Monday, September 05, 2005
Stem Cells Not the Miracle Cure?
As I suspected
, they've been oversold
:A leading scientist who pushed for the controversial research into embryo stem cells will warn today that the challenges are so huge that any cures for disease lie a long way in the future.
Lord Winston, who pioneered fertility research in the UK, is to tell the British Association for the Advancement of Science, meeting in Dublin, that during the political campaign to push through legislation in 2001, some parliamentarians were led to believe that clinical treatments were "just around the corner". Some of the lobbying came from patients' groups, but it was stimulated by scientific observations."I view the current wave of optimism about embryonic stem cells with growing suspicion. Embryonic stem cells replicate very slowly in culture, and it may well be that in the culture systems where you want to grow them the selective pressure is in favour of the faster growing cells, the ones of course which are most likely to be genetically abnormal," he said.