August 16-23 Podcast
W. Malcolm Byrnes reports on scientific research into induced pluripotent stem cells, a promising prolife alternative to embryonic stem cell research. Because IPS cell research does not result in the destruction of embryos--and because IPS cells are more easily obtained than embryonic stem cells--their discovery in 2006 was hailed by scientists and prolife leaders alike. Four years later, it appears that additional testing is still needed to demonstrate that IPS cells are functionally equivalent to embryonic stem cells. This process could pose ethical problems for church leaders, explains Byrnes, who argues that a recent encyclical could point a way forward.