Use of human embryonic stem cells gives (probably real) reason for hope in spinal cord injuries. Professor Hans Keirstead from the The Reeve-Irvine Research Center (yes, that Reeve) at the University of California publishes his findings today in which early treatment with the stem cells produces demonstrably positive results (yes, rats). [stem cell basics] previous threads and particularly this.
The FDA has put the brakes on clinical trials of a promising form of stem cell therapy which uses the body's own stem cells to heal dammage. The procedure was used earlier this year to heal the heart of a teenager who was shot in the heart by a nail gun. Other research is being done with the body's own stem cells on the heart and the spinal cord, and new ways to produce large numbers of adult stem cells have been discovered by MIT and the British company TriStem. With the controversy over embryonic stem cells, I'm glad that adult stem cell therapy is showing promise. [Some links via FuturePundit, who is rather annoyed with the FDA.]
Examining Bush's stem cell policy, two years later. Kinsley: Put it all together, and the stem cells that can squeeze through Bush's loopholes are far less promising than they seemed two years ago, while the general promise of embryonic stem cells burns brighter than ever. If you claim to have made an anguished moral decision, and the factual basis for that decision turns out to be faulty, you ought to reconsider or your claim to moral anguish looks phony. But Bush's moral anguish was suspect from the beginning, because the policy it produced makes no sense.
Bush and Pro-Lifers call for complete ban on any clone or stem cell research. The movement for a ban got a significant boost Tuesday when Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., said he would support the cloning ban legislation, which the Senate is expected to debate in the weeks ahead. Though not a surprise, the announcement from Frist, a heart-transplant surgeon, is important because his views on medical topics are respected by many in Congress. "Many are overpromising on the science" benefits that are possible from cloning, Frist told reporters. He also said creating a human embryo "for reason of experimentation leads to destruction of that embryo and to me that is morally unacceptable."