Cloning and Stem Cell Work Earns Nobel

Shinya Yamanaka and John B. Gurdon, the two scientists who were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday, helped lay the foundation for regenerative medicine.

Comments: 70

  1. Dr. Yamanaka has two affiliations--Kyoto and Gladstone Institute in San Francisco, as noted correctly on the Nobel Foundation website. However this article fails to mention the San Francisco affiliation.

  2. Kinda sad that all of his postdoctoral training and half of his current appointment involve an American institution (UCSF's Gladstone) but American's paper of record fails to mention it.

  3. I agree. But, apparently, he brought some US attitudes and practices to Japan that traditionally preferred (and, perhaps, still prefers) to improve on other peoples' ideas rather than to take chances with something truly original.

    PAD - post American depression was duly noted in the article.

    American science is rarely ignored by the Nobel committee. American literature is but that is entirely different story.

  4. This is wonderful news. Sir John did work worthy of the prize half a century ago. He's still working and that level. The article needs to be clearer--John is the father of cloning. He has always been a big deal. Congratulations to him and to Magdalene College, Cambridge!

  5. But he cloned the frog at the University of Oxford where he read zoology.

  6. Hooray! The importance of basic research in embryology (Gurdon) is once again recognized.

  7. Today is not for condemning religious ignorance. It's for celebrating science.

  8. Ethical and religious reservations apart, considering the regenerative medicine potential and the damaged organ repair aspects, the stem cell research, that's at much advanced stage now, would receive further boost by attracting the Noble prize.

  9. Both cloning and stem cell research are considered "junk science" and "against God" by right-wing Republicans and Tea Party members. Nice to see the grown-ups making their voices heard.

  10. Sweden is a civilized country where the importance of science is recognized. I am glad that the importance of this work that will eventually benefit all humanity is being recognized. What a sad state our own country is in with extremely right-wing Republicans and Tea Party members likely to have an even stronger voice in our government after the election. ( The science committee of the US house at present includes a represenatative who believes that the age of the earth is 4000 years and that any other belief is the work of the devil and anohter who believes that if its legitimate rape the victim can't get pregnant. The US is likely to have Republican house. Is there any hope for science in the US?)

  11. I think medical researchers/doctors have been dealing with this since the inception of curing people, not just modern medicine.

    When bleeding-edge technology is invented, it's decried as "junk" (and in many cases this is true). Once it's darn obvious it works, it's still "against God" because it's not understood or dangerous to dogma/the status qou. Lastly, it's finally accepted because not accepting it (and using it) puts that individual or group at a finally notable disadvantage. They must accept and use it, or stop being relevant.

    Think about the middle ages when it was against the law to dissect humans. Autopsies are the cornerstone of anatomy and the foundation of physiology, yet they were illegal under junk science and religious grounds. Today, not using autopsies would be equated with sharpened-stick, caveman thinking.

    I think stem cell science will be similar because once regenerative medicine starts helping people with chronic, irreversible, and even genetic illnesses -- they will come around. Once regenerative medicine starts doing absolutely wondrous things, like sealing critical lacerations in under a minute with no surgery -- everyone will accept it and we won't look back.

  12. If the responders don't like the GOP approaches to basic scientific research, get out and vote on November 6! Ignorance needs to be combated.

  13. This is great news and well-deserved for these stem cell pioneers! But many stem cell researchers such as myself are curious why the Nobel Committee left the third slot available for each prize unawarded for this stem cell discovery? Why not award it to Jamie Thomson, who first made human ES cells, or someone else like Rudy Jaenisch instead of leaving it unawarded. It is a fascinating point. Great day for stem cell research!

    I discuss this all more here:

    http://tinyurl.com/92cvxwv

    Paul Knoepfler PhD
    Associate Professor
    UC Davis School of Medicine

  14. Exciting discoveries, and now we know, extraordinarily rich in their potential. Two important messages to take from this. The support of basic scientific research offers huge rewards for enriching human life and we don't always know what's "relevant" when a discovery is first made. Surely these provide compelling reasons to continue support for basic research and higher education in the sciences. Such advances are seriously threatened by mindless across-the-board cuts in spending. Our leaders need to act as stewards of our highest attainments, not vote-hungrty populists.

  15. Aritcles like this are the primary reason I read (and now pay little bit of money) the Times. The great late Punch, according to his obiturary, has been personally responsible for that: he favored the Science section over other stuff of no particular interest to me.

    Nicholas Wade is one of about 10 outstanding science writers the Times was lucky to find. I am a very, very retired scientist from a very different kind of science (chemical physics) but I had no trouble to understand the article that demonstrates, among other things, how long it has to take to get from point A (cloning a frog) to point B, a better understanding why this can actually be done.

    While Nobel Peace awards have always been bit controversial (to say nothing about the literature prizes), the science prizes have been, for the most part, well deserved and marked truly significant contributions to the advance of our knowledge.

    This one seems to be in the best tradition of that majority. My current hobby, astronomy, has not been awarded too many prizes - I reviewed that recently. Just as well: it would be wonderful to meetthe little green men of planet Altunda (extraterrestrial planets do not have names as of now anyway) but there is plenty time for that.

    Getting a new and improved limb or, to extrapolate, a heart made from your own cells will be really useful like tomorrow.

  16. I was ecstatic this morning to read about my science idol Dr. John Gurdon won the Nobel Prize for his pioneering work which was entered in text books long time ago. Sir John, congratulations! I wish I had the photograph of your handshake with me in Basel during the IX Congress of Developmental biology, way back in 1981. That was the high point of my science pilgrimage from India.

  17. It is great recognition,I congradulate both,A useful work,Quran the book of God like Bible stresses its readers to investigate and find wonders in the creation of man and animals.So wonderful invention.

  18. Stem cell research is so import to fighting certain kinds of cancers and Parkinson’s disease. This has nothing to do with religion and those that are afraid of scientist pressing “too far into nature’s mysteries and the ability to create life artificially” don’t have to take part in this wonderful discovery.

  19. Deserved acclaim for ground-breaking science. Now, if we can keep charlatan-funded politicians from stifling us, we can proceed towards further discoveries.

  20. Congratulations to both Dr Gurdon and Dr Yamanaka. Their pioneering efforts will eventually engender therapies for diseases that currently little or no effective treatment or cure.

    I do wonder though what the New York Times means by ethical concerns "that scientists are pressing too far into nature’s mysteries and the ability to create life artificially". So solving a puzzle is unethical? Knowing to too much is bad? So what if we can create life artificially - all life is, are the interactions of biomolecules. Life itself is 'artificial'. This prejudice against bio-science at the beginning of an article about the awarding of a Nobel Prize is something I find repugnant. Would you say the same about the physics Nobel prize? That maybe we shouldn't know too much about Einstein's photoelectric effect. Because the photo-electric effect is one of nature's mysteries. Science and progress is about overcoming ignorance - not glorifying it. Shame on you, New York Times.

  21. I agree that life is artificial, and that this is established by science.

  22. Re:robert

    How sad when even the most legitimate and crucial questions about the scientific enterprise can't be alllowed and tolerated. Knowledge is ALWAYS a double-edged sword; discovery, obviously = newness, which means people lack experience with applying the new knowledge. And we don' always do well with it. Witness how quickly a few arcane equations about mass and energy were used to design nuclear weapons. Look at the history of chemical warfare (gassing people, a great leap forward). Look at the history of DDT, at the effects of fossil fuels.

    In the case of cloning, of course there is a clear and enormous potential for abuse, along with astounding potential to benefit humanity as well as other sentient life forms. It is critical that we try to understand ALL of the potential impact.

    People sometimes prefer simplistic dichotomies; a current one is that our society is divided into the rational/progressive/pro-scientific vs the narrow-minded/intolerant/religious. It aint' that simple. Clearly people who conceive of themselves as pro-science can be as narrow-minded and unable to slef-criticize as anyone else. This issue, too should explored, and not swept under the rug.

  23. Re: Linda
    Yours is my favorite comment thus far - I am always shocked to see the confidence and arrogance that the proponents of scientific thinking seem to exhibit, in issues ranging from genetically modified foods, to stem cell research, to nuclear energy - it's either you believe wholeheartedly in "science", or you are irrational, backwards, narrow-minded, a Luddite - there is no room for nuance, ethics, consideration of the fact that humans are still humans, with their desires and vices along with their virtues. We have seen with other great discoveries the potential for harm, I am surprised the potential for harm is not brought up in these columns - but how could it be, when one will be shot down for being backwards and a barrier to progress.
    And I myself am a lover and student of the sciences, if that means anything.

  24. Both Dr. Yamanaka, a Japanese physician and researcher and Dr. Gurdon did great job!! The Nobel committee said they had "revolutionised" science. Their work is a wonderfully well-deserved Nobel Prize!

  25. John Gurdon is so well deserving of this recognition, he first showed that adult cells retain the ability to de-differentiate and re-differentiate into may cell types in the environment of the fertilized egg cell. It is wonderful for both of these scientists to be recognized together.

  26. Why didn't this writer acknowledge Dr. Yamanaka's primary position at University of California at San Francisco?

  27. I have mixed feelings.

    No, stem cells created by nuclear transplant are not an individual human or part of a human.

    And I hate to see suffering, especially when it involves children.

    However, the nature of medicine is such that most people on Earth will never benefit from this technology.

    As a Nobel Prize winner José Saramago points out in "Death with Interruptions", a world where no one dies will NOT be a happy place.

    I would also replace the word "Growth" with "Life" in Edward Abbey's quote about capitalism: "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of a cancer cell."

  28. Do you also have mixed feelings about organ transplants, hip replacements, open-heart surgery, CT scans? Most people on earth will not benefit from any of those technologies.

    If not, then the "anti" part of your mixed feelings is based on your own sense of its immorality. Which is fine. Don't avail yourself of these ways of healing when they reach the mainstream of medicine. But don't try to impose your gut opposition on others who are "suffering, especially when it involves children."

    No one is going to become immortal through these means. Just some modes of death will be preventable and some disabilities and disfigurements will be treatable.

  29. Way off base. Saramago's novel was about infinite aging without death; strokes without death; horrible car crashes with shattering injuries without death; not about cellular regeneration. A lousy example.

  30. The path of these scientists' careers reminds me of my husband's. He has Asperger's and a Ph.D. in immunology. It was said over and over again, as he grew up undiagnosed, that he would never do anything important, and that he would not get a Ph.D., even though he said he wanted to earn one. He proved everyone wrong, and he he is doing important scientific work now, and has made some important advances that are documented in scientific journals. The scientists who fit this description have the toughest time and are the most interesting, and they make the most important contributions to their fields.

  31. "the techniques they developed [...] have generated objections from people who fear, on ethical or religious grounds, that scientists are pressing too far into nature’s mysteries"

    Are we really in the twenty-first century and still have these problems limiting our society's advancement? Regardless of any conservative acceptance or approval at the moment, we will advance past this just as we did with every other scientific breakthrough of our history. Just think of the church's objection to Gallileo's theories on gravity, seems trivial now.

    Those outside the expert field of science should not have any role in the acceptance of proven studies, based on their own limited beliefs.

    Great work by the scientists in their fields.

  32. This is an excellent and well-deserved prize for two scientists who have made outstanding contributions to their fields.

    However, like some other readers I am surprised that some other scientists were not recognized, namely James Thomson whose lab first derived human embryonic stem cells and also first generated human induced pluripotent stem cells.

    Aside from the obvious controversy this would raise, I can see no reason why he should not be included in this prize.

  33. Some Republicans view this as the Devil's work. Do not look to the US for leadership in science if these types attain any power...some of them are already on the House Science and Technology Committee.

  34. It seems that the Neanderthals gravitate to the Science and Technology and Intelligence committees. Curious as to why...

  35. previously this was classed as "gods will". Now humans are barging into the territory. So far no push back from god. I suppose only the GOP can talk this over with god. At least they tell this--incessantly.

  36. Very smart guys no doubt. But in the end, it won't lead to much. One study leads to another and so on and so on. At this point, researchers have already taken us into areas of scientific complexity that will never be unraveled. Alzheimer's is here to stay.

  37. Yours is a lamentable and pessimistic position.

    Science is an amazing tool. It's capable of dealing with - and resolving - immense amounts of complexity... much more than even a planet full of "smart guys".

    However your frustration, I believe, comes from your seeing things appear to get complicated and - you might think - contradictory (one study contradicts another). This is not a problem -- it's seen by scientists as an asset. It means one "bad" (erroneously performed) study can't hijack the process and take us in the wrong direction. We use multitudes of studies to corroborate whether a "finding" is seen as just an anomaly, an axiom, a theory, or a "fact". Eventually, these multitude of studies start to "fill-in" a pattern and they show us a truer picture of our world (they show us the rules/"laws" that govern the universe -- and how everything works).

    As to the speed of scientific progress, there is one HUGE determinant to how quickly we start to fill-in any part of the picture. It requires: more studies and better studies -- which means more societal resources/funding. Either more scientists & labs for research, or better trained scientists & better equipped labs. Preferably both.

    The "complexity that will never be unravelled" isn't a problem. Complexity is a natural and controlled part of how "smart guys" (and smart gals) do science.

    If we gave more funds to science (instead of a teeny-tiny part of our GDP), we would see faster progress and even greater advances.

  38. I applaud Drs. Yamanaka and Gurdon for the hard work and dedication that led to their discoveries in cell biology. But then, I applaud ALL hard-working and dedicated medical researchers. There are thousands of them all over the world. I'd like to give them all some kind of prize, not just the ones who happened to make the most significant discoveries. Sometimes I think the Nobel Prize is just a sophisticated lottery, where the award goes to the person who got lucky.

  39. I echo the comments on James Thomson's lack of inclusion for the prize. Perhaps I am partisan, because he was an undergraduate here at Illinois, but I think most knowledgeable scientists would recognize his contribution in showing that human skin cells could be rendered pluripotent ranks with the work of Yamanaka and Gurdon, especially since Thomson was the first to create human pluripotent cells. Although work with animal models is very important, the extension to human cells and tissue is often fraught with difficulty, and needs to be recognized as equally significant, especially for potential medical applications. Since three scientists can share the prize, this would have been an especially propitious time to recognize his contribution.

  40. How many times has a deserving person been left out? Lise Meitner, for example. Sometimes the Committee was a strange thought process.

  41. To me, the only way out of a wheelchair, or of blindness, Parkinson's and many other degenerative conditions is in stem cell biology. After 38 years in medical practice, it is easy for me to percieve how little we know and how far we still have to go. It was quite fitting that the Nobel people once more praised American science. We outside the US can only hope that Republican and religious fanatics don't take hold of scientific policies in your country. That would be a disaster for the whole world. And last but not least, I have sufferd from "PAD" in the past and this seems to be a very common condition for scientists training in the US and returning to their countries.....

  42. We in the US hope too religious fanatics dont take hold of our scientific policies. Yes there needs to be ethics and safeguards but for the purpose of genuine concern and avoid wrongful manipulation. We need progress while protecting the rights of people

  43. I agree, this article should mention Dr. Yamanaka's current affiliation with the Gladstone Institutes and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

  44. In 2010, while perusing my Pathology textbook (i am a medical student from India), i came across a small reference citing Takahashi and Yamanaka's work. I immediately went to our library and accessed the Cell (journal) paper in which their research was published . I was so excited to read it and thought that work like this deserves to be awarded the Nobel some day
    . The next day , inspired , i went to my med schools tiny stem cell center to get involved in some project but unfortunately the lab was too short of funds to involve me .
    Early this year , i spent my summer vacation working for 3 months in a molecular biology laboratory at Johns Hopkins Medical School , Baltimore on my first out of india trip. And i loved it.
    2years from today(when i ll get my med degree) i shall come to the USA again to begin my post doctoral training in molecular biology on heart stem cells at a US laboratory . Sonewhere in my career choice, the role of that inspiring Takahashi-Yamanaka paper will always remain crucial.

    V Sethi
    All India Institute of Medical Sciences
    New Delhi.

  45. V
    I hope I will be reading a NYT article with your name in it someday.
    Good luck.
    Carpe Diem .

  46. Why is the knee-jerk reaction by most of the left to denigrate the religious? I am a Christian, a right winger, an avid reader, and I enjoy science. Don't make the mistake of thinking we're all ignorant. That simply shows your own ignorance and bias. Let's be happy for these men, and happy for what this may mean for customized medical treatment in the future. This should be a celebrated event, not an excuse for bashing anyone.

  47. Of course this is not about you. It is about ignorant zealots that had banned use of embryo tissue in stem cell research during the Bush years.

  48. I agree - or that all Christians are politically right. I am Christian and identify with the center, which btw we could use more of but THAT's another article. Science is all around us and the actions of some churches should not be attributed to all Churches. It's too easy and does a disservice to the philosophy of scientific inquiry. Maybe it's easier for people who dont want to think, but it's plain wrong and pretty ironic if one is reading a scientific article

  49. You get included into the group of backward conservatives and religious fanatics that oppose these kinds of experiments, consider the bible the defining answer to nature, the universe and prevent many school districts from teaching scientific fact.

    From your description of yourself you are probably at lest two standard deviations form the mean. In fact reading and listening to Republicans and conservatives, many of us wonder how you who seem to be educated, could follow the Republican ideology.

    It is not a knee jerk reaction, it is simply that from what we see, the majority of Republicans have abdicated their responsibility to promote science and reason. There must be a reason the great majority of scientists are liberals. Some of the few exceptions have been like Edward Teller who was responsible for the H Bomb.

    People can not distinguish the individuals in a group, movement, social class from one another without knowing the individual. When any of us look at a class we can only surmise the individuals generally fall withing the standard deviation. That is the only guide there is to make a presentation to that group, be it selling cars, or ideology.

    So you may be an exception, from a statistical point of view you are, thus if someone is going to criticize the group you identify with, they simply take the chance on insulting the one in on hundred of that group that does not fit the profile. But you have chosen to be identified with a group of Troglodytes.

  50. Wonderful news! As a high school student involved in research who hopes to become a clinician scientist someday, I think it's important that governments realize the necessity of investing in basic science research. Sure, it's not usually flashy right off of the bat and doesn't provide instant gratification, but the knowledge gained is extremely valuable and can often help down the road-in the clinic.

    I often hear from scientists that funding is horrible, MD-PhD programs are badly organized etc. etc. and it's important for we, as people, to take science seriously and elect legislators who understand the benefits of research. I'm looking at you, Missouri!

  51. Don't listen too hard to the gloom-and-doomsayers. Good think Gurdon didn't! Funding is tough but these things go in cycles. Science is a beautiful and exciting way of looking at the world, and doing science really has its own rich rewards. Keep the faith and dive into what interests you with your whole heart (and brain) Good luck!
    --Clinician-scientist

  52. I also share your hope that society promote/fund science, but I won't hold my breath. It's quite unlikely, since it's against nature (the laws of physics). It requires educating many people to a level high enough that they understand basic science -- to make informed decisions on science.

    This is contrary to the law of entropy, which says "things" (systems: such as a person or a populace) tend toward states of disorder, over time. The laws of physics tell us it's easier for a person to be disordered (i.e., dead/decomposed, diseased, dysfunctional, or dimwitted) rather than in an ordered state (alive, healthy, normal, or intelligent). It requires large amounts of effort/energy (in terms of physics) to keep many people educated enough that they "vote" for science and its funding. Unfortunately that is very unlikely.

    I would still encourage you, and anyone contemplating science, to pursue it fully. It can be truly rewarding. Just make sure you find a good mentor (this means: don't allow bad mentors to deter you, just find a better one).

    Don't worry about whether other people accept this field, or whether it has the societal authority & admiration it deserves. Currently, we have sufficient numbers of scientists to keep things moving forward (and stay uncrowded). Though your point about funds is real and important. This can be a true diversion, but it can also lead to more creative, less costly methods for research.

    Yes, it's sad Missouri has medieval politicians.

  53. As a graduate student in the 1960s I remember reading about Dr. Gurdon's frog straight forward, yet elegant nucleus transfer experiments. I was tremendously impressed by their implications about the totipotency of cells and embryonic development.

    In the years since, I occasionally wondered why such ground-breaking research had never won the Nobel Prize. I am glad that Gurdon is still alive to smell the flowers.

  54. I have struggled to make sense of this article, but as a Republican I am hopelessly confused and befuddled.

    About the only thing I thought I could figure out is that it wasn't about the Republicans at all. But then I figured I must be wrong, because the Republicans were all that the commenters were talking about.

  55. Well, Tim, that would be because the Republicans are the anti-science party (global warming is a fraud, rape victims can magically prevent pregnancy, etc.), so it is nice to see once again science shoving it in their faces.

  56. iPSCs are an extremely exciting part of modern biology, and while there is plenty of work left to do to characterize their potential, it is impossible to not feel enthusiastic when looking at a dish containing beating heart cells which were derived from an adult skin cell.

    Ironically, for those who were frustrated by George W.'s ban on federal research funding for new human embryonic stem cells, myself included, one could make a strong argument that it was the imposition of this ban which helped drive basic research forward to the breakthrough (and hESC alternative) of iPSCs. (I fully support basic research on hESCs, and iPSCs will not be useful without a point of reference to hESCs, but I have to laugh a little at the role the Great Decider played in spurring on this discovery.)

  57. I'm wondering if this research offers and new hope for stroke patiends with partial paralysis the hand? This queston is me focused. But I also marvel at what the research of these two men offers to humanity.

  58. This a wonderful accomplishment. Yet there remain significant hurdles remaining.

    We must continue on this area of research, and develop it into full treatment regimens. If we do, the possibilities are endless. It has the real potential of treating and/or curing these ailments, and probably many more we can't yet imagine:

    - cancers (most types),
    - any disease/failure of an organ/organ system (e.g., heart, lung,
    pancreas/diabetes, liver, visual, auditory, CNS, musculature, etc)
    - immune failures/compromise (such as viral/HIV infections,
    allergies, arthritis, lupus, autoimmune diseases, etc)
    - Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and other neuro-degenerative diseases,
    - Blood disorders (hemophilia, leukemia, anemia, etc)

    Of course there will also be unforeseen effects, perhaps an increased prevalence of cancers or other diseases. However these "complications" are probably worth the risk, given the tremendous benefits human-kind (and animals too) would gain.

    It's an area of science that can (and eventually will) revolutionize healthcare and our longevity. It will significantly increase of our lifespan and quality of life -- eventually, by decades.

    A question for our governments & politicians: who is bold and forward-thinking enough to propel their nation into a position of scientific and healthcare advantage?

    Wonderful stuff!!!

  59. Super happiness of the pioneering spirit! Prof. Yamanaka got it in the Japanese social culture in which "Greatness has its penalties", due to the blessing grace of "Inscrutable are the ways of Heaven"- he really felt, in citing this proverb in China -.

  60. Can you believe that Yamanaka won Nobel prize for IPS cell fraud that so far has no evidences iPS cells are stem cells, nor can cure any disease or use for medicine, irresponsible sciences, anyone with any scientific knowledge should know iPS cells are abnormal as cancer cells, sad for Nobel prize. It is Nobel committee biggest mistake. see more at http://sdrmi.org/wordpress

  61. Re:SCR8

    iPS Cells are induced Pluripotency Cells. You obviously have received your information from the wrong source. iPS Cells were formed by removing the epigenetic modifications of adult somatic cells. This means that iPS Cells then have the same pluripotency and potential as ESCs (embryonic stem cells). Although it is rare to have fully functioning iPS Cells, simply because of the low chances of wiping out ALL the epigenetic modifications done to the DNA of the adult somatic cells, it does exist. Cancer cells are simply out-of-control gene expression. iPS cells, on the other hand, are created by inducing endogenous expressions of Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2, which were previously blocked as the cell differentiated and aid in reprogramming of the genome.

  62. Thank you for your comment. You accurately wrote the words I wanted to wrote to SCR8.

  63. Amazing story.

  64. We, as humans, are a part of nature. We are natural beings. The things we do are a natural extension of our nature as humans, and as stated previously, humans are a part of nature. Therefore, anything we create is also a part of nature. For instance, paper and plastic are a part of nature because other parts of nature, humans, created them.

    Simply because something did not exist at the beginning of time does not render it unnatural. Many new species have formed since then, and many new species are currently forming. Just as new species form and become a new part of nature, the things species create also become a new part of nature.

    Should a dam created by a beaver not be considered natural because it blocks the natural/intended flow of the river? No, a dam is created by a natural being, and therefore it too is a part of nature. The same logic applies to this and other research that is considered to "stretch the bounds of nature."

    Humans cannot do anything unnatural because anything we do is a part of nature herself.

  65. I am not one to believe that all the "brains" in the world only reside in our "American Exceptionlism" country. But I recall when Bush 2 only allowed 25 (if I remember correctly) lines of cells to be used for research because of religious reasons not to use "fresh" embryonic stem cells, many said at the time this would delay research or put American research behind in this area. Whether that be true or not, the promise of stem cell research by these two wonderful scientists and the opportunity it presents for helping humans with eradicating certain diseases and possibly other areas in medicine is wonderful. It is a great salve that is opposite to those two congress persons from the rural and southern tier of our country that forget science by saying "you can't get pregnant because of forcible rape" or "I am a medical doctor and my own research tells me the earth is 9000 years old"! And, these two idiots sit on our congressional science committee!

  66. "objections from people who fear, on ethical or religious grounds, that scientists are pressing too far into nature’s mysteries ..."

    No, no, no. The objection is to EMBRYONIC stem cell research. This is ADULT stem cell research. Critics of ESCR have been cheering ASCR for a decade.

    Even so - let's say we are talking about ESCR - the objection is to the destruction of human embryos, and to the creation of human embryos for the purpose of destroying them. Find me someone who's saying that scientists are "pressing too far into nature’s mysteries." No one is saying this. Stop creating fantasy straw men. It's hot how FAR, it's HOW.