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It's a familiar pattern with advocates for more federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. They make an unproved claim and the media simply swallow it. ESC backers would never lie about or even fudge anything; they're all saints in the making. Now we find that one of their major claims of an advantage ESCs have over adult stem cells, which have already been curing people of disease for decades, is apparently false. That alleged advantage is that while ASCs "peter out" fairly quickly in Petri dishes ESC lines live on and on. It was never really an important distinction, insofar as we don't need permanent ASC lines. We just need to be able to culture them for a short time before injecting them back into the person from whom they were originally drawn or into a new recipient. But as it happens, it now appears the claim was false anyway. After awhile, as with making photocopies of photocopies, lines of ESCs start to decay. This introduces mutations that can cause cancer in recipients IN ADDITION to the natural tendency of ESCs to cause cancers called teratomas. So this is one more blow against the science of ESCs and against using precious taxpayer funds to support them, right? Wrong! " The findings, reported Sunday by an international team of scientists, could help those who have been calling on President Bush to allow the use of federal money to create fresh stem cell colonies," reports the Washington Post. In other words, yet another failure of ESC technology calls for yet another infusion of federal funds. These guys have it all figured out.
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» Life-giving cancer from The Smoking Room
Embryonic stem cells can become cancerous?"We're talking about whole chromosomes being deleted, chromosomal arms being amplified," and big chunks of DNA mutating, he said, adding that many of the changes appeared cancerous.The changes occur as the line... [Read More]
Tracked on September 10, 2005 1:49 AM