NewsTue Aug 15, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST
Scientists Backtrack on Embryonic Research Claims: Bait and Switch Reveals No Hope for Cures for 5 t
By Peter J. Smith
UNITED STATES, AugustÂ 15, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Scientific researchers are now beginning the tedious task of altering the public’s expectations of the aims of human embryonic stem-cell research, deviating from the primary goals of providing stem-cell therapies to cure diseases. In what amounts to a bait and switch, these researchers, no longer promising immediate theoretical cures for a myriad of diseases desired by a desperate public, are now justifying the research by claiming that human embryonic cells are instead marvelous research tools for investigating the mechanisms of disease rather than actively curing them.Â
According to the New York Times, a number of scientists continuing medical research on human embryos admit that the inherent difficulties of developing stem-cells from human embryos for therapeutic use place any cures - if possible in the first place - years down the road. Instead these researchers want to switch the primary focus from therapies to drug research or learning about diseases through embryonic stem cell experiments.
“Many of us feel that for the next few years the most rational way forward is not to try to push cell therapies,” said Dr. Jessell, a neurobiologist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. Dr. Jessell hopes that embryonic stem-cell research will yield drugs for neurodegenerative diseases within the next five years, conceding that a long time must pass before stem-cell based therapies will be considered effective.
Another neurobiologist at Columbia University Medical Center, Dr. Henderson admitted, “We all thought cell therapy first, then many of us realized there were a lot of hurdles to be crossed before that.”
“Stem cell biology is just a rubric that applies to many things going on in biology,” said John D. Gearhart, a stem-cell expert at Johns Hopkins University. “I personally feel that the beauty of these cells is that we’ll learn a lot about human biology and disease processes, and that that information will be more important than the cells themselves.”
However, this latest admission validates the conviction of many scientists and bioethicists who have opposed embryonic stem-cell research on the grounds of the dearth of evidence proving any practical possibility of obtaining the promised cures from embryonic stem cells. Instead embryonic stem-cell research is seemingly being exposed as a playground for scientists pushing this new front in human experimentation.
In a previous interview with LifeSiteNews.com, Dr. Peter Hollands, who holds a PhD in Stem Cell Biology from Cambridge University in the UK, and had worked as a clinical embryologist at Bourn Hall Clinic - the world’s first IVF unit said, “embryonic stem cells have yet to be used to treat any form of disease” and maintained that the real potential for cures exists in the use of adult stem-cells.
He added, “Adult and umbilical cord blood stem cells are readily available, have no objections associated with them and are tried and tested in clinical use. Umbilical cord blood stem cells, for example, have been used over 3000 times for 45 different diseases!”
However, funds that could advance real cures from ethical sources such as cord blood or adult stem-cells are siphoned off to embryonic stem-cell researchers, who whip up popular support among people through hollow promises of a medical panacea bought with the destruction of countless human beings.
David Kelly, a researcher and director of the Cures 1st Foundation, Inc. penned an article for the Seoul Times revealing that adult stem cells have consistently outperformed embryonic stem cells, which he indicated were “genetically unstable and function abnormally.” The recent statements from embryonic researchers justify for him his reasons for abandoning faith in embryonic stem-cell research in 2002: “a horrifying vision – the image of millions of desperate and trusting humans holding plates of hope to an empty sky.”
See Related LifeSite Coverage:
Adult Stem Cell Research: True Potential Sacrificed for Other Possibilities Says Biotech Writer
Why Embryonic Stem Cell Research? It’s About Human Engineering, Not Ending Disease
Canadian Stem Cell Expert Speaks Out on Adult vs. Embryo Stem Cell Research
Catholic Church NOT Opposed to Stem Cell Research: Catholic Bioethicist