Mudcat Café message #1019514 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1019514
Posted By: Amos
15-Sep-03 - 06:34 PM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
"From a pure-science point of view, embryonic stem cells are more powerful than the genome project," says Johns Hopkins pediatric oncologist Curt Civin. "They could tell us what each and every gene actually does. And they could be used to cure cancers, Parkinson's disease, diabetes." You name it. But by and large, American researchers must stop there—at the hopeful act of recognizing the potential. Their ability to study actual stem cells is hobbled by the federal regulation triggered in 2001 by President Bush's famously faux-Solomonic—tear the baby in half!—decision to limit the cells a federally funded researcher can study to those coming from the 78 cell lines cultured prior to the date of the regulation. In practice, though, only 11 approved lines have been made available to researchers. It's like handing an oceanographer a cup of salt water and saying, "Study only this."

In contrast, the sensible British have got it right, says Civin. Under strict regulation, and culling from IVF throwaways, doctors are allowed to create their own embryonic stem cell lines. "We're going to be trumped," says Civin. "I'd like to figure out everything there is about blood stem cells, but in all, the discovery is going to be slower, and as an American, I'm not going to be a part of it."

From a PopSci article on stem cell researcher's travails...