Abortion & Stem Cells

A few posts ago I was praising the prudence of Bush's original stem cell decision back in August 2001, because he held back the tide of government involvement in embryo destruction, buying scientists some time to find an ethical solution. Some interesting items in Ceci Connolly's story in WaPo today about the latest stem cell breakthrough. It sounds like mildly good news for us (delay at least in Senate action on stem cells).
Although I still don't understand why cures from adult stem cells haven't produced the same reaction, nonetheless, the latest Harvard research is making people realize that perhaps we don't need to destroy embryos.
The Harvard discovery complicates the Senate prospects because it offers the
tantalizing, albeit distant, prospect of creating genetically tailored hybrid cells without destroying new embryos. The technique used laboratory-grown human embryonic stem cells to "reprogram" the genes in a person's skin cell, turning that skin cell into an embryonic stem cell. In the future, scientists hope to begin the process with an adult cell and convert it into an embryonic cell before fusing it.
"All this is confirmation we will see breakthroughs without compromising ethical standards," said Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), a physician who has led opposition to embryonic stem cell research. "We're not going to have to go that way if we can just be patient and fund the basic science."
Now notice who objects.
"It's not as if this research says there is no need for embryonic stem cells," said Sean Tipton, spokesman for the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. "It continues to show the enormous potential of stem cell research and highlights the value of embryonic stem cells as a source of research material."