Scientists' Stem Cell Breakthrough Ends Ethical Dilemma

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have found a way to make an almost limitless supply of stem cells
that could safely be used in patients while avoiding the ethical
dilemma of destroying embryos.

In a breakthrough
that could have huge implications, British and Canadian scientists
have found a way of reprogramming skin cells taken from adults,
effectively winding the clock back on the cells until they were
in an embryonic form.

The work has
been hailed as a major step forward by scientists and welcomed by
pro-life organisations, who called on researchers to halt other
experiments which use stem cells collected from embryos made at
IVF clinics.

Sir Ian Wilmut,
who led the team that cloned Dolly
the Sheep
and heads the MRC
Centre for Regenerative Medicine
at Edinburgh University where
the work was done, said: "This is a significant step in the
right direction. The team has made great progress and combining
this work with that of other scientists working on stem cell differentiation,
there is hope that the promise of regenerative medicine could soon
be met."

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7, 2009

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