The following comes from an October 8 story from Catholic News Agency.
Moral theologian Father Thomas Berg is praising the work of Shinya Yamanaka, the winner of this year’s Nobel Prize in medicine, for helping to “put human embryonic stem cell research largely out of business.”
Yamanaka and John B. Gurdon, researchers in cell biology, were awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their discoveries about the generation of stem cells.
“Yamanaka will be remembered in history as the man who put human embryonic stem cell research largely out of business, motivated by reflection on the fact that his own daughters were once human embryos,” Father Berg, professor of moral theology at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, N.Y. told CNA Oct. 8.
Gurdon’s research was conducted in 1962 and showed that it is possible to reverse the specialization of cells. He removed a nucleus from a frog’s intestinal cell and placed it into a frog’s egg cell that had its nucleus taken out.
That egg cell was then able to develop into a typical tadpole, and his work was the basis for later research into cloning.
Until Gurdon’s findings, it was believed that cell development could only happen in one direction, and that a mature cell nucleus could never become immature and pluripotent. A cell is called pluripotent if it can develop into any type of cell in the body.
Building on Gordon’s work, Yamanaka published a paper in 2006 demonstrating that intact, mature cells can become immature stem cells. He inserted genes into mouse cells which reprogrammed those cells so that they became stem cells.
These reprogrammed cells are pluripotent. Yamanaka’s breakthrough opened the door to studying disease and developing diagnosis and treatments.
Since this technique can produce a stem cell from any cell, it provides an alternative to embryonic stem cells, which are derived from destroyed human embryos.
“There is every potential for the morally licit use of the technique developed by Dr. Yamanaka – cell reprogramming. No part of the process need involve ethically tainted source cells,” said Father Berg.
The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community announced that this “is an important milestone in recognising the key role that non-embryonic stem cells play in the development of new medical therapies, as alternatives to human embryonic stem cells.”
The announcement of the prize contrasts the success achieved in using non-embryonic stem cells with the disappointing results from embryonic stem cells. The commission’s statement noted that “recently GeronCorp., the world’s leading embryo research company, announced it was closing down its stem cell programme.”
To read entire story, click here.
The children of this world (like GeronCorp) are often more prudent than the children of light in their own affairs. The only justification for embryonic stem cell research was and remains to serve as an additional justification for abortion.
Great news. Now there is no reason whatsoever for the bankrupt state to continue the goulish practice of funding the use of human embryos for experimental research.
Dr. Yamanaka is still a big advocate of embryonic stem cell research. Fr. Thomas Berg should know that.
Great science, a terrific blow to whatever credibility remains for the culture of death.
PS: Nice job, President Obama.
You allowed Federal dollars to be spent harvesting stem cells from human factories, just in time to see the whole enterprise collapse in the face of real science.
Dear God I hope and pray this fellow loses the election.
The Church is always right.