Friday, January 12, 2007

Embrionic Stem Cells

It appears that stem cells are back on the front pages these days as part of the democratic party's 100 hour plan. I could go into great length about the problems of embryonic stem cell research on an ethical level, but in all honesty, I think we need to be looking at the major problems on a scientific level. So let's take a closer look at stem cell research, shall we?

It would seem to most Americans that embryonic stem cells are in essence the philosopher's stone that will turn diseased and aged bodies into pinnacles of health. It would also seem that this miraculous discovery lay in the warehouses of science untouched due to government restrictions (like the ark of the covenant at the end of Indiana Jones, sorry if you haven't seen the movie). But the truth is over 20 million dollars has been spent on embryonic stem cell research since 2002, 900 papers have been published about human embryonic stem cell research (and over 1000 papers published on animal stem cell research), and 80 research projects have been devoted to the study of embryonic stem cell research. Clearly this field is not scientific potential stunted by politics.
"So what has been learned from this research?" you might ask. "An excellent question" I would respond. With all the research that has been done thus far, it would seem that
scientists would have a great deal of evidence that embryonic stem cells are the gold mine that they predicted it would be. But they haven't. In fact, most research shows that this field is a dead end scientifically, economically, and ethically. You can find a detailed account of the major problems with embryonic stem cells in this article.

Dan, 5:22 AM | link | 4 comments |