By Robin Erb, Detroit Free Press

 

For Brooke Kendrick, there was never a decision to make.

Donating her embryos — the ones that carried a genetic mutation that stole her brother’s ability to walk on his own — was a conclusion before it was a question.

It was a disease that also could kill any children she might have before they reached puberty — a genetic mutation that would break down the protective coating around their nerves, destroy their memory and put them in a vegetative state.

“It was just the responsible, right thing to do,” she said of the donation she and husband, Stephen, made to the University of Michigan. “The idea of being able to help (researchers) get just a little bit closer to a cure is a good feeling.”

 

Kendrick’s story highlights a second frontier in embryonic stem cell science at U-M. Six years after voters approved the creation of such lines, researchers have refined the processes for them — perfecting the temperature, oxygen levels, timing and the protein cocktails that make them grow.

In just under three years, the National Institutes of Health has approved two dozen embryonic stem cell lines at U-M — a sizable chunk of the 303 lines shared in federally funded research across the nation… Read more here.

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