The August issue of Time magazine is running a cover story about the ‘hope and hype’ of embryonic stem cell (ESC) research. The article lays out the advantages and disadvantages of multiple kinds of stem cell research, and comments on the odd way that – similar to global warming and evolution – the interaction of science and politics greatly complicate the issue.
From the article, ‘Opponents of ESC research … argue that you can’t destroy life in order to save it; supporters argue that an eight-cell embryo doesn’t count as a human life in the first place—not when compared with the life it could help save. Opponents say the promise of embryo research has been oversold, and they point to the cures that have been derived from adult stem cells from bone marrow and umbilical cords; supporters retort that adult stem cells are still of limited use, and to fully realize their potential we would need to know more about how they operate—which we can learn only from studying leftover fertility-clinic embryos that would otherwise be thrown away.’
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