Thursday, March 12, 2009

University of Michigan set to kill 400 human embryos

With the passage of Proposal 2, it is now legal to experiment on and kill human embryos in Michigan. The Detroit Free Press ran an article on March 9, 2009, which describes the University of Michigan’s plans to kill about 400 human embryos to create embryonic stem cell lines.

The press release announcing the new A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute Consortium for Stem Cell Therapies also notes that they are planning on creating induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell lines.
In addition to deriving new embryonic stem cell lines, researchers will use recently developed techniques to convert adult skin cells into induced pluripotent stem cells, known as iPS cells. These reprogrammed cells display the most scientifically valuable properties of embryonic stem cells, while enabling researchers to bypass embryos altogether.

So if iPS cells have the same properties as embryonic stem cells and don’t require the destruction of human embryos why are University of Michigan researchers so giddy about killing human embryos?