Big News in Stem Cell Research!

by Nathan A. Cherry, 12/26/2011

the cloned sheep DollyMartinsburg, WV – I do my best to follow the stem cell research news because of its obvious implications in the defense of life from conception; a conviction I firmly espouse. You can probably understand my frustration then, when I read countless articles on the ever-widening successes of adult stem cell research only to see our government refuse to invest in this safe, morally acceptable form of research; while continuing to fund a failure like embryonic stem cell research.

If you are curious about my position, you can check out some past articles such as this one, or this one about NFL Quarterback Peyton Manning.

But let’s face it, I’m not a scientist and my knowledge of the subject is limited to reputable news sources; so it’s really limited. And though I am smart enough to know that embryonic stem cell research kills al living human embryo, and is therefore morally unacceptable, there is little chance of anyone listening to me on the subject.

So you can imagine my excitement when I read this article on the recent decision of the scientist that cloned “Dolly” to leave the embryonic stem cell research field in favor of adult stem cell research.

It’s like an early Christmas present for all pro-lifers that can’t figure out why anyone, especially our government, would continue to throw millions of dollars into a form of research that has, so far, accomplished nothing. Not one single success story from embryonic stem cell research against the thousands of very exciting and hopeful success stories thanks to adult stem cell research. Here’s what the article said:

“Ian Wilmut, the scientist who achieved international notoriety for cloning the sheep Dolly, is now urging his fellow scientists and researchers to abandon embryonic stem cell research…His comments at a conference follow on the major news that Geron, a cloning company the Obama administration funded to undertake the first human clinical trials involving embryonic-like stem cells, abruptly canceled the trials and got out of the embryonic stem cell research business…Wilmut spoke to researchers at a late November event in California and said that embryonic stem cells are not likely going to show promise because they lead to the development of tumors after injected into animals in studies and that scientists should focus their energies on non-embryonic stem cell research. Wilmut is particularly impressed by direct programming, a process that takes adult stem cells and reverts them to an embryonic-like state without purposefully creating and destroying human embryos.”

This is potentially one of the biggest stories from the stem cell research field to break…ever. Wilmut is very highly respected and when he says it is time to abandon embryonic stem cell research in favor of non-embryonic forms of research you can believe people will pay attention.

I can’t help but echo Wilmut’s sentiments when he said “I’m not quite sure why this hasn’t been pursued more actively.”

I am still trying to answer that question myself. How does anyone, logically speaking, choose to fund and advocate for a form of research that has done nothing but fail with a zero success rate, rather than a form of research that has been hugely successful and seen thousands of people cured, healed, and restored? That makes no sense at all.

But this is good news, welcome news, for pro-life advocates that have long been bothered by the fact that embryonic stem cell research has been favored so heavily. This news means there is a very real possibility that more research companies, investors, and even our government will seek morally acceptable, successful forms of stem cell research. It means more people could be saved, cured, and healed thanks to new funding, more research, and more venues for patient care.

I won’t call this a Christmas miracle. But I will say that it is joyfully received news worthy to be spread far and wide. Perhaps we are drawing closer to the day when thousands of living embryos will not be destroyed in the name of “research.” Rather than killing living human beings maybe we will now start advocating forms of research that have been proven to save life.

About Nathan Cherry

Nathan Cherry is the chief editor and blogger for the Engage Family Minute blog, the official blog of the FPCWV. He serves also as the Regional Development Coordinator as a liaison to the pastor's of West Virginia. He is a pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-religious freedom conservative. He is also a husband, father, pastor, author, musician, and follower of Jesus Christ.

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