A Serbian scientific team has come up with a way to develop new embryonic stem cell lines without deliberately destroying an embryo. Taking 13 "arrested," or dead embryos in which cells have stopped dividing, the researchers were able to create one new embryonic stem cell line. Their work is published in the journal Stem Cell.
In vitro fertilization clinics typically dispose of the arrested embryos once the cells stop dividing. The hope of the scientific team is that this use of "dead" embryos avoids any intentional destruction of embryos, which the Bush administration and many of its supporters find morally repugnant. Whether it is enough to satisfy opponents, though, is uncertain at best. When recently presented with the theoretical possibility of developing new embryonic stem cell lines without harming a living embryo, the Bush administration as well as the Vatican quickly turned thumb's down.
- here's a report on the research from The Guardian