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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Mixed Forecast for Stem Cells
30 January 2001 7:00 pm
A week and a half after George W. Bush moved into the White House, U.S. scientists are still uncertain whether the Administration will allow the federal government to fund research on stem cells. Bush has given mixed messages on the issue, but proponents of stem cell research are hopeful that the new Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tommy Thompson, may help sway Bush's view in their favor.
In his first comments on the issue since taking office, Bush told reporters last Friday that "I believe there are some wonderful opportunities for adult stem cell research," and that "I believe we can find stem cells from fetuses that died a natural death. And I do not support research from aborted fetuses."
But Bush did not say whether he would block a National Institutes of Health (NIH) plan to fund research on the cells (ScienceNOW, 23 August 2000), which scientists believe might eventually treat a range of diseases. And he voiced no opinion on the acceptability of research on cells derived from another controversial source: frozen "excess" embryos slated for disposal at fertility clinics. White House aides, however, told reporters the president was signaling his intention to block NIH's plan.
But stem cell enthusiasts are cautiously optimistic about the appointment of Thompson, who will oversee NIH. As governor of Wisconsin, Thomson supported embryonic stem cell research, even hosting a reception at the governor's mansion celebrating the stem cell breakthroughs made at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. And in Congress, a spokesperson for senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) said that Specter, a vocal supporter of stem cell research, intends to reintroduce a bill that would allow NIH's plan to go forward. Last year, opponents blocked debate on a similar measure.