In 2006, one of the key issues in Missouri was embryonic stem-cell research. Conservatives were concerned about the destruction of innocent life and the Left claimed that Conservatives were anti-science and standing in the way of “progress.” Factions of the Republican Party stood with the Left and the abortion lobby and worked to elect Claire McCaskill over then Senator Jim Talent.
Recently two scientists won the Nobel Prize in Physiology for using adult stem cells for the same purpose as embryonic cells. According to the Wall Street Journal:
Two stem-cell researchers have won this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their groundbreaking work in cellular reprogramming, a technique that unleashed a wave of advances in biology, from cloning to the possible treatment of diseases using a patient’s own cells.
Experiments by John B. Gurdon of the United Kingdom and Shinya Yamanaka of Japan showed that mature cells taken from the body could be changed to an embryonic-like state in a laboratory dish, a head-spinning discovery that is the biological equivalent of turning back time.
Sadly, Senator Talent’s commitment to innocent life cost him his position. Further, at the time it was not a secret that the same work that needed to be done with embryonic cells could be done with adult cells. Missouri lost a good Senator for nothing.