Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Stem Cell Research

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:27 pm on 3rd May 2007.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Patel Lord Patel Crossbench 2:27 pm, 3rd May 2007

My Lords, on behalf of us all I thank the Minister for his reply. It was not too convincing in all aspects, but we will have other opportunities to come back to this. I also thank all noble Lords who have spoken. The debate has been good; it has been of the highest quality and informative.

I take note of the need for public engagement. I know not of a single scientist working in stem cell science in the United Kingdom who would not agree with that statement. The scientists wish to be involved in this public dialogue and to make it clear to the public in the simplest possible terms why they want to pursue certain kinds of science.

The holy grail for all stem cell scientists, if I might use that term, would be one day to be able to take a somatic cell from a patient suffering a disease, to deregulate it and be able to differentiate it again to behave like a pluripotent stem cell and differentiate it to the cell type required, and then to be able to treat that patient with healthy cells and replace the diseased cells. They are not wedded to embryonic stem cell research; it is the promise of that research to be able one day to use that technique of mass production of stem cells, using adult stem cells. I believe that cord blood stem cells will be the next advance before the embryonic stem cells, as some of the adult stem cells are today. That is the utopian dream, that is what the stem cell scientists want to work towards, and that is why we need to back them. I beg leave to withdraw the Motion for Papers.