Wednesday, September 08, 2004

First lady Laura Bush defended her husband's policy on embryonic stem cell research Monday, calling Democratic rival John Kerry's criticism "ridiculous" and accusing proponents of overstating the potential for medical breakthroughs.

"We don't even know that stem cell research will provide cures for anything -- much less that it's very close" to yielding major advances, Mrs. Bush said....

"I hope that stem cell research will yield cures," the first lady said. "But I know that embryonic stem cell research is very preliminary right now...."

--AP, August 10, 2004

Scientists in Britain said they have produced the world's first colonies of embryonic stem cells containing the genetic defect behind cystic fibrosis, in an apparent breakthrough in the fight against the disease.

Researchers from King's College London, speaking at the British Association Festival of Science at the University of Exeter, said it is the first definitive case of stem cells being created containing any kind of genetic disease defect....

CF clogs the lungs and other organs in the body with thick, sticky mucus, triggering repeated infections which ultimately lead to death....

[Stephen Minger, who headed the research,] said two US researchers had shown keen interest in the CF cells but had been prevented from using them because they were federally funded. The US government does not support experiments on human embryos.

--AFP, September 8, 2004

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