Adult Stem Cell Therapy Blog

Harvard Researchers Begin Cloning Efforts

Wednesday, June 07, 2006 - Stem Cell Guru

Today, both Time magazine and Yahoo News are carrying a Reuters' story about Harvard researchers starting a human stem cell project.

This blog usually carries articles related to adult stem cell research, but when a university as prestigious as Harvard makes the decision to go ahead with research that is both a cause of widespread ethical arguments in the US and also brings back memories of falisifed Korean research, it's definitely worth mentioning here.

Researchers at Harvard University are using only private money to bypass federal restrictions on such work. The scientists are studying how embryonic stem cells are programmed, will try to correct defects and then try to return the repaired cells to the body to battle diseases like blood disorders, ALS, known as Lou Gehrig's disease, and diabetes.

The research is controversial because scientists use human embryos which some people say amounts to taking a human life. President George W. Bush, in 2001, restricted the use of federal money for human embryonic stem cell work to a few existing batches of cells.

But Harvard Provost Stephen Hyman told reporters that the project, which he said is critically important to trying to fight often deadly diseases, has been carefully reviewed and that the team of scientists will follow strict guidelines.

However, the field has been marred by scandals. Several months ago a South Korean researcher who claimed to have cloned human embryos and obtained stem cells from them was found to have falsified his reports. Other groups claimed to have cloned actual human babies but have never produced evidence to support their claims.

The Boston researchers eventually want to use cloning technology to make days-old embryos that could then be used as a source of stem cells.


Post a Comment

<< Home

 Site Feed