A new development in embryonic stem cells


#1

An article recently came out regarding a team of scientists in England who say they’ve discovered what may be a way to harvest embryonic stem cells from unfertilized ova.

Here’s the link: news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4061477.stm

If this procedure does in fact work, would this then be an acceptable method for harvesting embryonic stem cells, from a Catholic point of view?


#2

This really doesn’t make sense to me.

Half the article refers to using the enzime to conduct IVF when the mans sperm lack this enzime. This does make sense to me. But it is not morally acceptable for numerous reasons.

As for creating/harvesting embrionic stem cells this does not make sense to me. How could true stem cells come from an unfurtilized egg? Does anyone know anything about the science of this?


#3

I’m not an expert in stem cells, but I have done some research on my own about this topic. Embryonic stem cells would have to come from an embryo. An unfertilized ovum would not yield embryonic stem cells. However, there are many other sources of stem cells. Stem cells have been found in umbilical cord blood, bone marrow, heart muscle, brain tissue, the pancreas, and in many other locations throughout the body. I don’t know for sure, but it may be possible that unfertilized ova are another source of adult stem cells. In that case, you still couldn’t get embryonic stem cells from the ovum, but you certainly could get real stem cells.

Just a side note: Adult stem cells are already being used to successfully treat a wide variety of diseases, while embryonic stem cells are not even in clinical trials due to a number of problems that occur when using embryonic stem cells. It makes one wonder if the push for embryonic stem cell research might be based in something other than just trying to make other people healthier.


#4

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