News: News Archives
Stem Cell Research To Be Focus Of Congressional Briefing
Results of AAAS Report Offering Framework Will Be Highlighted
Washington, DC (April 20, 2000) - A congressional briefing on April 25 will highlight the potential applications for stem cell research and the ethical considerations involved, as the debate continues on whether to use federal funding to support this promising line of research. The briefing will highlight the results of a report, released by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Institute for Civil Society, which supports federal funding for research involving existing human stem cells.
The report is meant to serve as a framework for policymakers in government, the private sector, and the scientific community. Legislation to support this area of research has recently been introduced by Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and hearings are scheduled for April 26, which will include paralyzed movie star Christopher Reeve, former Senator Bob Dole, and others. Meanwhile, privately funded research is forging ahead with remarkable speed.
WHAT: Congressional Briefing on Stem Cell Research and Applications
WHEN: Tuesday, April 25, 12:00 noon - 1:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided.
WHERE: 124 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Speakers for the briefing will include:
- Dr. Mark S. Frankel, Director, AAAS Scientific Freedom, Responsibility and Law Program
- Dr. John D. Gearhart, Director, Division of Developmental Genetics, The Johns Hopkins University
- Dr. Robert A. Goldstein, Vice President for Research, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
- Dr. Ronald M. Green, Professor for the Study of Ethics and Human Values, Dartmouth College
- Dr. Audrey R. Chapman, Director, AAAS Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion
The AAAS report, Stem Cell Research and Applications, says federal funding should be used for research on human stem cellsóincluding embryonic stem cells that have already been isolated in laboratoriesóbut the derivation of human stem cells should not at present receive federal funding because of public anxiety surrounding it. Stem cell research could result in a dramatic increase of our knowledge and understanding of genetics and developmental biology, and possibly result in treatments and cures for many diseases, including Parkinsonís disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Stem cell research, however, has precipitated considerable controversy, both because of the sources of some of the cells and its potential uses. Some opponents believe that it would be unethical to destroy human embryos to isolate the stem cells, while others are concerned about the possible use of stem cells for generating human tissues and organs and potentially for human cloning. The briefing will review the range of issues and positions associated with the debate on stem cell research.
# # #
EDITOR'S NOTE: To register for the luncheon briefing or to receive a copy of the report, contact Laura Humphrey at 202-326-6431 or email@example.com