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Scientists Discuss Local Progress on Stem Cell Research

Audio

Aired 5/4/09

Nearly five years ago, California voters decided to provide $3 billion for human embryonic stem cell research. Despite continued debate over using human embryos, the progress and promise of stem cell research to treat disease marches forward.

Maureen Cavanaugh: As the saying goes, President Obama, "with a stroke of his pen," ushered in a new era in stem cell research. In March, the president lifted restrictions against the use of federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. That one act removed a huge barrier to what is a very promising area of medical science. Researchers have been telling us for several years now that stem cells may provide therapies and even cures for a variety of terrible illnesses including Parkinsons and Alzheimer's disease.

Embryologist Ric Ross pulls out vials of human embryos from a liquid Nitrogen storage container at the La Jolla IVF Clinic February 28, 2007 in La Jolla, California. The clinic accepts donated embryos from around the country through The Stem Cell resource which are then given to stem cell research labs for research.
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Above: Embryologist Ric Ross pulls out vials of human embryos from a liquid Nitrogen storage container at the La Jolla IVF Clinic February 28, 2007 in La Jolla, California. The clinic accepts donated embryos from around the country through The Stem Cell resource which are then given to stem cell research labs for research.

In this installment of our monthly series on Science and Ethics, we'll get an update on stem cell research - and hear about both the old and new ethical questions about that research.

Guests

Michael Kalichman, neuroscientist at UCSD, and co-director of the Center for Ethics in Science and Technology.

Catriona Jamieson, professor of medicine at UCSD and director of the Stem Cell Research Program at Moores UCSD Cancer Center.

Comments

Avatar for user 'KatyT'

KatyT | June 11, 2009 at 2:50 a.m. ― 4 years, 10 months ago

The issue regarding stem cell research, which was about to ban by President Obama isn’t yet over. There are no approved treatments or human trials using embryonic stem cells. A careless use of fetal stem cells can result in uncontrolled cell growth in the forms of tumors; this is according to a recent report. Nancy Reagan has argued expanded stem cell research could have helped her husband, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Nancy Reagan is in the headlines again. The spouse of the late President Ronald Reagan, went to the White House to meet with Michelle Obama and President Obama. She praised Obama for reversing the ban on stem cell research, and was honored at a White House lunch, part of the ceremonies was a new statue of Ronald Reagan. The President had made some disparaging remarks about Mrs. Reagan and her attending a séance, and he later apologized. (Mrs. Reagan had consulted with astrologers during Reagan's term.) The remark was intended as tongue-in-cheek, but lost on many. She praised Obama for reversing the ban on stem cell research, and was honored at a White House lunch, part of the ceremonies was a new statue of Ronald Reagan.

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