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Right to Recover ~ Winning the Political and Religious Wars Over Stem Cell Research in America presents scientific facts that challenge readers to think for themselves rather than accept political or religious views on stem cell research.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

THE POLITICS BEHIND THE NEW STEM CELL APPROACH—PART ONE

Teams lead by Shinya Yamanaka of Japan, and Jamie Thomson of Wisconsin have apparently succeeded in developing stem cells in a revolutionary new way. Induced Pluripotentiary Stem (IPS) cell research involves implanting four genes into a skin cell, thereby “turning back the clock”, into any earlier form.

Reprogramming skin cells into a potentially embryonic state is an amazing possibility. Unfortunately, opponents of embryonic stem cell research are attempting to use the advance in a negative way: to block research of equal or greater potential-- and to help elect opponents of research.

Certain politicians, known enemies of stem cell research, are shamelessly claiming credit for the new advance: as if their attempt to impose the darkness of scientific censorship somehow added to the light.

A ban on science is not a contribution.

Those who have systematically attacked the research should not now be rewarded, especially since they are already attempting to use IPS as a roadblock, not an advance.

The coming elections are crucial in determining the direction of science. Not only the future of stem cell research, but also the larger issue of funding for the entire National Institutes of Health (NIH) is at stake.

Read the rest of this article by Don Reed at www.stemcellbattles.com

Don C. Reed is co-chair (with Karen Miner) of Californians for Cures, and writes for their web blog, www.stemcellbattles.com. Reed was citizen-sponsor for California’s Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act of 1999, named after his paralyzed son; he worked as a grassroots advocate for California’s Senator Deborah Ortiz’s three stem cell regulatory laws, served as an executive board member for Proposition 71, the California Stem Cells for Research and Cures Act, and is director of policy outreach for Americans for Cures. The retired schoolteacher is the author of five books and thirty magazine articles, and has received the National Press Award.

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