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Sloppy Journalism on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

  /   Wednesday November 21, 2007  

The New York Times reported that scientists have found out how to turn human skin cells into cells just like human embryonic stem cells. Of course, this will legitimately bypass the moral problem of embryonic stem calls. They managed to get a quote from Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk on this.

However, this line is a bit of a problem:

Until now, the only way to get such human universal cells was to pluck them from a human embryo several days after fertilization, destroying the embryo in the process.

Technically, this is correct, but it is still misleading. They leave no mention of adult stem cells that can be obtained and used to treat illnesses (and have been used that way) with no moral problems. The cells may not be as flexible as an embryonic cell, but they are easier to control. This leads me to my second point.

The article goes on to say that the method used to produce the cells could be a risk for them to become cancerous. This may be. However, the possibility of cells harvested from human embryos to become cancerous just because of the difficulty in controlling them was left out of the article.

I really wish someone who knew what they were talking about would write these stories on stem cell research. They could at least let people know that adult stem cells can and have been used. Without this, the public isn’t getting complete information.

Category: Posts imported from Danger! Falling Brainwaves, Uncategorized



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