Research using embryonic stem cells has always been controversial. On one hand, stem cells hold the promise of curing many serious diseases. On the other hand, there are serious moral considerations about experimenting on and destroying human embryos to do this kind of research. Recent discoveries, however, have the potential to resolve this dilemma.
We have found that there are more ways to get supplies of new cells to work with. These include: naturally occurring stem cells of specific types (e.g. lung stem cells), induced pluripotent stem cells, and the most recent and exciting, direct reprogramming of cells (e.g. skin cells) into other cell types (e.g. neurons). These techniques have great promise and potential, and in some cases, avoid the rejection and tumor growths issues that plague ESCR.
Here are some links that discuss this further:
RTB Science News Flash Podcast http://www.reasons.org/resources/radio-broadcasts-and-podcasts/snf