Alternatives to Embyronic Stem Cell Research

The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture, by Scott Klusendorf Yesterday I posted part of an interview with Scott Klusendorf, author of The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture. Here is a later part from the same interview where Scott talks about some of the alternatives to Embyronic Stem Cell Research (ESCR). The bottom line is that there are positive ways to continue stem cell research without destroying human embryos in the process.

Not only is embryonic stem cell research immoral, but it may be unnecessary. First, numerous peer-reviewed studies indicate that adult stem cells are more effective at treating disease than previously thought. Unlike embryo stem cell research, we can extract these adult cells without harming the donor. Critics of the pro-life view, like the late actor Christopher Reeve, insist that these adult cells won’t work. However, the evidence suggests just the opposite. So far, adult stem cells are outperforming their embryonic counterparts.

Second, new research suggests we can pursue embryo cell treatments in morally acceptable ways. Altered Nuclear Transfer (or ANT) is one new technology which seeks a morally acceptable means of producing pluripotent stem cells (the functional equivalent of embryonic stem cells) without the creation and destruction of human embryos. Instead, researchers will use biological entities that have some of the properties of embryos, but are not living organisms. In 2007, researchers in Japan and the United States, using slightly different methods, successfully coaxed ordinary adult skin cells to function just like pluripotent embryonic ones. This remarkable breakthrough demonstrated that pluripotent cells can be obtained without destroying human embryos. This should come as thrilling news for everyone in the cloning debate intent on using embryo cells.

Here is an interesting video clip from Oprah where Doctor Oz proclaims the stem cell debate closed and explains the benefits of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Research (IPS Cell Technology) to Oprah and fellow guest Michael J. Fox. This new technology takes skin cells and makes them embryo-like, thus avoiding both the moral problems of destroying embryos for research as well as the practical problems involved with using embryonic stem cells, such as the risk of tumors in the recipient. (Video length: 3:13)

Related posts:
    • Scott Klusendorf on Embryonic Stem Cell Research
    • They’re Going to Die Anyway

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  1. They’re Going to Die Anyway at Ray Fowler .org

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