Friday, June 06, 2008

Stem Cell Research, Money and State Efforts

The United States is lagging behind other countries in terms of its global share of human embryonic stem cell research, but that could change as more states pump dollars into the effort.

That's the upshot of a report by Aaron Levine(pictured), assistant professor of public policy at Georgia Tech, in the online publication Cell Stem Cell.

He said supportive policies and public research dollars in the United Kingdom, Israel, China, Singapore and Australia are producing unusually large shares of published hESC research.

However, the Georgia Tech press release on Levine's work says,
"Venturing where the federal government fears to tread, states like California, New York, Connecticut and Maryland are becoming places researchers can turn to for human embryonic stem cell funding. But Levine thinks that development may complicate matters.

"'There are a variety of funding sources out there now, but it makes the field more complicated for scientists to follow the various rules set forth by the states and foundations,' said Levine. 'I think scientists would prefer clear oversight from a federal government that’s supportive of their research.'

"Levine plans to follow up this current work with a look at how collaboration is affected by these different state policies."
Monya Baker of Nature's Niche stem cell blog also wrote about the study.

She reported,
"'The study chips away at the question but doesn't necessarily take into account a number of other factors,' says Stanford University’s Jennifer McCormick, whose work has also found that the rate of the US publications in human ES cell research was lagging relative to other countries. For example, the study does not control for the fact that some countries invest more in commercial than academic research or that some countries recognize patents covering human ES cell research and others do not. "
Andrea Gawrylewski of The Scientist had this:

Brian Salter, professor of politics and biomedicine at King's College London, said the Levine study does not take into account the hierarchy of journals and journal impact factors. She quoted Salter as saying,
"Underperforming countries may have scientists who go for the higher status journals."
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1 comment:

  1. When is the world going to wake up and realise the potential of stem cells? It is something that i feel very strongly about!

    Thanks for the engaging read!

    I enjoyed it!