Advances in science, medicine, and technology may hold promises of improved health and well-being, but may also devalue human life and human dignity. Stem cells, cloning, genetic engineering, and other new technologies need to be evaluated carefully within both a scientific and an ethical framework. Family Research Council opposes research that destroys, harms, or manipulates an embryonic human being. However, we vigorously support research and therapies using "adult" stem cells (such as from bone marrow and umbilical cord blood) which are not ethically problematic and have already resulted in useful therapies in human patients. FRC opposes all forms of human cloning, whether "reproductive" to bring an infant to term, or "therapeutic" to destroy the cloned embryo for experiments. FRC believes that good science is also ethical science, and supports biotechnologies that advance scientific knowledge and medical treatments, while valuing all human life and maintaining human dignity.
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In 1998 stem cell research hit the headlines when the first paper was published in Science, describing the characteristics of human embryonic stem cell ...
Ding et al. demonstrated an alternative to transcription factor reprogramming through the use of drug-like chemicals. By studying the MET ( mesenchymal-epithelial transition ) process in which fibroblasts are pushed to a stem-cell like state, Ding’s group identified two chemicals – ALK5 inhibitor SB431412 and MEK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) inhibitor PD0325901 – which was found to increase the efficiency of the classical genetic method by 100 fold. Adding a third compound known to be involved in the cell survival pathway, Thiazovivin further increases the efficiency by 200 fold. Using the combination of these three compounds also decreased the reprogramming process of the human fibroblasts from four weeks to two weeks.