U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson and a University of Georgia professor think they’ve found a solution to the national impasse over embryonic stem cell research. It lies with the thousands of malformed but fertilized eggs routinely sent to biomedical trash heaps.
The politician and academic Steve Stice say the eggs — discarded by fertility clinics as incapable of surviving in the womb — are a ready source for the do-anything, be-everything stem cells thought to hold the key to curing many diseases.
Because the stem cells would be extracted from fertilized eggs that have no chance of becoming a baby, Isakson said the approach should overcome the objections President Bush spelled out in July — on behalf of many religious conservatives — when he vetoed a bill that would have allowed federal funding for research.
“You’re not dealing with a gray area. You’re not dealing with something that could become a fetus. You’re dealing with something that otherwise would be considered waste. It is waste. It’s a byproduct of in vitro fertilization,” Isakson said in a recent interview.