Gannett News Service
In one of the most thumb-in-your-eye moments of the Democratic convention, Ronald Reagan's youngest child will criticize President Bush's position on stem cell research tonight.
Former President Reagan died in June after a decade-long struggle with Alzheimer's disease. Many researchers believe that stem cell research could unlock cures for that debilitating illness and a host of other deadly and crippling diseases.
Ron Reagan and his mother, former first lady Nancy Reagan, have been outspoken about the restrictive approach Bush has taken to using stem cells in research because of moral qualms he and many conservatives have.
Stem cells are the most basic of cells, building blocks found in the earliest stages of human development, that can grow into any type of more specialized cell - such as those that make up the brain or organs such as the heart or kidney.
Being able to create new healthy cells could be a huge breakthrough in fighting multiple diseases.
However, stem-cell research involves the destruction of human embryos, which Bush and many conservatives see as the destruction of human life. Bush sought middle ground in 2001 by allowing research on existing lines of stem cells, where embryos have already been destroyed.
But many researchers argue that Bush's policy drastically slows advancement.
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