03. June 2005 · Comments Off on Re: The Case In Favor Of Fetal Stem Cell Research · Categories: Science!

This from BusinessWeek:

On June 6, a team of scientists will release results of a study that they believe could usher in a whole new way of treating heart disease. At a meeting for cardiologists, a surgeon from Lenox Hill Hospital in New York will describe what happened when stem cells taken from fetuses were injected into the hearts of 10 patients.

The patients in the study suffer from heart failure, a debilitating and as-yet incurable disease that afflicts 500,000 Americans. The data from the study can’t be unveiled quite yet, but Barnett Suskind, CEO of the Institute of Regenerative Medicine in Barbados, believes the results will “compel us to move forward with additional work.” Suskind, whose company provided funding for the study, says, “It’s absolutely a milestone.”

FRIENDLIER CLIMATE. Many more studies will have to be done before this treatment is anywhere near marketable. Still, Suskind’s enthusiasm underscores the growing interest in a controversial but therapeutically promising type of stem cell. So-called fetal-derived stem cells, such as those used in the recent heart study, aren’t subject to the same restrictions that limit federal funding for research on embryonic stem cells. But because fetal cells are taken from aborted fetuses, they conjure up much of the emotion that has characterized the current debate in Washington. Critics of stem-cell research, in short, oppose any such research that they believe it requires the destruction of human life.

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