Academy of Science welcomes stem cell review

July 07, 2011

The Australian Academy of Science today welcomed the report of the Heerey Committee, which has recommended that medical researchers continue to be allowed to use all types of stem cells.

The Committee reviewed Australian laws that ban human cloning and regulate research using embryonic and adult stem cells.

Australian Academy of Science Secretary for Science Policy Professor Bob Williamson said the review committee’s decision to allow the continuation of stem cell research accords with the evidence offered by the Australian Academy of Science, and most other doctors and scientists.

“Australian doctors are making major advances in our understanding of human disease by using both adult and embryonic stem cells,” he said.

“It is important that scientists can continue to use all cell types, and to compare them with each other. 

“At the same time, it is also important that our laws continue to ban unethical practices, such as human cloning, as recommended by the review panel.”

Professor Williamson said the recommendations of the review mean that Australian scientists will be able to keep pace with medical research being conducted internationally.

“This allows researchers to carry out similar experiments to those being conducted by their American and European collaborators,” he said.

“Keeping our laws as recommended will allow Australia to carry out medical research that is both ethical and world class.”

Professor Williamson is available for comment on 0409 706 255

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