New possibilities for stem cell research

As America struggles with such weighty issues as the war in Iraq, the foundering economy and the run-up to a historic presidential election, it may be difficult to recall that seven years ago this month the most wrenching issue facing the nation was human embryonic stem cell research.

Scientists and patient advocates were clamoring for studies on the cells, whose vast therapeutic potential was just coming to light, while others were decrying the research as immoral because it necessitated the destruction of days-old human embryos.

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