Family Research Council

EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS & CLONING

David Prentice

  • Embryonic stem cells (ESC) derived from destruction of early human embryos
  • Destroys young human life; zero successful treatments or disease models
  • Basic biology: an embryo is the earliest stage of development in any life
  • Requires destruction of the embryo
  • Human ESC first derived in lab in 1998; mouse ESC derived in 1981
  • No patient treatments, few and modest success in mice

Sources of Embryos: Fertilized embryos; Cloned embryos

  • Frozen "leftover" embryos--a bait & switch; Not enough available, no genetic diversity
  • Need to create embryos for experiments--egg & sperm donors, or Cloning
  • Cloning--zero success getting cells after over 10 years of attempts

Destructive Embryo Research Offers False Promises

  • Problems continue to plague ESC research
  • Tumor formation; Misplaced tissue types, Malfunctioning cells; -Transplant rejection
  • Embryonic stem cell experts themselves note any potential treatments are decades away
  • Fertilization and Cloning both produce living embryos
  • Cloning, a.k.a. Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (technique used for Dolly the cloned sheep)
  • [Transfer of Nucleus (chromosomes) from Somatic Cell (body cell) into an egg cell to make clone]
  • Creating embryos for experiments will require massive harvest of women's eggs
  • Exploiting women's bodies as raw material for experiments, severe health risks, incl. death

ALTERNATIVE TO PRODUCE EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS

Technique developed for human cells in 2007, Japanese & U.S. scientists

"Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells" (iPS cells)

Use any cell (e.g., skin, blood), add genes to reprogram normal cell

Induced (reprogrammed) stem cells act like embryonic stem cells

  • No embryos, eggs, or cloning used
  • Can make iPS cell from any person, including any patient
  • Cheaper, easier than ESC, ethical (no destruction of human life)

Stem Cells for Patient Treatment--ADULT STEM CELLS

Currently treating thousands of patients for dozens of diseases

 

Meet The Author
David Prentice Senior Fellow for Life Sciences

Dr. David Prentice is Senior Fellow for Life Sciences at Family Research Council. Up to July 2004 he had spent almost 20 years as Professor of Life Sciences, Indiana State (Full Bio)

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