Valley Reaction, Stem Cell Debate

Fresno, CA, USA The reason scientists use embryonic stem cells in their quest to cure disease is because those cells can morph into any type of cell in the human body. But Brahm said from what he's read, there are other ways to develop cures for disease besides using human embryos.

Dr. Jason Bush is a researcher and biology professor at Fresno State specializing in cancer cells. He's excited about the possibilities of government funding available to research all kinds of human disease. Dr. Bush said embryonic stem cells can help with research of "any kind of degenerative disease, any kind of spinal cord related disease, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and cardiac disease."

As for the fear that embryos will be misused in the laboratory, Dr. Bush says there are many checks and balances in place to prevent that. "They have to be donated, "he said, "There has to be consent from the individuals. It's not some mad scientist in the lab doing Frankenstein kind of science. There is a protocol that has to be followed."

Researchers at Fresno State already have a protocol or plan for stem cell research, but now with the door open for federal funding they plan to apply for some of the money and could be doing stem cell research right here on campus in just a few years.


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