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Stowers Institute


When the Missouri legislative session begins in January embryonic stem cell research will be a key issue.

K-S-M-U is bringing you two perspectives on the debate...yesterday you heard from a scientist who opposes embryonic stem cell research.

Today, K-S-M-U's Katie Hummel brings you the other side of the issue - and the man who is working to keep his research alive.

BILL NEAVES IS THE PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE STOWERS INSTITUTE IN KANSAS CITY - A BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH FACILITY THAT CONDUCTS RESEARCH ON GENES AND PROTEINS IN LIVING CELLS.

NEAVES SAYS THE INSTITUTE ALSO CONDUCTS RESEARCH ON EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS : BUT HE SAYS HE PREFERS TO CALL THEM EARLY STEM CELLS.

NEAVES, WHO HAS A P-H-D IN ANATOMY SAYS ADULT STEM CELLS, CELLS TAKEN FROM THE HUMAN BODY, ARE USEFUL, TOO.

BUT NEAVES SAYS WHEN IT COMES TO HEALING POTENTIAL, EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS LEAVE NO ROOM FOR COMPARISON.

NEAVES SAYS COMPARED TO THE EARLY STEM CELLS, ADULT STEM CELLS AREN'T AS VERSATILL.

BUT SCIENTIFIC AND HEALTH REASONS ASIDE, NEAVES SAYS HE BELIEVES THE MORAL AND ETHICAL CONCERNS REGARDING EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH ARE COMPLETELY OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE REALISTIC CONCERNS FOR HUMAN HEALTH.

BUT SOME MISSOURI LEGISLATORS DO BELIEVE THAT EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH REPRESENTS THE TAKING OF HUMAN LIFE.

THAT IS WHY THERE IS A MOVEMENT TO BAN THIS TYPE OF RESEARCH IN MISSOURI.

BUT NEAVES SAYS HE'S OPTIMISTIC THAT AS THE PUBLIC LEARNS MORE ABOUT EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH, THEY WILL BOTH RECOGNIZE AND UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE AND PROMISE IT HOLDS FOR HUMAN HEALTH.

WHILE THERE ARE NO PLANS TO MOVE THE STOWERS INSTITUTE, NEAVES SAYS IF EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH IS BANNED IN MISSOURI, THE INSTITUTE WILL HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO CONTINUE ITS RESEARCH ELSEWHERE.