Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 95 E300
Location: Inside my head
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 392 Post(s)
Matthew Herper, 08.23.06, 1:00 PM ET
A tiny Worcester, Mass., company says it has created embryonic stem cells in a way that need not destroy human embryos, potentially sidestepping ethical concerns that have severely limited embryonic stem cell research.
Five years ago, President George W. Bush decided that only research on embryonic stem cells from embryos destroyed before August 2001 could receive federal funds. That decision has resulted in a paucity of money for the work, which many scientists say is uniquely promising. Since 2001, the government has spent only $90 million on embryonic stem cell research, a smidgen of its $20 billion annual research budget and half what it spends every year on other kinds of stem cell research.
Private donors, including some billionaires, have spent far more than the government to keep the research alive. (See " Anti-Ban Billionaires.")
The company, Advanced Cell Technology, says it conducted the research specifically to try to find a way to get around the Bush restrictions. "Our main objective was to increase the number of lines available for federal funding," says Robert Lanza, a vice president at Advanced Cell and a co-author of the paper describing the work, which will be published tomorrow in the prestigious British journal Nature. The White House did not return a call on Wednesday from Forbes.com seeking comment.