June 30, 2022

Someday embryos will not be needed, says leading researcher

MIT scientist implies that they are basically benchmarks

Rudolph JaenischThere is more spin
in discussions of embryonic stem cells than in the average gyroscope. Even
eminent scientists tend to glide over the disadvantages of their preferred cell
type. But quite consistently throughout years of debate, four uses for these
cells have been mentioned: curing dread diseases, testing drugs, doing genetic
research, and benchmarking performance. What no scientist in favour of using
them has ever mentioned is that someday they would no longer be needed.

Until now. Dr
Rudolph Jaenisch, a leading and often-quoted researcher at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, told the New York Times that scientists currently need
embryonic stem cells to benchmark the performance of adult stem cells and induced
pluripotent stem cells. But then he admitted that this would not be
the case for ever. “Things are very much in flux,” he said. “We will probably
need human embryonic stem cells for a while. And then we probably will not need
them anymore.”  ~ New York
Times, Aug 25

Michael Cook
stem cells