March 10, 2009
Stem-Cell Reversal VIPs
Conservatives aren't happy about President Obama's reversal on federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown writes.
And Dan Gilgoff reports on the faith-based VIPs at President Obama's stem-cell research signing yesterday.
- Maureen Shea, Episcopal Church USA, Director of Government Relations
- James Winkler, United Methodist Church, Secretary of the General Board of Church and Society
- Rabbi Steve Gutow, Jewish Council for Public Affairs
- Rev. Welton Gaddy, Interfaith Alliance
- Nancy Ratzan, National Council of Jewish Women
- Nathan Diament, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations
- Rabbi David Saperstein, Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism
The Associated Press' Eric Gorski breaks down some of the religious debates surrounding the issue. And Chris Good writes that Rick Warren won't be making a statement on Obama's decision, but last time I checked, Warren doesn't really make many public statements.
In an analysis piece for The New York Times Nicholas Wade writes that while President Obama's reversal of the stem-cell policy will make accounting easier for researchers, research on embryonic stem cells, "though still important, has been somewhat eclipsed by new advances."
[T]he president's support of embryonic stem cell research comes at a time when many advances have been made with other sorts of stem cells. The Japanese biologist Shinya Yamanaka found in 2007 that adult cells could be reprogrammed to an embryonic state with surprising ease. This technology "may eventually eclipse the embryonic stem cell lines for therapeutic as well as diagnostics applications," Dr. Kriegstein said. For researchers, reprogramming an adult cell can be much more convenient, and there have never been any restrictions on working with adult stem cells.
He writes that politicians have often created the hype that embryonic stem cell research would lead to quick cures.
Scientists have not publicly objected to such high-flown hopes, which have helped fuel new sources of grant money like the $3 billion initiative in California for stem cell research.
In private, however, many researchers have projected much more modest goals for embryonic stem cells.
And in case you're looking for more casual reading, Christianity Today has a special section on embryonic stem-cell research.