Stem Cells in Maine
The politics of stem cells were examined on Monday, when leaders in the field of stem cell research came together in Salisbury Cove on MDI.
It's not the small minority of Americans who oppose stem cell research on religious grounds that concerns leading research scientists, secure in their belief that stem cells could be the key to curing such diseases as cancer, diabetes and Parkinson's.
It's the thousands of voters who simply don't understand the issue that keep scientists up at night, said Dr. Gary Gilliland, a professor at Harvard Medical School and a leukemia researcher at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, who spoke Saturday night at the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory Stem Cell Symposium.
The possible results from this kind of research are incredible.
If the ethical issues around embryonic stem cell research are resolved, sickle cell anemia and diabetes could be the first diseases "cured" in this way. Already, researchers know how to transplant the cells that can produce insulin or normal-shaped blood cells - if rare donor cells become available. With the procedure known as "nuclear transfer," doctors can simply make the cells they need.
Cancer could be next, according to research that Gilliland has published recently.
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