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A Stem Cell Solution?

How can you get new stem cells without killing embryos? Harvard scientists may now have an answer...

Scientists for the first time have turned ordinary skin cells into what appear to be embryonic stem cells - without having to use human eggs or make human embryos in the process, as has previously been required, a Harvard research team announced yesterday.

The new technique uses laboratory-grown human embryonic stem cells - such as the ones President Bush has already approved for use by federally financed researchers - to "reprogram" the genes in a person's skin cell, turning that skin cell into an embryonic stem cell itself.

Moreover, since the stem cells made this way are essentially rejuvenated versions of a person's own skin cells, the DNA in those new stem cells matches the DNA of the person who provided the skin cells. In theory at least, that means any tissues grown from those newly minted stem cells could be transplanted into the person to treat a disease without much risk that they would be rejected, since they would constitute an exact genetic match.

Great news indeed.


This is promising. However, this administration has been really blocking stem cell research. If Clinton was president this research area would be far more advanced than what it is know. Bush and the religious fanatics who control his administartion have been disastrous for stem cell research and, in fact, medical research altogether.

Actually, no ESC funding was allowed during Clinton's tenure. Bush initiated federal funding for ESC research, albeit on a limited basis. Mind you, I disagree with Bush's policy, but I can't let you get away with such a bogus statement.

You apparently hear what the administration has been saying, but you are not very close to the facts. The only reason Bush initiated this very limited funding for stem cell research is simply because that was the time that the medical research in the area had matured enough to a point that could be competitive for federal funding. It was not his choice. Clinton could not had provided funding when he was a president, simply because the field was not advanced enough then.

On the contrary, in order to be politically correct with the religious right, Bush has severely limited what is given for stem cell research. He only allowed funding for research involving a few stem cell lines that most scientists can not use (they are contaminated with mouse cells). So, although what you say is technically correct and Bush was the first one to provide some funds, in reality he has been blocking Stem Cell Research (very much so). That was a major reason a large group of Nobel Prize Winners in Medicine endorsed Kerry in the last election.

Beyond stem cell research, the Bush administration has severely damaged research funding for other medical areas as well, including cancer. If you dont believe me, talk to someone who knows the facts first hand. It is a well known fact to people who work in the medical research field. I have no idea why the democrats dont raise openly this issue. This administration has been disastrous for research and science.

Blue, you're not hearing me. I oppose Bush's policies in this area, so you don't need to convince me. But you're giving Clinton an unwarranted pass. He avoided the issue because he knew whatever action he took would alienate a large voting block, and that's just not his style. Bush, agree with him or not (and neither you nor I do in this case) is willing to make politically tough calls.

Ok, I hear you. However, I like far more Clinton's style because he usually makes sense. I agree that Bush is willing to make politically tough calls. The problem is that every single decision he has made so far has been completely disastrous. In my opinion he is the worst president in US history.

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