The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is slow to learn that Magic has its own rules.
Embryonic stem cells are plenipotent. Their programming tells them to grow all the organs and tissues of a human body. When researchers plant them in a fertile location, they follow the chemical signals as best they can, but they tend to act like any other freshly planted seed.
Adult stem cells are many times removed from this potency. They act like a younger version of the same kind of tissue. If adult stem cells are harvested from the patient himself, and developed along the lines needed for the patient’s problem, their use is no more unethical than having a patient exercise to become more healthy.
It isn’t the money alone that is pushing these researchers to follow such an inherently frustrating path. The use of homologous treatments is automatically more time consuming and expensive.
Another factor that drives their quest is their need to solve the mystery. How to control the program steps. How to deceive the embryonic stem cell into giving up its insatiable drive and internal need.
They are a very long way from understanding these things, but they know it can be unraveled. No matter the pain, no matter the expense or the oprobrium. It is why they became Sorcerer’s Apprentices in the first place.
They want to do Magic.
Understanding how totipotent stem cells limit to become pluripotent stem cells, then multipotent stem cells (a process identified by methylation on the DNA chains) is the holy grail only if the process may be understood so well that the steps may be reversed, to allow stem cells from a patient to be directed back to pluripotency or multipotency of specific tissue lines. Truly, the sorcerer’s approach.