Wednesday, November 21, 2007
OK. Everyone take a deep breath ....
It's just another small step towards understanding development and regulation. We've been expecting it for months [Reprogramming Somatic Cells].
It's not that big a deal. Frogs were cloned from somatic cells over 40 years ago. Sheep and lots of other animals have also been cloned from somatic cells. We know that somatic cells can be reprogrammed. Now we know a little bit more about how to do it.
This is not the end of an "ethical" dilemma. Lots of countries were already allowing work with human embryos to create embryonic stem cell lines. We've got lots of them. Sure, it means that the USA will have a better excuse to continue to block embryonic stem cell research but given the political climate that was probably going to happen anyway.
We're not helping science by turning this into a circus and creating false expectations of medical cures just around the corner. A little perspective is in order here.