TIME on Stem Cell Research, Politics

For those keeping tabs on stem cell politics - and they way it dominates and twists mainstream reporting of actual science and progress - TIME provides something of an overview: "Not all embryonic-stem-cell lines are created equal. Some are more readily driven down a certain lineage, such as heart cells, while others more easily become nerve. We don't understand how it happens, but it does mean we need diversity. ... researchers announced this summer that they would develop new cell lines through somatic cell nuclear transfer, or therapeutic cloning. ... these cells would match the patient's dna, so the body would be less likely to reject a transplant derived from them. Even more exciting for researchers, however, is that this technique can yield embryos that serve as the perfect disease in a dish, revealing how a disease unfolds from the very first hours." For politics and funding, the article is another biased viewpoint in a world full of biased viewpoints. The field is complex, comparatively well-funded and moving rapidly - but the technical goals are challenging enough without adding meddling politicians to the list.

Link: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/printout/0,8816,1220443,00.html


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