Stem cell breakthrough might break logjam

Researchers in Boston say they have discovered how to manipulate new cell growth from nonembryonic cells, which might finally put an end to the rancorous debate over the use of embryonic stem cells in research seeking a cure for many diseases.

Wouldn’t that be something? Instead of angry protests of, “You’re killing innocent babies!,” the most plaintive reaction will be, “Ouch, you’re scraping my skin.” “Owie.”

I wanna be replicated.

Says the Washington Post: “The researchers published a series of experiments showing they can use laboratory-made versions of naturally occurring biological signals to quickly convert ordinary skin cells into cells that appear virtually identical to embryonic stem cells.”

This might be a Boston tea party everyone can agree on. Maybe.

Everything hangs, of course, on whether the preliminary findings live up to the potential. Then again, this could touch off all kinds of new controversies.

It’s the stuff of science fiction, making entire new pieces parts out of a few skin cells. Could it be possible to build an entire human being out of cloned cells? What if I grow tired of myself (huh, imagine that!) and decide I want a new start with a new body? A fresh start. Here, just scrape a few of my skin cells into a Petri dish and POOF! A new me!

Chew on that for a while.


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