Pope Francis has recently distinguished himself not just as the leader of the catholic faith, but as a leader of science as well.
In February the Vatican coordinated with the Stem For Life Foundation and held an adult stem cell research conference, where both Vice President Biden and the Pope spoke. Religion and science joining together to shed light on an important scientific field that could save millions of lives.
Stem cell research is complex but to simplify, stem cells are cells that can be made into other types of cells. These cells can replace old or damaged tissue within the human body. New breakthroughs have researchers hoping they can eventually eradicate diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases using procedures that are not nearly as destructive as chemotherapy or radiation.
The Church Approves
The Catholic Church has had issues in the past with stem cell research, as some stem cells come from embryos, but now, with new research available as to how to use adult stem cells (taken from bone marrow and other tissues) and make them function similarly to embryonic ones, they seem to be getting more interested in the research.
The Vatican recently gave an award to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a physician who some consider the most important doctor in the world because of his dedication to curing cancer through stem cell research. Dr. Soon-Shiong founded Cancer MoonShot 2020, a company with the goal of combining research from leaders who all have a part in curing cancer: pharma and biotech companies, insurance, academic researchers and oncologists. These researchers all have one goal: to create an effective vaccine to beat cancer that will be available by 2020.
The Vatican and Pope hold an incredible influence over millions of people, not to mention plentiful resources. Their interest in stem cell research could shed more light on this important science, giving the public a broader scope of understanding and interest for companies like Cancer MoonShot 2020.
Read more about this collaboration at Labiotech