Levine Comments on Stem Cell Treatment in USA TODAY

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  • Aaron D. Levine Aaron D. Levine
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Aaron Levine, associate professor in the School of Public Policy, gave his opinion regarding the controversial use of stem cells in the treatment of two former athletes. Both Gordie Howe, former hockey player, and John Brodie, former NFL quarterback, suffered massive strokes that drastically impaired their abilities function.

After entirely losing hope and the will to live, they decided to try an experimental stem cell treatment in Tijuana, Mexico. This treatment used stem cell injections from an aborted fetus. This practice has gone largely unnoticed because many who use fetal tissue refer to it as "adult" stem cells, which can also include stem cells from adults, because fetal cells are much more advanced that embryonic cells.

"Talking about fetal tissue raises concerns for some people, and being able to say you're using adult stem cells probably makes sense from a company's perspective when writing a press release or when asking for funding — just to minimize the controversy," said Aaron Levine.  "I don't know if there is some deliberate thought there, but it may have helped the 'adult' terminology take hold just because it describes the science well and it also minimizes some of that concern."

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Levine's research focuses on understanding how the policy environment influences the development of ethically contentious new technologies, particularly in the life sciences, and his recent work has examined human embryonic stem cell research policy and oversight of the fertility industry.

 

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Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, School of Public Policy

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Keywords
adult stem cells, embryonic stem cells, fetal stem cells, stem cell treatment, stem cells and sports
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  • Created By: Rachel Miles
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: May 26, 2015 - 8:50am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 10:27pm