The Macon Telegraph this morning weighed in in favor of S.B. 148, Senator Shafer’s stem cell bill.
There is a philosophical battle going on in conservative circles about stem cell research. Stem cell research holds the promise that these tiny cells that can become any part of the body and might be the cure for several diseases and conditions. Terminology has muddled the picture. Embryonic stem cells, the source of the controversy, taken from a tiny embryo, is just one source of stem cells. There are adult stem cells, animal stem cells and cord blood stem cells. Adult stem cells are less versatile than embryonic and cord blood stem cells. While embryonic stem cell research is hampered by the lack of federal dollars due to a 2006 prohibition signed by President Bush because harvesting the cells destroys the embryo, there is no such problem with cord blood cells discovered in 2005. Cord cells are taken from the umbilical cord, placenta and amniotic fluid, tissue that is routinely discarded as medical waste after the birth of a baby.
The Telegraph joins the Savannah Morning News, Gwinnett Daily Post, Albany Herald, and Rockdale Citizen in supporting this bill. I hear that there will be more high profile endorsements of the measure coming soon.