The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has an insightful blog post discussing the buzz over reports that adult stem cell therapies are progressing at a faster rate than embryonic stem cell research.
The post points out that Stanford researcher Irving Weissman, MD, discovered the first adult stem cells in the bone marrow of mice ten years before the first human embryonic stem cells were created, which is why more adult stem cell trials are currently underway. According to CIRM:
Those who oppose embryonic stem cell research are quick to appoint the first stem cell discovered as the leader. But in this case first doesn't mean best, and we won't know which cell type is best for many years. In fact, the best cellular therapy may depend on the disease -- adult cells for one disease, embryonic for another, and small molecules discovered through stem cell research for still other diseases