Family of 5-year-old with rare skin disease opposes stem cell ba - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Family of 5-year-old with rare skin disease opposes stem cell ban


MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KTTC)-- A proposed ban on embryonic stem cell research in Minnesota has renewed the debate over procedures used by the University of Minnesota and the family of a little boy who received a life-saving procedure from the University is speaking out about the bill.

"I can't imagine choosing a tray of stem cells over my little boy, to me, there's no question," says Trisha Knuth.

Trisha's son Charlie was born with a rare skin disease called Epidermolysis Bullosa, which essentially meant his skin didn't hold together quite right. In December, doctors at the U of M gave him a stem cell transplant and the 5-year-old is now making a miraculous recovery.

"It would be hard for me to believe that a human being would vote for the bill," says Charlie's dad Kevin.

Supporters of the legislation making human cloning a felony offense say stem cell research could still be done at UMN, but not the research that relies on the destruction of embryos, including adult stem cells. Some university officials say the bill could halt cutting-edge research, but they add that UMN has not, and will not, attempt to clone a human being.

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