A few years ago, stem cell politics in Australia took the turn for the worse that was - and still is - threatened in the US and much of Europe. The Scientist looks at the present state of affairs: "The Australian government has come under pressure this week to respond to proposals that national laws should be amended to allow somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) for research purposes. The changes, recommended late last year by a government-commissioned independent review, would permit therapeutic cloning under strict controls. But scientists fear the government will ignore the advice and decide to keep the current ban." Ultimately, the problem is not politicians - who are only more cruel, venal and callous than you or I because they have brought upon themselves the means and opportunities to be so - but that power has been centralized, ripe for abuse. In whose hands should your future health and longevity lie - yours, or those of bureaucrats who care nothing for your well-being?