I am so G*DDAMN SICK of the "war on science" thing that people who simply hate President Bush carry on with.
Facts, people, facts.
The only thing that Bush has done in his alleged "war on science" is to mandate that the US will continue funding research on existing fetal stem cell lines, but it won't provide government funds for any new cell lines. Got that? Research will continue. For Democrats, I'll repeat myself. Research will continue. The "war on science" thing is bull.
Now for those of you who don't know, fetal stem cells are an absolute, 100% dry hole. Nothing has ever been solved using fetal stem cells. I've been in the biotech industry for almost 20 years now. I read the publications, I've done the research, I've spent hours in labs pipetting things. I've done work on a possible cancer therapy (I won't go so far as to call it a cure, yet) and I did some work of which I'm especially proud which involved a device that I hope will be on the shelves of hospitals very soon and will deal with septic shock.
But fetal stem cells have done squat. Nada. Zero. NOTHING.
Grow up, Teddy Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi--if fetal stem cells were the wave of the future, you'd have biotech and pharmaceutical companies piling over each other to grab the prize. Am I clear? If fetal stem cells were the be-all and end-all, 25 pharmaceutical companies would be all over it.
Ever noticed how they aren't?
There have been some really interesting studies involving stem cells. In one study scientists severed the spinal cords of mice and then injected stem cells and the spinal cords were actually repaired. But they were adult stem cells. Not fetal.
And in one study scientists injected fetal stem cells into people with Parkinson's and the subjects deteriorated rapidly. Worse than if they hadn't gotten the treatment.
For all that is wished, fetal stem cells ain't the be-all-end-all. They've been likened to a piece of sheet metal that can be hammered into any shape, but it turns out that's apparently not the case. Now, one place I worked cultivated cells from adult tissue and achieved remarkable results. A Belgian woman who was basically invalid was injected with cells cultured from an adult heart and recovered something like 70% heart capacity. And we also developed cell growth media which has been used to grow cartilage. But none of this involved fetal stem cells, and yes, we had them.
The whole thing with fetal stem cell research can be broken down into two issues. The first is abortion. People apply the broad brush and say "Those who oppose fetal stem cell research do so because they are opposed to abortion and IVF". And a lot of scientists have wussed out on the whole thing and won't tell the truth lest they be painted by the radicals as anti-abortion. And reason number two is that a lot of scientists are milking it big time: "Just keep throwing money at me and I'll cure everything". Well, hell, everyone wants things cured, so people grasp at it like someone grabbing a life ring. But it's BS.
But the believers built an artificial construct around it. "If you oppose it it's because you're a Luddite or you're one of those extreme right-wingers". So everyone cowers.
As I cited above, cell therapy works. And I am a huge fan of cell therapy. I saw the results of the Belgian woman, I did some really neat work which involved turning certain cells into "hunters" of cancer cells.
But this "war on science" meme is BS. First--Bush didn't defund stem cell research. Not at all. He simply said "No new cell lines will be funded by the government". And second--and this is how you know the "war" thing is BS--if the things worked private companies would be all over them.