Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Embryos from stem cells - a different ethical concern

NPR today had an interesting story about new and different ethical concerns resulting from advances in stem cells research:
Scientists have solved one ethical dilemma by finding a way to make the equivalent of human embryonic stem cells without destroying human embryos. But a new ethical dilemma is looming. It may be possible to derive eggs and sperm from the stem cells. Will a child someday be born to a parent who started life as a stem cell line?
Listen to the story here.

But this new ethical issue is very different - its about how one may use these stem cells. Even if one bans the possible creation of embryo from these skin stem cells, other lines of research should totally be fine. But, yes, there should be a discussion about the possibility of children born from stem cell lines. I don't know much about this topic, but I guess the concern would specifically be regarding the creation of sperm and egg from the same stem cell line (i.e. from the same individual).

(Not directly related to the story above, but this segment provides information about embryonic stem cells research - from Nova ScienceNow).