The USF Oracle is carrying an overview of the current science of stem cell research and the associated debate. The piece includes quotes from the various sides of the fence, as well as a short history of related science, legislation and politics in the US. Reading this and then proceeding to Ronald Bailey's latest piece on "moral vertigo" at Reason Online would be a good introduction for someone who hasn't been following the issues. The anti-research side of the debate have succeeded in greatly slowing research in the US and Europe. You and I wind up paying the price for their opinions in a currency of life span and health.