John Kerry and Ron Reagan have garnered cheers and headlines recently for criticizing the Bush administration for its limits on federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research. Those cheers and headlines, though, have been built on misinformation.
The truth is, not one human being has been treated with embryonic stem cells, not for lack of funding, but because such cells have been known to create malignant tumors in lab animals.
But there is a kind of stem-cell research that could prove revolutionary, a kind John Kerry and Ron Reagan and the media haven't even bothered to tell us about. It involves so-called "adult" stem cells, those harvested from such sources as umbilical cord blood and bone marrow. They have shown great promise in the treatment of more than 70 diseases and conditions.
So, don't be fooled the next time you hear that conservatives want to ban stem-cell research. We simply want to support the most ethical, promising form of it, so that there's a real chance of helping those who suffer.