NEJM -- Bankrolling Stem-Cell Research with California Dollars
Posted by Clark Venable on 10/21/2004
NEJM--Bankrolling Stem-Cell Research with California Dollarscontains a very informative passage about how stem cells are obtained:
""What is at issue here is that the derivation of an embryonic stem-cell line requires the dissection and culturing of about 30 cells from the core of a blastocyst, a microscopic early-stage embryo comprising fewer than 200 cells. The derivation process kills the embryo, even as the stem cells persist and propagate. The embryos themselves are obtained from in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics, where excess embryos are typically produced in the course of assisted-fertility procedures. An estimated 400,000 IVF embryos are currently in frozen storage and will eventually be discarded, except for those that are donated, with informed consent, for use in research. Some religious conservatives and opponents of abortion have taken a firm stance on what seems to be tenuous, ultimately unsustainable moral, ethical, or logical ground: acquiescence to the discarding of excess IVF embryos, coupled with rigid opposition to the use of embryos for biomedical research.""
The same issue contains another article titled Embryonic Stem-Cell Research — The Case for Federal Funding. Both are available free (kudos to NEJM for this).
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