This is in follow-up to my September 4 post, “Holiday Weekend question I: Is embryo testing equatable to animal testing?”

I informed Magda that I had posted his/her email and that s/he might find comments helpful. Here was Magda’s response:

I’ll let you address Magda’s 2nd paragraph, but I’ll handle the 1st. Magda was complaining about your comments such as:

Sydney M: “ESC [embryonic stem cell research] produce terrible side effects like tumors with teeth and hair in them. I understand that ASC [adult stem cell research] does not.”

I looked up “teratoma” at both and Google, and Sydney’s description matches, for instance, “A type of germ cell tumor that may contain several different types of tissue, such as hair, muscle, and bone.”

A March 2009 article describing attempts to stop esc’s from forming teratomas begins:

The ability of embryonic stem cells to form noncancerous tumours called teratomas is one of their defining traits. It is also a frightening one, particularly for those who hope to develop therapies from the cells.

So the “term” teratoma to describe tumors that uncontrollably grow into hair, teeth, etc., is correct, and it is no rumor that this is a phenomenon of implanted embryonic stem cells.

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