The concept that basic building blocks of human biology may be engineered into therapies to deal with disease and conditions associated with aging is a highly promising research frontier. Early attempts to pioneer research in regenerative medicine have raised complex issues resulting in severely restricted public funding for human stem cell research. Some lawmakers have advanced legislation that would impose severe criminal penalties on researchers who culture stem cells from cloned human embryos, even if funded privately. Other lawmakers who recognize the potential that embryonic stem cell research holds for the future treatment of debilitating diseases, have sought to expand current law to allow for federal funding of stem cell research conducted on embryos derived from in-vitro fertilization clinics.
While the Alliance for Aging Research opposes efforts to copy human life through cloning technologies, it is a leader among patient groups and science advocates supporting public funding for broad activities in stem cell research as well as therapeutic cloning of compatible stem cell lines for research and potential therapies. On its own and through membership in the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research, the Alliance will support the enactment of legislation to encourage increased federal funding for advances in stem cell research.