I am writing to voice my support for protecting somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), also known as therapeutic cloning, which may prove to be a vital tool in allowing scientists to fully develop the promise of embryonic stem cell research.
Stem cells derived from embryos have unique potential to improve the nearly 100 million lives of those Americans who suffer from devastating diseases and conditions, including juvenile diabetes, ALS, Alzheimerís disease, Parkinsonís disease, cancer and spinal cord injury. SCNT allows a patientís own genetic material to be used to develop advanced stem cell therapies. These therapies Ė including transplants and transfusions Ė would be tailored to match each patient's specific medical condition and dramatically reduce the possibility of causing the patient's immune system to attack and reject the therapy.
The nationís leading scientists, including two prestigious committees of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Association of the Advancement of Science, agree that cloning to reproduce humans should be illegal, but that SCNT technology should be permitted.
Given the enormous scientific potential in this area, I ask you to defeat any legislative or regulatory action that would ban research related to SCNT, including S. 1899, authored by Senator Sam Brownback. In contrast, I urge you to support Senator Dianne Feinsteinís legislation, S. 1758, and Senator Tom Harkinís legislation, S. 1893 Ė both of these bills would prohibit human reproductive cloning while preserving important areas of medical research.
The men, women, and children who are suffering from life-threatening diseases are engaged in a race against time. It is our responsibility to make sure that they benefit as quickly as possible from the very best that science and technology has to offer.
I look forward to your support.
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