Skip to content

STEM CELL BREAKTHROUGH? Have researchers achieved 'therapeutic cloning' of adults?

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
4/21/2014 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

U.S. prohibits use of federal funds for either reproductive or therapeutic cloning

For the first time, researchers claim to have achieved "therapeutic cloning" of adults, which involves producing embryonic cells genetically identical to a donor. It marks the first step in what is called reproductive cloning, or producing a genetic duplicate of someone. The technique remains hotly controversial. The United Nations called upon countries to ban it in 2005, and the United States still prohibits the use of federal funds for either reproductive or therapeutic cloning.The Church does not object to the use of stem cells, as long as the cells used do not take human life. In fact, the Church has long been supportive of adult stem cell research. It has actually produced the most promising and verifiable advances. However, her watchful eye on protecting the dignity of every human life, at every age and stage, is essential - as medical science enters into these morally complex areas. All science must be placed at the service of the person, respecting human dignity and not turn persons into products to be used.

The ultimate goal must always respect the dignity of every human life

The ultimate goal must always respect the dignity of every human life

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
4/21/2014 (3 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Cloning, stem cells, research, dignity of life,


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Researchers created patient-specific cell lines out of the skin cells of two adult men last week. The very same technique was used to create Dolly, the clone of a sheep in 1997.

The study was funded by a foundation and the South Korean government.

Check out our fine selection of Bibles -- by going here!

If confirmed, some say it could prove significant. Many illnesses may one day be treated with stem cells, such as heart failure and vision loss, primarily affect adults. Patient-specific stem cells would have to be created from older cells, not infant or fetal ones. A long and arduous process, the scientists created stem cells only once for each donor out of 39 tries.

Outside experts had different views of the study, which was led by Young Gie Chung of the Research Institute for Stem Cell Research at CHA Health Systems in Los Angeles.

Some were quick to shortchange the announcement. Stem-cell biologist George Daley of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute called it "an incremental advance" and "not earth-shattering."

Reproductive biologist Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health and Science University was more positive. "The advance here is showing that [nuclear transfer] looks like it will work with people of all ages," he said.

Mitalipov led the team that used nuclear transfer of fetal and infant DNA to produce stem cells last year. It was the first time it had been accomplished in humans of any age.Of course, the extraction of stem cells from any human embryonic person is always morally objectionable because such extraction takes the life of that embryonic person.

In therapeutic cloning, scientists use a zap of electricity to fuse a grown cell, usually a skin cell, with an ovum whose own DNA has been removed. The egg then divides and multiplies, and within five or six days it develops into an embryo shaped like a hollow sphere.

If the embryo were implanted in a human uterus, it could develop into a clone of the DNA donor, which is how Dolly was created. "Without regulations in place, such embryos could also be used for human reproductive cloning, although this would be unsafe and grossly unethical," Robert Lanza, chief scientist of Massachusetts-based biotech Advanced Cell Technology and a co-author of the new study, said.

The ultimate goal of some scientists is to grow these embryonic stem cells in labs. Technology would then turn into specialized cells for therapeutic use against an illness the DNA donor has, such as Parkinson's disease, heart disease, multiple sclerosis or type-1 diabetes. Because the cells are genetically identical to the donor's, they would not be rejected by the immune system.

The Church does not object to the use of stem cells, as long as the cells used do not take human life. In fact, the Church has long been supportive of adult stem cell research. It has produced the most promising and verifiable advances. However, her watchful eye on protecting the dignity of every human life, at every age and stage, is essential as medical science enters into these morally complex areas. All science must be placed at the service of the person and not turn persons into products to be used.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for MAY 2017
Christians in Africa.
That Christians in Africa, in imitation of the Merciful Jesus, may give prophetic witness to reconciliation, justice, and peace.


Comments


More Technology

Does the Vatican's top scientist believe in the Big Bang Theory? Watch

Image of Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno is the director of the Vatican Observatory.

Some people see faith and science as being at odds. They find it astonishing that the Church can embrace investigation into questions of ... continue reading


PEW RESEARCH - Experts predict the death of capitalism is near Watch

Image of Capitalism is a system whereby people freely exchange goods and services they value via a medium of exchange (money) to achieve their goals. But what happens when billions of people can no longer offer anything of value to the market?

The Pew Research Center has just published a major report on the future of work, jobs, and capitalism in the face of new technology and ... continue reading


People are going to attack robots, until this happens... Watch

Image of A robot on patrol at Stanford.

Robots are beginning to appear in public, the first generation that will share our public spaces. As they begin to appear, designers must ... continue reading


Scientists discover hobbits are real, but they're not related to us Watch

Image of A hobbit man compared to a modern human.

A diminutive species of hominid, known as a "hobbit" lived in Indonesia some two to 1.5 million years ago.  New research suggests they ... continue reading


Scientists think they know where MH370 REALLY is based on new research Watch

Image of Scientists testing the flaperon discovered it floats uniquely, changing the results of their tests.

Scientists are hopeful the search for Malaysia Airlines flight 370 will be renewed following tests that show the plane is likely in a new, ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.