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Jack Sisson's Life Ethics Blog

We must find new ways through many ethical issues, especially regarding bioethics, medical ethics, and criminal justice. Jack Sisson's 'Life Ethics' blog focuses on numerous areas of concern, including the philosophical and ethical dilemmas surrounding stem-cell research, abortion, medical research, and health care.

 
Could this be a major breakthrough for stem-cell research?
One of Georgia's top research scientists said Thursday that he's discovered a way to quickly manufacture billions of a type of cell — derived from embryonic stem cells — that could grow into nerve and brain tissue, a development that could shorten by years the search for cures to debilitating conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases as well as spinal cord injuries.

University of Georgia scientist Steve Stice calls his discovery "very significant" because no one else is able to make the "progenitor neural cells" in quantities significant enough to meet the needs of researchers at pharmaceutical companies and other universities.
As we've discussed numerous times on this blog: "Embryonic stem cell research has generated great religious and political controversy because embryos are destroyed when their stem cells are harvested." But at UGA,
Stice has recently pioneered in a compromise for researchers: the taking of stem cells from imperfect embryos, incapable of becoming babies, that would be discarded by fertility clinics. That development, he said, is not involved in the latest breakthrough.

Stice said his neural stem cells were derived from one of the original embryonic stem cell lines approved by the NIH for federally funded research.
Read the complete article here.

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