups and researchers.

Now with the new technique, which involves adding just four genes to ordinary adult skin cells, it will not be long, he says, before the stem cell wars are a distant memory. “A decade from now, this will be just a funny historical footnote,” Dr. Thomson said in the interview…

When articles like this appear in the New York Times, then the debate is over.

NARAL and the other professional baby killers are going to have a hard time putting the genie back into the bottle.

But never fear. They will never give up the fight to devalue human life.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, November 23rd, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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