The reintroduction of a bill for federal taxpayer support of human embryonic stem cell research by U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), will waste taxpayer funds on unworthy science and possibly delay cures for patients. While the text of the bill isn’t yet available at this writing, sources say it will be close or identical to her previous offering in the 111th Congress.
Adult stem cell researchers James Sherley and Theresa Deisher have filed their brief asking federal court to grant their pending motion for summary judgment and finally ban federal funding of illegal, unnecessary, and unethical “research in which” human embryos are “knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death” in violation of federal law.
Reuters is reporting that Advanced Cell Technology has enrolled the first two patients for its experiments on human eyes using injected embryonic stem cells.
NIH Director Francis Collins has added two more lines of human embryonic stem cells to its Registry, bringing the current total to 93 lines approved for federal funding.
A new report published online in Nature describes how Stanford scientists turned mouse skin cells directly into nerve cells, without any intermediate stem cell step. Starting with mouse skin cells in the lab dish, they added three nerve-specific genes using viruses. According to senior author Marius Wernig, the “induced neuronal cells” are fully functional.
Scientists at Stanford report that they can turn human skin cells directly into functioning nerve cells in the lab dish. The process does not involve an intermediate step of forming a stem cell, but directly converts skin cells into neurons.
The story of the “Berlin Patient”, Timothy Ray Brown, has popped up again in the news, as we approach the 30th anniversary of the discovery of HIV, the AIDS virus. The story is indeed captivating–Brown has experienced a functional cure of his AIDS due to a targeted adult stem cell transplant.
Stem cell research continues to move ahead. Not embryonic stem cell research, however, which relies on the destruction of young human life.