Monday, September 10, 2007

Stem Cell Snippets: Drooping Support, Farmland, Goldstein's Views and CIRM Scholar

Declining Support for Stem Cell Research –- The Pew Forum for Religion and Public Life has released a public opinion poll that shows weakening support for stem cell research, dropping from 57 percent two years ago to 51 percent in August this year. It also showed that 55 percent of the public had heard little or nothing about stem cell research. The polling question involving support used the phrasing "destroying potential life." The results certainly would have been more negative if the word "potential" had been omitted. "Destroying life" is how many opponents view the issue. The "take-home" point? Support for human embryonic stem cell research is fragile and can easily be undermined by events ranging from a dubious experiment or result or perceived misconduct by those funding stem cell research.

ISSCR and Farmland –- Jesse Reynolds of the Center for Genetics and Society comments critically on the involvement of the International Society for Stem Cell Research in a land development proposal that also proposes the creation of a stem cell research nonprofit. You can read it here.

Stem Cells After Bush -- Lawrence Goldstein, director of stem cell research at the University of California at San Diego, was quoted on CNN concerning the future of federal funding for stem cell research after Bush. He said. "Personally, I think it's a mistake for the scientific community to assume anything about what the likely policy will be of a government that doesn't yet exist." He also said, "I would not build a business plan based on the assumption there will be federal funding for stem cell research." The article largely covered the perspective from business on stem cell research.

CIRM Scholar – A recent cover story in Nature magazine featured research by a CIRM scholar, Laura Elias at the University of California, San Francisco. She led a neural stem cell study that revealed a mechanism that may play a role in cancer. Elias is a neuroscience graduate student in the lab of senior author Arnold Kriegstein, director of UCSF Institute for Regeneration Medicine.

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