Scrambled Eggs: The Politics of Stem Cells

by Jennifer Lahl, CBC President on November 12, 2006


Bioethics: Missouri passes Amendment 2, which makes cloning a constitutional right. Meanwhile, scientists grow a liver from umbilical cord cells, real progress the media and grandstanding politicians ignore.

About the same time actor Michael J. Fox, former star of the appropriately named sitcom “Spin City,” was appearing in ads claiming Republican candidates were against “life-saving” stem cell research, British scientists announced a breakthrough in stem cell technology. They grew the world’s first artificial human liver in a lab using stem cells obtained from umbilical cord blood.

Remember, you read it here first. In fact, this might be the only place you’ve read it, given the mainstream media blackout of any successes resulting from the nonembryonic stem cell research that losing GOP candidates Michael Steele in Maryland and Jim Talent in Missouri, both targets of the Fox ads, supported enthusiastically.

Other than pro-life Web sites such as LifeNews, few noted the success of Nico Foraz and Colin McGuckin of Newcastle University. The two researchers successfully grew minilivers capable of being used to test new life-saving drugs and down the road providing life-saving treatment to patients in need of liver transplants.

“A story that doesn’t validate the stem cell mantra that embryonic stem cells offer the ‘best hope’ for future cures isn’t worth much attention,” writes leading bioethics critic Wesley Smith in the Weekly Standard. full article

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