A series of significant developments have emerged in recent weeks in the field of stem cell science. Each adds exciting prospects for treating disease; each adds vexing complexity. With us to help understand the science and the issues: Rick Weiss, science writer for The Washington Post. More
Many scientists say the most promise for curing various diseases is to clone human embryos to cure the sick. Therapeutic cloning is sharply controversial because it destroys the original human embryo. Reverend William Abernethy suffers from Parkinson's disease and is one of the many hoping to receive medical help through the therapeutic cloning process.
For many, the fundamental issue behind stem cell research is the moral status of tiny, one-week-old human embryos. Scientists think these cells can help them find cures for many severe illnesses, but harvesting those cells kills the embryos. Ethicists say the right and wrong of destroying even unwanted embryos in order to do promising medical research depends on what you think those embryos are.