Friday, April 28, 2006

Who really needs embryonic stem cells?

James Kelly discusses how he believes Christopher Reeve was misled to become a strong proponent of embryonic stem cell research and how many Americans are being misled by scientists who are more intent on finding work than finding treatments. Take the time to read this.

Kelly notes,
"Reeve opened my eyes to an unfolding global tragedy. He made me realize how far those pursuing a multi-billion dollar goldmine in long range basic research will descend to achieve their ends. I eventually concluded that while it appears that science and industry are using disability and disease to exploit human fetal and embryonic life, the truth is far worse. The push for ES and cloning research may exploit us all.....

To me it seemed increasingly impractical for society to commit massive research resources to tackling complex safety and performance issues linked to ES cells, including rejection, epigenetic instability, tumor formation, or teratoma formation. It seemed impractical to pay science to puzzle over turning ES cells into stable, fully functional adult cells, when adult stem cells are designed to do it naturally....

"We" do not need additional problems to solve, but basic researchers do — as many as they can find or make. Each additional hurdle represents years of future work. The public sees problems in ES safety and performance as roadblocks to their medical use. To scientists they represent future articles in research journals, ladders to professional fame, university tenure, research funding, potential patents, licensing fees, royalties, biotech 'start up' firms, and hype to encourage investment."

HT: Wesley Smith

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