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Vatican, biotech firm host adult stem cell meeting

Tue, 11/08/2011 - 2:45am
The Associated Press

The Vatican has entered into an unusual partnership with a U.S. biotech company to promote the use of adult stem cells for treating disease, rather than focusing research on embryonic stem cells.

The Vatican's culture office and NeoStem Inc., are hosting a three-day conference starting Wednesday on adult stem cells, drawing scientists, patients, biotech CEOs and cardinals together.

Church teaching holds that life begins at conception. As a result, the Vatican opposes embryonic stem cell research because embryos are destroyed in the process.

Adult stem cell transplants have become a standard lifesaving therapy for people with leukemia, lymphoma and other blood diseases. Embryonic cells may be used someday to grow replacement tissue for diseases like Parkinson's.

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