Shinya Yamanaka on Embryonic Stem Cells

Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka was recently featured in a piece in the New York Times,

“Risk Taking Is in His Genes”.

Dr. Yamanaka does research on stem cells and according to the piece,

Last month, his was one of two groups of researchers that independently announced they had successfully turned adult skin cells into the equivalent of human embryonic stem cells without using an actual embryo.

I don’t believe the good doctor can be accused of being an ignorant rube, yet one of his remarks from the story reveals a viewpoint often attributed to folks who are portrayed as such or as religious zealots with nothing better to do than to stifle so-called scientific progress by opposing embryonic stem cell research.

Here is what Yamanaka said,

“When I saw the embryo, I suddenly realized there was such a small difference between it and my daughters,” said Dr. Yamanaka, 45, a father of two and now a professor at the Institute for Integrated Cell-Material Sciences at Kyoto University. “I thought, we can’t keep destroying embryos for our research. There must be another way.”

Most interesting…

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