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Cultivating Policy from Cell Types

For better or worse, stem cell science has become inextricably married to stem cell politics. Policymakers who oppose public financing of embryonic stem cells have used recent adult stem cell findings to argue for a dismissal of the NIH stem cell guidelines (see "On the Brink," page 1). The guidelines, finalized last summer during the Clinton administration, call for funding the use, but not derivation, of human embryonic stem cells (ESCs); the pro-life Bush administration appears ready to ban t

Eugene Russo
For better or worse, stem cell science has become inextricably married to stem cell politics. Policymakers who oppose public financing of embryonic stem cells have used recent adult stem cell findings to argue for a dismissal of the NIH stem cell guidelines (see "On the Brink," page 1). The guidelines, finalized last summer during the Clinton administration, call for funding the use, but not derivation, of human embryonic stem cells (ESCs); the pro-life Bush administration appears ready to ban the funding of both. Yet many stem cell investigators insist that adult stem cell research does not preclude the need to study human ESCs, and that investigating both areas will allow for a cross-fertilization of ideas and techniques.1

"I don't think you could find anybody in this field who thinks you should abandon stem cell or embryonic research--yet," comments adult stem cell researcher Diane Krause, an assistant professor of...

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