Obama administration yet to lift stem cell limits

    The Obama Administration still hasn’t fufilled a campaign promise to remove limits on embronic stem cell research, causing concern in the medical community. WHYY’s Tom MacDonald reports

    The Obama Administration still hasn’t fufilled a campaign promise to remove limits on embronic stem cell research, causing concern in the medical community. WHYY’s Tom MacDonald reports

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    Transcript:

    Despite a campaign promise to do so, the Obama administration hasn’t lifted the policy imposed in 2001 by President Bush that mandated federal funding only be used for about 20 lines of stem cell colonies. Dr Kenneth Zaret of Fox Chase Cancer Center says more lines are urgently needed to develop cancer treatments.

    Zaret: The embronyic stem cells that are available now are limited in their capacity to form tissues as we would like to make them in tissue cultures or in a controlled environment and so we really need more of these lines to better understand how the tissues can be generated at will as well as to understand the basic processes that underly that.

    Susan Vadas is director of the Respect Life office at the Archdiocese, which is against use of embryonic stem cells for research.

    Vadas:
    The church’s stand is pretty straightforward, the church always has felt that life begins at the moment of conception.

    Vadas says the church isn’t completely against stem cell research. She says the use of adult stem cells either from the person’s own body or umbilical cord blood is acceptable. She adds many are watching to see how the Obama Administration handles the issue.

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