The course of scientists’ research into the use of embryonic stem cells to treat patients suffering presently incurable disorders such as Parkinson’s and heart diseases and diabetes continues to be rocky, but breakthroughs do occur.

Many in the field have felt the use of these cells necessary because they can be made to produce several kinds of cells to replace diseased ones whereas other stem cells in the body can generate only like cells.

But many see use of embryonic stem cells as immoral. They equate that use with taking the lives of human beings, although those used would be discards never to be developed into persons. Former president Bush prohibited use of federal funds for the research.

President Obama, however, has promised to lift the ban. Meanwhile, experiments now appear to show stem cells other than the embryonic can be made to produce several kinds.

It is good that scientists dedicate themselves to frustrating research that often leads to failure before they find answers that ultimately will do much to save lives and the quality of those lives.

– mh