Monday, September 05, 2005

more inconvenient science

In a way, you gotta feel sorry for the de facto Bush Administration. So often, those damn scientists, who have absolutely NO sense of political timing or morality, turn up information that is inconvenient to the Bush political agenda and contrary to the belief of the religious zealots who are trying to steer this country in the direction of a modern theocracy.

The latest inconvenient finding proves that embryonic stem cells kept in captivity do NOT remain young forever. Over time, they acquire mutations that eventually render them useless for transplant into patients. If true, this will render useless Bush's compromise decision a couple of years ago to allow research to continue on the existing cell lines while banning the use of new cell lines.

I have a great deal of sympathy with people who are concerned about the ethics and morality of such research -- especially if we get close to cloning humans. There are important ethical issues to consider. But the knee-jerk attempt to prevent American scientists from conducting important medical research is absurd. Such research is well underway in Britain, S. Korea, and elsewhere -- some of it sponsored by American companies who can't do the work at home. We're costing ourselves well-paid jobs with this stem cell ban and further, we may be missing out on cures for diseases. Strong-willed shortsightedness, again.

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