Will new method of stem cell extraction solve ethical concerns?
Procedure derives cells without destroying embryos
Sep 19, 2006
Scientists unveiled last month a new way to derive potentially life-saving stem cells from an embryo without destroying it, but some abortion opponents said they regard the proposed method as unethical.
In the online version of the journal Nature, researchers from Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) told how they extracted single cells from 16 embryos and let the cells grow overnight. Once the single cell had broken into two, scientists used one to grow new stem cell lines whose regenerative potential might hold keys to curing diseases such as Parkinson’s. Of the 91 cells removed, two yielded viable stem cell lines.
The technique of extracting one cell from an eight-celled embryo has for 10 years been used in fertility clinics to assess the genetic health of an embryo before it is implanted in a woman’s uterus. ACT says “more than 1,500 healthy children have been born following the use” of this method.