COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: Public in favour of stem cell research, says charity study

A survey claiming that 70 per cent of the British public support the use of human embryos for medical research was released to mark the start of the 2003 Parkinson's Awareness Week last week.

The MORI poll was commissioned by a coalition of organisations with an interest in research on stem cells, which might help treatments for Parkinson's and other degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, leukaemia, strokes, heart attacks and spinal cord injuries.

The coalition includes the Parkinson's Disease Society, Alzheimer's Society, the British Heart Foundation and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

The survey also found that more than half of adults feel that the use of human embryos is acceptable to find treatments for serious diseases and fertility research, and one in six believed they should be used for all types of research.

Other events in Parkinson's Awareness Week included a parliamentary reception attended by more than 30 MPs and a fundraising walk around the coastline of Britain.

The Parkinson's Disease Society also had 170 runners competing in Sunday's London Marathon.

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