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NAS Report Likely Will Stir Debate

If research involving human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) is to achieve its potential for creating breakthrough medical therapies, additional new cell lines should be created, and therapeutic cloning--or somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT)--should be employed, according to an expert panel of the National Academy of Sciences. Both of these views are strongly opposed by the Bush administration, and the US House of Representatives has voted to outlaw human SCNT techniques by public and private resea

Ted Agres
If research involving human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) is to achieve its potential for creating breakthrough medical therapies, additional new cell lines should be created, and therapeutic cloning--or somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT)--should be employed, according to an expert panel of the National Academy of Sciences. Both of these views are strongly opposed by the Bush administration, and the US House of Representatives has voted to outlaw human SCNT techniques by public and private researchers. The NAS recommendations are likely to further fuel public policy debates over the future of human ESC research.

"Given the promise of stem cell research for treating and perhaps curing a variety of debilitating diseases, our committee felt strongly that research not be limited, but include work on both human adult and embryonic stem cells," stated committee chair Bert Vogelstein, professor of oncology and pathology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in...

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