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Embryonic stem cells declared probably defunct — on Oprah

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Rebecca Taylor of Mary Meets Dolly seems to have posted the story first. (I fell behind on my blog reading, so I am just coming across it now.) Dr. Mehmet Oz, who is both an eminent heart surgeon and Columbia Medical School professor and a pop health celebrity and Oprah darling, told Michael J. Fox to forget about embryonic stem cells.

Dr. Oz said, "I think the stem cell debate is dead.... The problem with embryonic stem cells is that ... it's very hard to control them, and they can become cancer.... In the last year we've made ten years of advancement" on induced pluripotent stem cells.

Embryonic stem cells have turned out to be wild horses. They are too flexible. Induced pluripotent stem cells are recently developed technology that uses a patient's own body cells. They do not cause an immune response in the patient and they do not require the killing of anyone, embryo or adult.

It turns out, in the stem cell debate, that you can have your cake and eat it too: you can have pluripotent stem cells, and you can have them ethically.

Animals and Catholics series will continue soon, I promise.

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