June 17, 2011. (Romereports.com)
The Catholic Church has entered into an agreement with a US company that specializes in extracting adult stem cells. The Vatican Department of Science and Faith has made an economic commitment of one million dollars to NeoStem through their charitable foundation.
This is the first time the Vatican has entered into such an agreement with a publicly-traded company to advance scientific research.
Dr. Robin Smith is the CEO of NeoStem and she says that adult stem cell research is a way to improve health care while respecting the right to life. Dr. Robin Smith, MD, MBA
CEO, NeoStem“I think people are very focused on advancing science, it has become a little bit of political debate but I think the key is safety. Whatever your political sway is, everyone wants to improve medicine to advance technology and to decrease human suffering.”
By undergoing a painless four hour procedure, a person's stem cells are extracted and then frozen and stored in case they are ever needed.
They can be used to treat diabetes, heart problems, stroke and even bone growth.
While the Vatican has not changed it's stance on embryonic stem cell research, Dr. Smith says that adult stem cell technology is advancing more rapidly thanks to its safety. Dr. Robin Smith, MD, MBA
“There are people that are focused on advancing all types of stem cell therapy both embryonic and adult but I think the safety profiles of the adult stem cell are going to assist in making that advance more rapidly and we even see today there's over 70 diseases that are using adult stem cells to treat them as part of the standard of care.”
In 2006, Benedict XVI said that “there is no conflict between true scientific progress and faith”. The Church's cooperation with Neostem is a way of saying that not all stem cell research is harmful to human life. Fr. Tomasz Trafny
Director, Vatican Department of Science and Faith
“We strongly support adult stem cell research for two reasons. First, of course, because we have very clear ethical statement about the value of human life and each stage of it's development. Second because adult stem cell research is safe not only from an ethical and moral point of view but from biological, medical point of view.”
Currently, over 3000 clinical trials are looking at new ways that stem cell technology can be used.
So far the success of adult stem research has given us a glimpse into what the future of medicine hold.