Friday, October 27, 2006


With approaching elections, debates about embryonic stem cell research have been given lots of attention. While issues of ethics have been brought up, weighing the destruction of embryos against possible medical breakthroughs, no one seems to have given much attention to related advancements in stem cell science.

Recently, a team of researchers at Advanced Cell Technology reported in the journal Nature that they have been able to remove singe cells from human blastomeres (cell groupings that result from mitotic divisions of the embryo) and coax these cells into forming embryonic stem cells with no harm to the embryo. If this procedure can be replicated successfully, then one side of the ethics argument may become irrelevant.