Embryonic stem cell research not all it's touted to be

Posted: Thursday, August 05, 2004

John Kerry and Ron Reagan have garnered cheers and headlines recently for criticizing the Bush administration for its limits on federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research. Those cheers and headlines, though, have been built on misinformation. One prominent scientist, in fact, D.G. McKay of the National Institute for Neurological Diseases and Stroke, has called the notion that embryonic stem cells will provide an antidote to Alzheimer's disease a "fairy tale."

The truth is, not one human being has been treated with embryonic stem cells not for lack of funding, but because such cells have been known to create malignant tumors in lab animals.

But there is a kind of stem-cell research that could prove revolutionary a kind John Kerry and Ron Reagan and the media haven't even bothered to tell us about. It involves so-called "adult" stem cells, those harvested from such sources as umbilical cord blood and bone marrow. They have shown great promise in the treatment of more than 70 diseases and conditions.

Conservatives are not out to quench medical breakthroughs. We are simply committed to pursuing the most promising, most moral course of action in the brave new world that is stem-cell research.

Bob and Sharon Knowlton

Kasilof



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