For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 9 Feb 2014.
Researchers from Japan and Boston have discovered that subjecting ordinary cells to stress will make them revert to a state in which they can make any cell in the body.
The research, published in the journal Nature last week, claims the method of reprogramming cells in mice bypasses both cloning and the use of chemicals. According to Mercator.net,
For years many stem cell scientists have insisted that ethical barriers to destructive research on embryos had to be dismantled because they are the best source of pluripotent stem cells. Persuaded by their arguments, many governments relaxed legislation on destructive embryo research. But if [these new] cells prove to be viable, both scientists and politicians will be looking rather silly.
On the other hand, if the cells are reproducible in humans, they may be implanted in a uterus and potentially develop into a human person, leading to further debate about the ethics of human cloning.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.