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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.

 
From Reuters:

Doctors have begun testing human embryonic stem cells on a patient for the first time, Geron Corp. said on Monday.

Geron has the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration license to use the controversial cells to treat people, in this case patients with new spinal cord injuries. Following are some facts about stem cells:

* Stem cells are the body's master cells, the source of all cells and tissue, including brain, blood, heart, bones and muscles.

* Embryonic stem cells come from days-old embryos and can produce any type of cell in the body.

* Scientists generally harvest embryonic stem cells from embryos left over after in-vitro fertilization attempts at fertility clinics. They can also be produced using cloning technology. Geron worked with IVF surplus embryos.

* Scientists hope to harness the transformational qualities of stem cells to treat a variety of diseases, including injuries, cancer and diabetes.

* Geron's cells will be used to treat patients with recent spinal cord injuries in the hope the cells can help heal the damaged nerves before disability becomes permanent.

* The issue has been controversial because some people believe the destruction of any human embryo is wrong.

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