International Stem Cell News
Several countries are making news today. South Korea
A couple of events there. First, Hwang Woo-suk has appealed his dismissal from Seoul National University. An AP story in the Japanese Mainichi Daily News
reports that a decision will be made within three months. Essentially, Hwang believes the dismissal was unfair.
Also, two women who donated eggs have filed lawsuits saying that they were misled. The news is only a very short story from UPI
And, finally, today is Snuppy’s birthday. The cloned dog was born a year ago. Happy Birthday, Snuppy! According to a Reuters
story he got sausages and ice cream as a birthday treat. The story also gives some background on the scandal and on the dog cloning—only two dogs out of 1,095 embryos were born, and the other one died of pneumonia at 22 days.Canada
The Canada Post
reports that an embryonic stem cell research project is on hold. The cell oversight committee is proceeding slowly with the review, and has asked that it receive written documentation regarding the donors of the embryos (left-over from in vitro fertilization procedures). The committee wants to be sure that no coercion was used, that donors were aware of all available options, and that they understood that the embryos would be destroyed in the research process. Last year Canadian bioethicists called on a moratorium for embryonic stem cell research until strict ethical standards regarding donation could be developed. One stem cell scientist who was quoted believes that the standards are already quite strict. The issue is primarily regarding non-frozen embryos, not ones already in storage. This is obviously an important issue, and it needs to be addressed at multiple levels. I do want to highlight here that the issue is not the embryo but the adults whose sperm and egg created the embryo.Ireland
The doctor who has been using stem cells to treat patients with multiple sclerosis told the Irish Medical Times
that 400 scheduled patients over the next month have to be turned away because of a new law regarding the storage of stem cells. (There is also a second, longer article
with details.) The Sunday Times of Scotland
ran an article on a Scottish man with MS who was treated at the Irish clinic and claims to be pain-free since the procedure. The Times article quoted an Irish neurologist as saying that there is no sound scientific evidence that the procedure works and that patients may be experiencing a placebo effect.