BALTIMORE, April 23 (UPI) — A $3 million grant from the Vatican is to fund adult stem cell research for intestinal disorders, a coalition of U.S. and international scientists said.
Roman Catholic dioceses in Australia and South Korea have funded adult stem cell research, but it is believed to be the first time the Vatican itself has sponsored such research, The Baltimore Daily Record reported Friday.
Scientists from Italy and the University of Maryland are to study intestinal adult stem cells with an eye toward helping patients with disorders such as celiac disease, said Alessio Fasano, a University of Maryland professor who is coordinating the research
The church views adult stem cell research as a viable option to embryonic stem cell research, which the church believes is equivalent to killing human life.
“The difference is they want to do good without harming anything else,” Fasano said of Vatican officials. “We came to an approach to not hurt anyone.”
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