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FACT CHECK: Significant Number Of Recent Medical Breakthroughs Have Involved Embryonic Stem Cells

By Guest Contributor

"FACT CHECK: Significant Number Of Recent Medical Breakthroughs Have Involved Embryonic Stem Cells"

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snowhands.jpg In Monday’s White House press briefing, Press Secretary Tony Snow said, “The vast majority of breakthroughs right now, virtually all, have involved those other than embryonic stem cells.”

In fact, however, over the last year there have been a large number of medical breakthroughs involving embryonic stem (ES) cells:

June 20, 2006 — CBS reports that ES cells have been used to help paralyzed rats walk.

July 5, 2006 — Science Daily reports that ES cells have been used to create T-cells, which could lead to a cure for AIDS.

July 11, 2006 — The Guardian reports that ES cells have been used to create sperm that successfully fertilize mouse eggs, which could aid those with infertility.

Sept. 21, 2006 — The Washington Post reports that ES cells have been used to slow vision loss in rats.

Oct. 23, 2006 — The Washington Post reports that ES cells have been used to reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in rats.

Oct. 31, 2006 — The New Scientist reports that ES cells have been used to create insulin-secreting cells, which could be used to treat diabetes.

Nov. 10, 2006 — Nature reports that ES cells have been used to make a vaccine that protects mice from lung cancer.

Nov. 22, 2006 — The New Scientist reports that ES cells have been used to create cardiovascular “precursor” cells, which could be used to treat heart disease.

Embryonic stem cells remain the most promising type of stem cell due to their ability to become any type of cell in the human body.

Sam Berger

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