The ability to transform adult cells into stem cells and thus eventually into perfect transplants without using human eggs is advancing rapidly as this Washington Post story details today. This research undercuts dystopian assertions that creating stem cells to cure disease would involve turning millions of women into therapeutic egg layers.
Harvard stem cell researcher Chad Cowan explained, "The end hope is to determine the exact molecular components of reprogramming and get it down to something chemically useful so you can get adult cells to turn into any type of cell that you want."
Such a cocktail of cellular reprogramming chemicals, the Post notes, "synthesized in a lab and available off the shelf, could be the closest thing to a true elixir of life that science is ever likely to make."
Achieving that goal would certainly have been dramatically delayed, if not made impossible, had human embryonic stem cell research been banned.