Robert Lanza works for ACT, a biotech corporation in Massachusetts (1/11, A-2, “Stem-cell advance; Scientists say a new technique creates the cells without harming embryos”). He is “fuming” because the Dickey amendment prevents him from using your tax dollars to fund his for-profit research.
He claims that no embryos were harmed using his stem cell technique, but Story Landis from NIH is correct that it is “impossible to know definitively.”
Fertility doctors used to perform this technique often, but now the American Society of Reproductive Medicine has recommended against its use during in-vitro fertilization due to decreased pregnancy rates and possible harm to the future child.
In Lanza’s own data, he shows that 17 percent of the human embryos stopped developing after he biopsied them, and ironically 100 percent will be sacrificed once he’s done with them.
Meanwhile adult, umbilical cord and iPS (the type announced in June) stem cells continue to churn out real life-saving cures without sacrificing embryos.
Dana M. Winegarner, D.O.
Neurologist, MidAmerica Neuroscience Institute
Board member, Cures Without Cloning