Like the rest of the world, Islamic nations are often divided on the issue of stem cell research. Positions vary between Muslims who support stem cell research because of its potential to save and improve human lives and those who denounce it as the work of Satan. When Dr. James Thomson and his team at the University of Wisconsin–Madison succeeded in deriving the first embryonic stem cells (ESCs) from nonhuman primates in 1995 and followed it up by isolating the first stem cells in human embryos three years later, most Muslim scientists were unaware of the existence of stem cells. Those who did know that stem cells existed frequently lacked a complete understanding of their importance within the fields of medicine and science. Once that ...

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