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August 19, 2005

Newly-discovered cell type may deal setback to Culture of Death

This appears to be very good news:
A reported breakthrough in stem cell research may lend new weight to the campaign against the use of human embryos in research, one of the most pressing ethical controversies facing governments in the U.S. and elsewhere.

American and British researchers say that they have found, in umbilical cord blood, a new type of cell -- neither embryonic nor "adult" -- which is more versatile than the latter while avoiding the ethical dilemmas surrounding the former.

And in a further development, the scientists have found a way to mass-produce the new cells, sidestepping the problem of limited supply of embryonic cells.

The cord-blood-derived-embryonic-like stem cells (CBEs) share many of the same characteristics of embryonic cells and one day might be used to treat injuries or diseases.

The researchers already have successfully turned the cells into human liver tissue.
If this method lives up to its promise, I'll be watching to see if the celebrity proponents of embryo harvesting endorse it.

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