Vatican funding Adult Stem Cell Research
With the financial backing of the Vatican, University of Maryland researchers will lead an international group of scientists to study adult stem cells from the intestines with the hope of discovering treatments for diseases while bypassing the ethical debates that have embroiled such research for a decade.
This is not the first time the Roman Catholic Church has funded stem cell research, said Richard Doerflinger, associate director of pro-life activities at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Catholic dioceses in South Korea and Australia have supported adult stem cell research with grant money, he said.
“The Vatican has been very interested in adult stem cell research for many years,” he said. “I think it’s a logical outgrowth of the church’s interest in this field and of promoting ethically sound and beneficial stem cell research.”
As one of the scientists points out,
“We don’t have to get into the issue of ‘Is this destroying life?’” said Dr. Curt Civin, director of Maryland’s Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. “We just don’t have to get there. This solution to obtaining cells in a totally ethically unconflicted way is here.”
This is great news, since the research with adult stem cells has been very promising. (And very under-reported.)