Far from resolving an epic moral quandary, last year’s groundbreaking discovery that ordinary skin cells eventually could replace the use of human embryos in stem-cell research actually stoked the fiery debate over the cutting-edge science.
Religious opponents hailed the skin-cell breakthrough as proof that research involving the destruction of embryos is unnecessary and must end. Scientists countered that studies on stem cells harvested from human embryos must continue for at least several more years while the new technique is perfected. And the battle went on.
(A subsequent report, published in a scientific journal Jan. 11, revealed that stem cells had been produced from human embryos in a private U.S. lab without destroying the embryos, adding to already mounting enthusiasm for the science.)
Much of that battle is being waged in state capitals.
At the forefront, seven big states are leading the world in political and financial support for embryonic stem-cell research.
Their goal: Attract the best stem-cell scientists from around the globe and become a hub for a multi-billion-dollar bioscience industry. So far, their plan appears to be working.
Read the full report States Vie For Stem-Cell Scientists on Stateline.org's Web site.