ALS Association Supports Embryonic Stem Cell Research-Truth!

ALS Association Supports Embryonic Stem Cell Research-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

Religious groups have raised concerns that the ALS Association, which has seen an overwhelming influx of donations through its ice bucket challenge, supports embryonic stem cell research to help find a cure for the degenerative neurological condition.

The Truth:

The ALS Association funds one study that uses embryonic stem cell research, according to an August 23, 2014, article by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

The ALS Association said that the research was funded by “one specific donor who is committed to this area of research.”

Additionally, the ALS Association said donors were able to stipulate that they do not want their donations used to fund any stem cell research, if they so choose.

Human embryonic stem cell lines that are used in research come from embryos that were left over from in vitro fertilization, or from embryos that carry genetic mutations like cystic fibrosis or Tay Sachs disease, according to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s website.

After a couple completes the in vitro fertilization process, they either continue paying for the leftover embryos to remain frozen or allow them to thaw, which destroys the cells.

Couples in some states, however, also have the choice to donate the embryos to research or adoptive families, according to the institute.

“The discovery that human embryonic stem cells can be isolated and propagated in culture with the potential of developing into all tissues of the body is a major medical breakthrough. However it has raised a great deal of ethical questions,” the ALS Association said on its website.

Posted 08/25/14