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Re: Stem cell

Started by jameslbrown, 08/10/2004 02:57PM
Posted 08/10/2004 02:57PM Opening Post
I think it is important to recall that the political debate is only about a small segment of the "stem cell research" universe, namely: federal government funded embryonic stem cell research that does not use existing cell lines.

If the technology begins to look promising, I have no doubt that the private sector will pick up the embryonic stem cell ball and run with it. As previously pointed out in this thread, that raises ethical concerns, but by and large, I think private, for profit medical R&D is a good thing.

So far, adult stem cell therapies seem the most promising, hence that is where the most research activity is centered (both private and publicly funded).

My bottom line expectation is that the marketplace will provide the motivation for grand future discoveries whether the government is involved in funding or not. Thus I think that this "highly politicized" issue falls into the category of something hot and juicy to fight about in the political arena which is really a non-issue or a marginal issue.

The embryonic stem cell research issue is perfect for political polarization because it is so ripe for scare tactics. The Democrats can claim that the Republicans are Luddites who don't care if you suffer and die from Alzheimer's Disease. The Republicans can claim that this is another example of callous disregard for unborn humans. Both sides will gleefully ignore any medical science involved.