September 29, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Stem Cell Fireworks: what would our founding fathers think?

Happy 4th of July everyone!

In American history, another year has passed since our independence and it’s been one, in the stem cell field, of plenty of fireworks and more is sure to come.

We have had the beginnings of three FDA-approved human ES cell-based clinical trials and also trials of other sorts meaning the lawsuit against federally-funded ES cell research, which still remains up in the air in terms of a final decision. Science continues to make progress, but in the stem cell field we are waiting for some kind of finality in the legal battle.

On this 235th anniversary of America, what would the founders of our country think of the stem cell debate?

What were the principles at the core of the foundation of our country?

Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Equality for all. Justice. What is one of the most powerful enemies of all of these rights and principles?

Disease.

Because disease is an equal opportunity purveyor of suffering and death, I think the founder fathers would have supported stem cell research. While these men were very religious, there is nothing inherent to the Christian religion that definitively makes stem cell research somehow morally wrong, and I don’t think they would have seen it as wrong.