CA Prop 71: Embriotic Stem Cell Failure

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Missourian, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. Missourian
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    Missourian Gold Member

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    California's Proposition 71 Failure

    Posted 01/12/2010 06:36 PM ET


    Bioethics: Five years after a budget-busting $3 billion was allocated to embryonic stem cell research, there have been no cures, no therapies and little progress. So supporters are embracing research they once opposed.


    California's Proposition 71 was intended to create a $3 billion West Coast counterpart to the National Institutes of Health, empowered to go where the NIH could not — either because of federal policy or funding restraints on biomedical research centered on human embryonic stem cells.


    Supporters of the California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative, passed in 2004, held out hopes of imminent medical miracles that were being held up only by President Bush's policy of not allowing federal funding of embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) beyond existing stem cell lines and which involved the destruction of embryos created for that purpose.


    Five years later, ESCR has failed to deliver and backers of Prop 71 are admitting failure. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state agency created to, as some have put it, restore science to its rightful place, is diverting funds from ESCR to research that has produced actual therapies and treatments: adult stem cell research. It not only has treated real people with real results; it also does not come with the moral baggage ESCR does.


    To us, this is a classic bait-and-switch, an attempt to snatch success from the jaws of failure and take credit for discoveries and advances achieved by research Prop. 71 supporters once cavalierly dismissed. We have noted how over the years that when funding was needed, the phrase "embryonic stem cells" was used. When actual progress was discussed, the word "embryonic" was dropped because ESCR never got out of the lab.


    Prop 71 had a 10-year mandate and by 2008, as miracle cures looked increasingly unlikely, a director was hired for the agency with a track record of bringing discoveries from the lab to the clinic. "If we went 10 years and had no clinical treatments, it would be a failure," says the institute's director, Alan Trounson, a stem cell pioneer from Australia. "We need to demonstrate that we are starting a whole new medical revolution."


    The institute is attempting to do that by funding adult stem cell research. Nearly $230 million was handed out this past October to 14 research teams. Notably, only four of those projects involve embryonic stem cells.


     
  2. slackjawed
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    slackjawed Self deported

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    Stem cell failure must be terribly painful.
     
  3. Missourian
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    Missourian Gold Member

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    Boy, I don't know how I slaughtered that title so badly...it should say embryonic stem cell.
     
  4. Mr. Shaman
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    Mr. Shaman Senior Member

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    Every once-in-a-while (like, possibly, while titling a post), you Show Me folks gotta take-off your blindfolds...to see what's REALLY goin'-on around you.

    :rolleyes:

     

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