Monday, December 24, 2007

Our Press Release on the 'Christmas Breakthrough'

We sent out this press release this morning:
A Christmas Breakthrough:
Third Research Team Shows Human Cloning Is Not Necessary

ST. LOUS, MO – A new report published this week in the journal Nature shows that a third team of researchers has been able to “reprogram” ordinary skin cells to take on the properties of embryonic stem cells.

These new scientific breakthroughs hold real promise for savings lives without cloning human beings. In addition, Dr. Ian Wilmut – the scientist who cloned Dolly the Sheep – has even cited the new techniques has his reason for abandoning human cloning experimentation.

“The evidence continues to mount that human cloning is not necessary in the pursuit of lifesaving cures and treatments,” said Curt Mercadante, spokesperson for the Cures Without Cloning initiative to prohibit human cloning in Missouri. “And it underscores the need to pass a common sense prohibition on this dangerous, unproven and unnecessary practice.”

Reuters reports on the latest breakthrough:

Researchers get embryonic stem cells from skin (Maggie Fox, Reuters, 12/24/07)

A third team of researchers has found a way to convert an ordinary skin cell into valued embryonic-like stem cells, with the potential to grow batches of cells that can be directed to form any kind of tissue.

Their study, published on Sunday in the journal Nature, shows the approach is not a rare fluke but in fact something that might make its way into everyday use.

Scientists hope they are starting an age of regenerative medicine, in which people can get tailor-made treatments for injuries, diseases such as Parkinson's and diabetes, and in which scientists can study disease far better than before.

Dr. George Daley of Harvard Medical School and Children's Hospital Boston and colleagues got their skin cells from a volunteer, whereas the other two teams of researchers who have accomplished the feat got theirs from commercially available cells grown in labs - a seemingly small difference, but one Daley says shows it is feasible to get cells from any volunteer.

"Ours is the only group to go from skin biopsy to cell line," Daley said in a statement.

Cures without Cloning (CWC) is leading a broad-based, statewide coalition of grassroots organizations committed to prohibiting the cloning of human beings in Missouri. Interested citizens are invited to visit for more information.

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