Monday, October 27, 2008

Britain's Brain Drain?

Every time UK researchers want to do some new unethical kind of research (like creating and killing cloned human-animal hybrid embryos) they claim that if they're not allowed to do this research there will be an exodus of researchers to other nations where the research isn't prohibited.

Now, a UK stem cell scientist is actually leaving Britain with his 10-man team. Not because the UK prevents some unethical research but because he claims he can't get adequate funding in the UK for adult stem cell research.
Colin McGuckin, professor of regenerative medicine at Newcastle University and an expert in adult stem cells, claimed that the Government and funding bodies are biased towards embryonic stem cell research, even his work has more immediate clinical benefits.

He claimed his university has failed to provide him with adequate facilities, adding: "You would barely know that adult stem cells exist at Newcastle."


After a series of public warnings of a need for more funding, he has now decided to move to the University of Lyon in January to open the world's biggest institute devoted to cord blood and adult stem-cell research. He will take a 10-man research team from Newcastle with him, including his research partner Nico Forraz.

Speaking to Times Higher Education, Prof McGuckin said France offered a "much better environment" to cure and treat more people.

"The bottom line is my vocation is to work with patients and help patients and unfortunately I can't do that in the UK," he said.

"France is very supportive of adult stem cells because they know that these are the things that are in the clinic right now and will be more likely in the clinic.

"A vast amount of money in the UK from the Government has gone into embryonic stem-cell research with not one patient having being treated, to the detriment of (research into) adult stem cells, which has been severely underfunded."

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