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British PM Gordon Brown Urges Stem Cell Backing

PM Urges Stem Cell Backing

Scientists should be given the legal framework necessary to pursue cures for diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and cancer, the PM has said.

Writing in the Observer newspaper today, Mr Brown said "we owe it to ourselves and future generations" to allow scientists to use properly regulated stem cell research. He said providing clear laws for researchers could save "millions of lives".

Read the Observer article (new window)
Adult stem cells are already being used in treatments for conditions including leukemia and heart disease. Scientists are close to breakthroughs that will allow embryonic stem cells to be used to treat a much wider range of conditions, especially those affecting the brain and nervous system.

Mr Brown said that he has "deep respect" for those opposed to the research on religious grounds, and the proposed legal framework has been designed to be as clear as possible.

The use of 'human admixed embryos', where human and animal genetic material is used together, will address the shortage of embryonic stem cells, he explained.

"Let me be clear: if we want to sustain stem cell research and bring new cures and treatments to millions of people, I believe admixed embryos are necessary. The question for me is not whether they should exist, but how their use should be controlled."

ENDS

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