The first presenters, a couple of scientists, summarize the state of stem cell research. When they're done, a soft-spoken young priest in the front row raises his hand. 'In a case of aneuploidy, it may be possible to laser ablate one or two of the blastomeres,' he says. A priest in the back row asks about 'aberrant silencing of the IGF and IGF2 receptor.' I can hardly believe what I'm hearing. Afterward, I ask the first priest, Father Tad Pacholczyk, where he learned this stuff. Turns out he's got a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Yale, plus a research stint at Harvard Medical School and undergraduate degrees in biochemistry and molecular biology. Around the room, half the guys in collars are scientists. A couple of weeks ago, there was a conference here on the concept of brain death, which the Vatican is reconsidering in light of new findings.
Jews vs. Catholics in the stem cell debate. By William Saletan in Slate
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