Chalk up a win for science, said Arthur Caplan in MSNBC. President Obama is lifting a ban -- imposed by George W. Bush -- on using taxpayers’ money for human embryonic stem-cell research. The reversal of Bush’s “scientifically unsound policy” will face criticism from the Vatican and right-to-life groups, but it puts us a step closer to finding treatments for “currently incurable conditions.”
No doubt Obama and his supporters will claim this moment creates “new hopes for cures for diseases such as Parkinsons, cancer and diabetes,” said Junk Science publisher Steven Milloy in FOX News. But don’t count on a breakthrough any time soon. Seven years after Bush “restricted federal funding on moral grounds, it has become clearer than ever that such research is likely to deliver far less than hoped for, if it delivers anything at all.”
Nobody knows what the research will yield, said Carrie Peyton Dahlberg in The Sacramento Bee, but there’s no denying that lifting the ban will spark a new burst of activity in labs. “Well before word emerged that President Barack Obama would lift the ban,” University of California-Davis scientists had already chosen four stem lines to order. The wait to get the work started will soon be over.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
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- Don't argue about politics this Thanksgiving. Just don't.
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