One of the foremost scientists in stem cell research, Prof. Iam Wilmot, the creator of Dolly the cloned sheep, has decided to completely abandon his work with embryos in favor of the more productive, and morally acceptable, adult stem cell research.
I am possibly the least scientifically minded person on the planet. However, I do understand that the moral objection to embryonic stem cell research lies in its inherent destruction of innocent human life, and that even if another's life can be improved or saved, the method remains morally repugnant.
And it has been noted among many in medical research for some time that the most encouraging scientific results have been found with adult stem cells, rather than embryonic.
Prof Wilmut is backing direct reprogramming or "de-differentiation", the embryo free route pursued by Prof Yamanaka, which he finds "100 times more interesting."
"The odds are that by the time we make nuclear transfer work in humans, direct reprogramming will work too.
"I am anticipating that before too long we will be able to use the Yamanaka approach to achieve the same, without making human embryos. I have no doubt that in the long term, direct reprogramming will be more productive, though we can't be sure exactly when, next year or five years into the future."
Prof Yamanaka's work suggests the dream of converting adult cells into those that can grow into many different types can be realised remarkably easily.