create a life, help save a life

Our fertility clinic is also one of the leading academic research facilities in the U.S. that has pioneered and advanced fertility treatments and protocols.  So it seems fitting that on the day we signed the last of our consent forms before my egg retrieval, including consent to donate our “unusable” materials to science, this article appeared in the news.  It reports a groundbreaking discovery that enables scientists to use human eggs to create stem cell lines to improve regenerative medicine.  Researchers have learned how to manipulate unfertilized human eggs to match different types of human tissue.  These cells could be used in transplants to replace damaged tissue or treat degenerative disease, without being rejected by the patient’s immune system.

Now I’m no scientist, but stem cell research seems to hold promise for great advancements in medicine.  A recent poll indicates that a majority of Americans support stem cell research, at least when embry.onic cells are not used. Embry.onic stem cell research has been laden with many ethical issues, the politics of which may impede scientific progress.  (Note the study cited above did not use embry.onic cells but only the egg itself.)  However, the hope is that this area of research will lead to more effective treatments and cures for debilitating and life-threatening diseases like cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and other conditions.  These cells may even have the power to predict disease.  Who could argue with that?

Of course fertility researchers are also always working to improve the success of IVF protocols for different types of people, and they learn a lot from studying our unused bits.  So if you have the option, next time you’re pondering the value of donating leftover “materials” that can’t be used to try and grow your family, please consider saying yes to science.  In the end, you might not just create a life, but you could help save one too. 

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~ by luna on December 21, 2007.

One Response to “create a life, help save a life”

  1. […] other related health and scientific issues, including lifting the ban on funding restrictions for embry.onic stem ce.ll research, restoring federal funding to the UN population program for family planning, and ending the […]

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