Long at the center of the political and religious firestorm over stem cell research is the knowledge that to generate stem cells, the provider embryos first needed to be destroyed, thus igniting the divisive debates over the sanctity-of-life issues that significantly slowed embryonic stem cell research during the 1990s and early 2000s through political maneuverings that ultimately controlled, even redirected, critical research monies and raised thorny public relations problems for research labs. In 2006, teams of researchers, among them Harvard University’s Konrad Hochedlinger (1976— ), first demonstrated a process that could potentially avoid the harvesting of live embryos altogether. These researchers found that by inserting into skin cells of lab mice four embryonic genes, a percentage of those adult cells, albeit a small fraction, began ...

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