OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - Government to fund adult stem cells research: local Church applauds science which “respects ethics”

Wednesday, 3 May 2006

Sydney (Fides Service) - The Australian government has decided to finance scientific research on the use and curative possibilities of adult stem cells. The decision to give 22 million dollars to Griffith University laboratories has been welcomed by Catholics contrary to research on stem cells from human embryos because it entails the destruction of the embryos. “This is wonderful moment, very encouraging for science which respects moral roots”, said Bishop Eugene Hurley of Port Pirie head of the Australian Bishops’ Commission for the Family and Life.
The Bishop said government funds were “recognition of the excellent work done by Griffith University which can now continue to study possibilities for adult stem cells. Last year the Griffith University Institute for Cell and Molecular Therapy published results of its research on adult stem cells showing that these cells can become similar to other cells such as those of the heart or muscle tissue, cells of internal organs such as the kidneys and even blood cells. This means they can be used to treat various diseases including Parkinson’s Disease, brain diseases.
“Government support for this line of research will help other scientists elsewhere in the world to study adult stem cells rather than those of human embryos”, said Bishop Hurley. “We congratulate the federal government for this decision because it recognises and encourages scientific research which respects the ethics of life”, the Bishop concluded. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 3/5/2006 righe 26 parole 265)