Saturday, March 14, 2009

Nix the ban on stem cell research.

Not that the restrictions on stem cell research set up during the Bush administration were so much a ban, but many of the restrictions put in place were removed by way of Obama's recent executive order. The executive order allows the federal government to fund embryonic stem cell research. The major form of stem cell research previously involved use of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines (which are derived most commonly from adult somatic cells instead of the controversy-laden embryonic lines).

Obama recognized that this switch in direction demands a certain level of ethical discretion, and as such required the NIH to develop the rules regarding medical ethics involved in the process of obtaining embryonic stem cell lines. Supporters of the executive order see promise for potentially treating some of human kind’s most devastating diseases and disorders. Some religious officials, however, disagree with the way Obama is going about furthering stem cell research. Surprise: people agree and people disagree. I’d personally like to explore some of the middle-ground options before completely nixing the conservative restrictions previously in place regarding the matter. I’m thinking it’s about time for me to do some google-searches on the practical differences between the use of iPSC versus embryonic stem cell lines. I'm also interested in seeing what others think about the policy shift.

1 comment:

  1. I have a question. Can anyone completely say that embryonic stem cells are absolutely better than stem cells derived from adult somatic cells and that it is just silly to even try and use adult stem cells? While President Bush had the ban on embryonic stem cell research, advances in this area were still being made and it to my knowledge it was said that the differences between adult stem cell lines and embryonic lines were next to nothing in comparison. Just curious.