Azara Blog: South Korea sets up embryonic stem cell centre

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Date published: 2005/10/20

The BBC says:

A bank that will create and supply new lines of embryonic stem cells for research around the world has been opened in Seoul, South Korea.

The project is being led by cloning expert Dr Woo Suk Hwang, who has pioneered the development of stem cells tailored to individual patients.

It will serve as the main centre for an international consortium, including the US and the UK.

Critics say using human embryos in research is unnecessary and unethical.

But proponents argue that stem cells taken from embryos offer the best hope of new treatments for a range of diseases and injuries.

Stem cells are the body's master cells, with the ability to become many different adult tissues.

However, embryonic stem cells are the only type which have the ability to turn into any other tissue in the body.

The new bank is expected the help scientists from countries like the US get round government restrictions on stem cell research.

Good for South Korea and this is no doubt one of the early examples of Asia leading the way in science because of the backwardness of the ruling elite of Europe and (especially) the US.

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