Sunday, January 07, 2007

Morality-Free Stem Cells

Anthony Atala and coworkers at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine reported in Nature Biotechnology that they have been able to harvest stem cells from amniotic fluid. The cells, named amniotic fluid-derived stem (AFS) cells, exhibit characteristics between embryonic and adult stem cells. These AFS cells, unlike embryonic stem cells, are readily available; the researchers collected them from backup amniotic fluid samples from amniocentesis, which does not usually harm the fetus or the mother. So far AFS cells have successfully been used to create muscle, bone, fat, blood vessel, nerve and liver cells.

Can anyone object to using these cells on moral grounds? Let's hope not.

Source: EurekAlert, NewScientist

Edit: CNN just posted this story.

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