THE Vatican will organise a conference to promote adult stem cell research as an alternative to research using destroyed human embryos, which is considered by the Roman Catholic Church as deeply unethical and less effective.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture, at a briefing on Tuesday said several leading world scientists would attend on Thursday including Britain’s John Gurdon, winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine last year.
Ravasi said the upcoming meeting showed the Church did “not intervene only negatively” in the debate on stem cell research and its commitment to finding cures was not only “words”.
Cells from people with premature aging disease get “younger” with the help of stem cell technology.
Premature aging is one of the most difficult-to-deal with conditions in the world. In addition to its physical consequences, its psychological impact is devastating on a person suffering from it. At this point, experts believe that the disease is caused by the fact that people predisposed to it have very short telomeres, which are repetitive stretches of DNA attached to the end of each chromosome in each cell featuring genetic material in the human body. As chromosomes multiply, the telomeres naturally get shorter, and scientists believe that this may be playing a role in aging.