The Catholic Church has long opposed embryonic stem cell research even as it has shown signs of getting more interested in adult stem cell research.
I am an advocate of both types of research and both go on in my own lab.
Now that we will have a new Pope this year, I wonder how this new leader of the Catholic Church might impact stem cell research?
Naively, one might say that the new Pope could be less polarizing on stem cell research, but I think the odds are that the new Pope will be just as extreme as his predecessor.
I suspect the Vatican will continue to cast embryonic stem cell research as a sin. To the contrary, I believe that the use of embryonic stem cells to potentially help millions of living, breathing human beings stop suffering and dying is quite ethical.
While I have almost zero hope of a course correction on policy by the Vatican with the new Pope, I am curious however if the new Pope will continue the current trend of the Vatican so actively supporting (including with cash ($1 million and more)) adult stem cell research including by holding annual adult stem cell research conferences and working with NeoStem as it has been doing (or trying to do) for the last couple years.