Skip to comments.Stem Cell Research Skirts Hurdles, but Raises Ethics Issues, Too
Posted on 10/23/2010 11:49:53 PM PDT by neverdem
In an academic-corporate partnership that may represent the future of stem cell research, Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago has teamed up with a biotech company to begin the first human trials of a therapy derived from embryonic stem cells.
By using private money, scientists said, the experiment avoids the political battles over federally financed research that involves the embryonic cells.
The trials mark a milestone in the controversial quest to determine whether embryonic cells can be reprogrammed to repair injured or diseased tissue and organs.
Enrollment for the closely watched trial opened last month at Northwestern, the lead site, and at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. Eventually, seven medical centers in the United States will test the protocol on patients with severe spinal cord injuries.
The treatment, called GRNOPC1, was developed by the Geron Corporation. The Food and Drug Administration approved the human trials after the company reported improved movement in animals with spinal-cord injuries. Geron said last week that the first person to be treated was a patient at the Shepherd Center.
The tantalizing, largely unproven promise of embryonic stem cells lies in their pliability: Researchers hope they can be manipulated into becoming cells found in any part of the body to repair diseased or damaged organs, bones and other body parts. The cells hold the promise of reversing previously incurable illnesses, like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrigs disease) and Parkinsons disease.
Opponents of the research say that extracting the cells, a process that destroys...
But in August, Judge Royce Lamberth of Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, responding to a lawsuit by two scientists who said federal financing for stem cell research hurt their ability to get money for their studies of adult stem cells, halted the use of public money for embryonic cell research...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I was a bit of a skirt hurdler in my day.
I think I raised a few ethical issues while I was at it.
stem cell ping