Factual · Powerful · Original · Iconoclastic
Probably the most important disinformation spread by embryonic stem cell research proponents (and hence opponents of the far-more-advanced adult stem cell research) is that ASCs can't become any type of cell other than what they normally would become. That is, a marrow or blood stem cell can only become marrow or blood, a skin stem cell can only become skin, and a neuronal stem cell can only become neurons. Yet over the last several years, one research team after another has found that just isn't the case. The latest, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, is the first to find they can "tease" follicular stem cells out of their predestined lineage. Already these cells are being used to grow skin grafts on a commercial basis, which is great. But the U. Penn researchers, writing in the American Journal of Pathology, found they could also differentiate follicular stem cells into nerve cells and smooth muscle cells. Thus they could be used to effect repairs in the brain or spine as well as fixing various organs. Their report only concerns results in a Petri dish, but they're already testing their new stem cells on animals. Yet the greedy researchers who push their ESC research over HUMAN research will no doubt seek (and with the help of the media) succeed in perpetuating their myth for years to come.