Embryonic vs. Adult Stem Cells in Research Essay

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Embryonic vs. Adult Stem Cells in Research

Why is the mainstream media significantly downplaying exciting scientific discoveries with adult stem cells? This essay hopes to adequately answer that question.

Here's the scoop: As originally reported late last year in the medical journal Blood, Dr. Catherine M. Verfaillie and other researchers at the Stem Cell Institute, University of Minnesota, have discovered a way to coax an adult cell found in the bone marrow to exhibit many of the attributes that supposedly make embryonic stem cells irreplaceable to the development future "miracle" medical therapies(Catherine).

While there is still much research to be done, "multi-potent adult progenitor cells" (MAPCs) appear to be
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Yet, when the potentially crucial discovery of an adult cell that could make embryonic destruction and therapeutic cloning unnecessary comes to light - and just at the time when the United States Senate is about to argue whether to outlaw the cloning of human embryos - the story has been significantly underplayed.

The New York Times story written by Nicholas Wade with Sheryl Gay Stolberg ran deep inside the paper (page A14), under the headline, "Scientists Herald a Versatile Adult Cell."(New) While the Times headline and reporting focused upon the actual story, it failed to provide many of the significant details found in the Boston Globe reporting, and as a result, the story lost much of its punch.

The Washington Post smothered the importance of the story altogether in a story bylined by Rick Weiss that ran on page A-8. Headlined, "In Senate, Findings Intensify Arguments on Human Cloning," the actual discovery itself is barely described. The first mention of it comes in the fourth paragraph, which focuses primarily on a statement by Verfaillie downplaying her own discovery so as not to interfere with the pro-cloning and ESCR research agenda. Indeed, the primary thrust of the Post reportage focuses on the reasons why this discovery should not deter destructive embryonic research.

The story was also covered by relative brief wire-service reports and in a much better story in New Scientist magazine(New). In any event, with such muffled coverage, it is
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