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BioSpin: Why adult stem cell research successes get downplayed by the media

Wesley J. Smith

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Wesley J. Smith writes, "'Adult-Stem-Cell Breakthrough!' the headlines should have screamed. 'Stunning Discovery Could Mean No Need to Use Embryos in Research.' Unfortunately, with the notable exception of a front-page story in the Boston Globe, the mainstream media has significantly downplayed this potentially exciting scientific discovery."

Here's the scoop: As originally reported late last year in the medical journal Blood, Dr. Catherine M. Verfaillie and other researchers at the Stem Cell Institute, University of Minnesota, have discovered a way to coax an adult cell found in the bone marrow to exhibit many of the attributes that supposedly make embryonic stem cells irreplaceable to the development future "miracle" medical therapies. While there is still much research to be done, "multi-potent adult progenitor cells" (MAPCs) appear to be versatile, that is, capable of transforming into different types of tissues.

This should be a big story considering the intense controversy over embryonic-stem-cell research (ESCR) and the coming attempt in the United States Senate to outlaw human cloning (S.790)...Yet, when the potentially crucial discovery of an adult cell that could make embryonic destruction and therapeutic cloning unnecessary comes to light -- and just at the time when the United States Senate is about to argue whether to outlaw the cloning of human embryos -- other than the splendid Boston Globe article, the story has been significantly underplayed.

For the complete article go to the National Review Online website.



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