Islet Cell Transplant: Still Promising?
This experimental pancreas procedure might eliminate the need for insulin injections in some people with diabetes. But it isn't easy, so other islet-cell alternatives are being researched.
Islet Sheets, Viruses, and Stem Cells continued...
But because the newly minted insulin-secreting cells are
derived from a type of non-specialized cell found only in the earliest stages
of embryonic development, a human version of the treatment would face stiff
opposition from the political and religious right, who oppose medical research
using cells derived from human embryos.
In 2001, the Bush administration announced a ban on research
using cells derived from newly-created embryos (such as those discarded daily
by fertility clinics), restricting scientists to working with currently
available stem-cell lines; stem cell researchers said the decision cripples
their ability to do meaningful research, and could delay the development of
life-saving treatments -- like those for diabetes -- by years or even