Research on the embryo, pointless research

Publié le : 12 March 2013

 Le Figaro Magazine dated 1 March reviews the performance of research on iPS cells: "it was announced as a major medical revolution. And the revolution has just begun. The ethics committee of the Institute for Research and Biomedical Innovation in Kobe, Japan, has authorised the first clinical trials of a treatment for age-related macular degeneration (ALMD) using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) […] " (Gènéthique press review from 11th to 15th of February 2013). "The most incredible thing in this announcement is the speed at which researchers have progressed from the discovery made in the first clinical trial: hardly six years ago. With the result that some scientists now regard legislation as obsolete, as the French National Assembly prepares legislation in March to liberalise the use of human embryo cells. This practice is contested for ethical reasons."         

A few days later, a second report dealt with the performance and the potential of iPS: "an American foundation sponsored by the heads of leading companies in the United States announced on Wednesday [27 February]" that it had awarded prizes to 11 researchers, including Shinya Yamanaka, in the framework of the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, for their work in the field of the life sciences. Thus, "each will receive a prize of 3 million dollars, more than double the Nobel Prize." According to the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation, this new prize "is intended to give the winners greater means to aim for even better results in the future."
In opposition to the liberalisation of research on the embryo, "the Fondation Jérôme Lejeune is mobilising against this project via a campaign publicised on ‘" Its petition "has already gathered over 20,000 signatures, and 60,000 protest cards have been ordered to be sent to MPs." The goal: "to form a common front […] against the arrival of the bill in the National Assembly by making visible the opposition of French citizens to this bill and their call for an in-depth debate.

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