Advanced Cell Technology is clarifying its widely heralded research work on embryonic stem cells. In an embarrassing admission, the company's chief scientist says that all 15 embryos were destroyed in an experiment that was intended to show that new stem cell lines could be created without destroying the embryo. The clarification in turn is forcing the journal Nature to correct its statement that the company's researchers had created new colonies of stem cells while leaving the embryo intact. In an earlier interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, ACT chief scientist Robert Lanza said that some of the embryos had survived and were returned to frozen storage. Lanza now says he was referring to embryos that were used in experiments complementary to its work.
"It's deeply disturbing," David Magnus, director of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, told the Inquirer. "But I think it speaks to why we need state and federal funding of this research. Otherwise, we're dependent on small, under-funded companies like Advanced Cell Technology to do the work. They have a history of making somewhat spurious announcements when they're in need of cash."
- check out the article on ACT from The Philadelphia Inquirer
PLUS: New state rules in Massachusetts regarding embryonic stem cell research are being harshly criticized by some researchers who say they criminalize aspects of the work and runs counter to a new state law intended to encourage stem cell research. Report