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Discovery Institute Bioethicist Lauds Breakthrough in Stem Cells Research that Eliminates Need for Human Cloning

SEATTLE, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Scientists have announced that they successfully reprogrammed adult cells back to an embryonic-like state, opening the possibility of patient-specific medical treatments and research without the need to clone human life.

Wesley J. Smith, the Discovery Institute's Senior Fellow in Bioethics and author of Consumer's Guide to a Brave New World, hailed the breakthrough as demonstrating that ethical science is also good science: "Everyone should applaud this tremendous scientific achievement. We now have the very real potential of developing thriving and robust stem cell medicine and scientific research sectors that will bridge, rather than exacerbate, our moral differences over the importance and meaning of human life."

"This breakthrough demonstrates the creativity and intelligence of the science sector," Smith added. "I think President Bush deserves some credit for the exciting research into 'alternative methods' of deriving pluripotent cells. Had the president followed the crowd instead of leading it, most research efforts would have been devoted to trying to perfect embryonic stem cell and human cloning research-which despite copious funding have not worked out yet as scientists originally had hoped."

Smith called upon the NIH, state, and private research funders to shift their focus away from human cloning research and into the more viable alternatives.

"We should now move to outlaw all human cloning," Smith explained. "It is not only unethical to treat human life like an item of manufacture, but it will divert billions of dollars and many years of our best researchers' efforts way from areas of advancement that have the chance to do tremendous good without the terrible moral cost of permitting human cloning."

SOURCE Discovery Institute
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