Thursday, April 05, 2007

Life Links 4/5/07

Indian scientists have apparently used adult stem cells to successfully treat a man with Parkinson's.

HT: Mary Meets Dolly

Is the U.S. experiencing a "brain-drain" of stem cell researchers because of our federal policy on embryonic stem cell funding? If yes, then why is a leading British scientist moving to Minnesota to head their Stem Cell Institute.

Former Republican Congressman Joe Schwarz continues to show that either 1.) his knowledge of stem cell research and the issues surrounding it are rather poor or 2.) he's a liar. False claims in the article include Schwarz's claim that "hundreds of thousands of unwanted blastocysts are discarded as medical waste each year" and Michigan laws against killing embryos for research would somehow put Michigan researchers to the "bottom of the list" when it comes to federal grants for embryonic stem cell research. Schwarz also claims researchers will leave Michigan for other places where the "foundation has been laid for them to do the research" and then he lists other countries including France and Germany. According to the International Society for Stem Cell Research's (a pro-embryonic stem cell research organization) web site, France and Germany both prohibit "the procurement of embryonic stem cells from human embryos" just like Michigan does. So what's going on Joe? How can this great foundation get laid in countries which have similar laws to Michigan?

The article also claims the bill to expand the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research "passed the House and Senate twice, both times vetoed by President George W. Bush." Twice? Really? I thought we were still waiting for the Senate to vote on this bill before the President can veto it. Where is the author getting his or her information? Schwarz couldn't be that ignorant? Or could he?

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