A recent discovery by Japanese scientists could reshape the embryonic stem cell debate. The scientists claim that “ wisdom teeth could be a suitable alternative to human embryos as a source for therapeutic stem cells.”
Stems cells are important because some studies support their ability to fight numerous life-threatening diseases. In recent years, the proposed usage of embryonic stem cells has caused heated debates between pro-life and pro-choice groups. However, this recent finding could have big implications in the future, and perhaps quiet the embryonic stem cell debate.
Unfortunately, it’ll be at least 5 years before these findings will be used in “medical applications,” according to National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) researchers.
The researchers said that they:
…had identified a form of stem cell in the wisdom teeth which had the capability to develop and be grown successfully into other forms of cell outside the body.
This is a finding with huge implications. If these findings are accurate, then the ethical issues surrounding embryonic stem cells will be a non-issue. Perhaps that’s wishful thinking. But, wisdom teeth as a source of important stem cells should be less controversial. But, who knows, People for the Ethical Treatment of Wisdom Teeth may be up in arms. Let’s hope not for the sake of humanity.
Do you think stem cells taken from Wisdom teeth will quiet the embryonic stem cell debate?