Take Therapeutic Cloning Forward

What will the US Senate actually do about therapeutic cloning--the procedure of using nuclear transfer to derive embryonic stem cells?

Arlene Judith Klotzko
Jul 21, 2002

What will the US Senate actually do about therapeutic cloning--the procedure of using nuclear transfer to derive embryonic stem cells? The saga continues with the sudden plot changes, reversals of fortune, mischievous machinations, and the cliff-hanger ending worthy of a mystery thriller. The latest twist has not occurred in the Senate itself but in the laboratory. The journal Nature published two reports on stem cells in rodent models that are no less than thrilling to those of us who hope for--and wait for--cures. Ron McKay and his team at the National Institutes of Health have shown that stem-cell therapy actually works.1 In a rat model, mouse embryonic stem cells differentiated into neurons, secreting dopamine, and actually reversed the symptoms of Parkinson disease.

Research by Catherine Verfaillie and her team at the University of Minnesota demonstrates that a certain type of adult bone marrow cell, called MAPC, can differentiate into...