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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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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.