Stem Cell Test Tried on Mice Saves Embryo

Source: New York Times, By: Nicholas Wade

Scientists have devised two new techniques to derive embryonic stem cells in mice, one of which avoids the destruction of the embryo, a development that could have the potential to shift the grounds of the longstanding political debate about human stem cell research.

The destruction of embryos is a principal objection of anti-abortion advocates who have strenuously opposed federal financing of the research.

The second new technique manipulates embryos so they are inherently incapable of implanting in the uterus, what some see as a possible ethical advantage in the proposed therapy, which converts a patient’s skin cell into embryonic cells and then new tissues to repair the body. Both methods are described in today’s online edition of Nature.

Robert Lanza (Advanced Cell Technology) and colleagues have experimented with mice to develop a technique to generate stem cells but leave the embryo viable.

Read the full article about Robert Lanza here.