Adult Stem Cell Awareness

November 2, 2007

Fr. Berg reports on the Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Registry

Filed under: alternative sources — benotafraid @ 2:47 pm

In his most recent With Good Reason column, Fr. Thomas Berg tells us why he and his colleagues are excited about the renaming of the Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry to the Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Registry. In short, it augers well for those of us opposed to embryonic stem cell research. In addition, he offers a not-too-overwhelmingly-technical explanation of the move toward using “tetraploid complementation” as the standard for pluripotency.

Of course, new opportunities often bring with them new obstacles. The ethical opposition to ANT/OAR using human ova remains strong among some in the pro-life community, and it is not just a matter of right-to-life.  If I’ve understood his claims correctly, at least one researcher believes that the arguments used to explain how ANT/OAR could be ethical can’t hold up with actual embryonic human patterns of development.

On a personal note, I’m not sure, still, whether ANT/OAR with human cells and human ova would ever be ethical, or not. Despite this, I think Fr. Berg is right to be excited and hopeful about the renaming of the registry. Opening up the category of pluritpotent to non-embryonic sources of cells will, among fair-minded researchers, regenerate interest in pluripotent adult stem cell candidates. And that is good news for all of us.


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