Saturday, March 12, 2005

Stem cell mini-roundup:

Orin Judd rounds up two articles on the stem cell issue both surrounding Michael Fumento. In one, an article on his website, Mr. Fumento goes into depth on how the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is not interested in every type of research shows promise for finding a cure, but instead has become a lobby for embryonic stem cell research. The second, on Wesley Smith's site, Secondhand Smoke, Mr. Smith notes that Scripps Howard refused to publish Mr Fumento's follow up story on the JDRC's policies. It's clear, though, that Scripps Howard feels at this time it is useful publish primers so as to explain the need for every form of research. Is this their own a catcall directed at JDRF, veiled support for ESC or both? (I can't but note Fumento's linking habits, something I wish the press would get into doing.)

In the legislative arena, Maryland legislators are debting funding bills and officials at U. of Maryland are reconsidering further research with ESC. Bills are also being considered in Nebraska, including one to ban all forms of human cloning. At the other end of the spectrum, one Massachussetts legislator is promising to deliver a veto-proof ESC bill to Gov. Romney's desk while all sorts are reporting and commenting away on that.

But no stem cell round-up is complete without CA's hot debate. There are calls for regs on harvesting embyros; the political oversight of the groundbreaking institute is starting even though cities are still fighting over where the groundbreaking will take place; and NJ is worried about the 'gold rush' of investment to CA but can't do anything about it due to budget woes.

Meanwhile on the human front, San Diego businessman and stem cell supporter offered $1M to Michael Shiavo if he would transferred responisbility for Terri's care to him. (Mr. Shiavo's lawyer said the offer would be turned down.) And while widespread theraputic application of this promising technology is thought to be years away and mostly still illegal, its use is reported to be spreading in Russia. Some, however, think India can "ride the crest" in this area of technological research and treatment.

But do not miss this William Saletan article where he took what had to be a very interesting look at what he describes as Jews vs. Catholics in the stem cell debate, first at the President's Council on Bioethics last week and then the bioethics conference at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome. It's great writing even if you aren't interested in this subject.

I'd prefer not to get into providing the research progress as I am not tecnically inclined that way and, considering the type of technical stuff noted in the Saletan article, I'd make a mash of it, but if anyone has seen round-up posts of that bent, I'd appreciate it.


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