Stem cell breakthrough
Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan told a Vatican Radio audience that the latest discovery was welcome because it allowed for the stem cells to be harvested without any threat to the life of the donor.
The Church, the cardinal pointed out, does not object to stem-cell research in itself, but to the harvesting in which human embryos are destroyed in order to obtain stem cells. The use of amniotic fluid involves no such destruction of human life.
The cardinal hailed the announcement that the stem cells obtained from amniotic fluid could be used to generate tissues for brains, nerves, muscles, and body organs. The research unveiled by a team composed of scientists from Harvard and Wake Forest universities showed that these stem cells matured as rapidly as stem cells from embryos, showed even greater versatility, and could be used to produce body tissues without tumors. The technique shows enormous potential for the treatment of diseases.