The California based company StemLifeLine has announced a plan to store stem cells from spare IVF embryos. However, this plan has angered UK scientists. The theory is that cells banked from one embryo could provide treatment for a sibling threatened by serious disease in the future.Lord Robert Winston has hit out at the scheme stating that it is preying on parent’s fears about the future of their children.
Stem cells are the master cells that are capable of growing into a wide variety of different tissues, and scientists believe that one day these stem cells can be harnessed to fight such diseases as Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease. To date, there has not been any successful treatment developed from embryonic stems cells.
Whilst the Californian company claims that one day these cells “might be useful”, Lord Winston has hit back stating that:
“There is no scientific evidence to sustain the notion that this will be a useful procedure. I would be horrified if anyone tried to do this in Britain.”
Professor Stephen Minger, from Kings College, London, also spoke against the purpose of this company with the following comment:
“My worry is that this is a commercial service that is being promoted to companies when the science is not really there to justify it.
It is like trying to run before you can walk, and the fact it is being done for commercial purposes makes it worse.”
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