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After a decade and a half, stem cells remain a controversial topic

| | December 16, 2014

A couple of things helped lessen the [stem cell] controversy. By the late 2000s, researchers discovered other ways to create cells similar to embryonic stem cells without destroying human embryos, a promising advance that helped defuse the culture-war aspect. Then, in 2009, Obama somewhat loosened the Bush-era restrictions on federal funding for stem-cell research — and the compromise seemed to quiet both sides down a fair amount.

So, lately, scientists have been patiently continuing their stem-cell research in a less noisy atmosphere. And that work has actually led to a few advances — like restoring some sight in 10 patients with vision diseases. But the stem-cell controversy is far from dead. Researchers still might need cells from embryos to create certain treatments. If it turns out that non-embryonic stem cells aren’t good enough, that could re-ignite the culture wars.

Read full, original article: Stem cells were one of the biggest controversies of 2001. Where are they now?


The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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