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Widespread support for nonembryonic stem cell research, VCU Life Sciences Survey shows
Date:12/18/2007

The VCU Life Sciences Survey is the first poll to reflect the discovery reported internationally in November that human skin cells can be used to create stem cells or their near equivalents. When asked about the implications of this development, more than six in 10, or 63 percent, say that both embryonic and non-embryonic stem cell research is still needed, 22 percent say this development means embryonic stem cell research is no longer necessary. Thirty-eight percent of Americans report hearing about this research.

Three-quarters of the U.S. public supports stem cell research that does not involve human embryos. Majorities of nearly all groups in society, including those with differing beliefs about abortion and religious commitment, favor non-embryonic stem cell research, according to the survey released Wednesday.

The findings are part of this years nationwide survey conducted by VCU via telephone with 1,000 adults nationwide from Nov. 26, 2007, to Dec. 9, 2007. The polls margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. The survey is conducted for VCU Life Sciences and the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences by the VCU Center for Public Policy.

Other survey findings:

  • Embryonic stem cell research. A majority (54 percent) of Americans strongly or somewhat favors embryonic stem cell research, a figure that has remained about the same since 2004. As in past surveys, opinion on embryonic stem cell research is strongly related to views on abortion, religious commitment and self-assessed knowledge about stem cell research. The partisan divide over embryonic stem cell research remains roughly the same since 2004.

  • Personal impact of genetic research. Roughly four in 10, or 38 percent, report having a disease or medical condition strongly related to genetic factors or having a family member with such a disease or condition. Among this group, 57 percent say that medical research on genes and gene
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Contact: Anne Buckley
albuckley@vcu.edu
804-828-6052
Virginia Commonwealth University
Source:Eurekalert

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