Recent news reports have focused attention on scientists who claim they've created embryonic stem cells by stimulating unfertilized eggs.
They go on to claim that by doing this they have come up with an ethical way to use embryonic stem cells and will also be using cells genetically matched to the female whose egg they use. If this sounds more than a bit bizarre to you, then we agree. Something smells yucky in the lab!
A debate has arisen among ethicists about whether or not the alleged process is acceptable, but most seem to have ignored the obvious fact that whatever these scientists create in their Petri dishes, it will not be a genetic match to the woman because her DNA is unique to her and the entity's DNA will be different.
This process can also be defined as therapeutic cloning, and we all know that is unethical. As Father Tad Pacholczyk of the National Catholic Bioethics Center told a reporter, "My view is that if these grow as organized embryos for the first few days and then arrest, they may just be very short-lived human beings."
We agree, and wish these scientists would invest their time and energy into ethical alternatives using adult and cord blood stem cells, But then again, there is no financial reward in doing the ethical thing these days.