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  1. #1

    TIME MAGAZINE

    Just picked up the Time magazine and have to say they did a nice job on the article about you Dr. Young. I only wish that they would have had a longer article! Nice picture as well! The article about James Thomson (stem cells) was quite interesting as well...in fact all the articles are worth reading!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    And what about the science?/time article

    And what about the science?

    http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/time/...0/science.html

    REALITY CHECK
    By David Bjerklie and Alice Park/New York, Anthee Carassava/London and John Dickerson/Washingtonk
    If President Bush hoped that his decision last week to permit limited federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research would quiet the ferocious debate surrounding the issue, it was a hope that was quickly dashed. Since his announcement, advocates on both sides have continued to find plenty to argue about--whether there are really 60 existing cell lines on which the President would allow research; whether those lines would be sufficient to yield real results; whether the restrictive rules will simply drive U.S. stem-cell researchers to other countries where they can do their work with less government interference.

    But nearly everyone agrees on one thing: stem cells, the unspecialized cells the body uses as raw material for tissues and organs, have the potential to treat an astonishing range of ills, including Parkinson's disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's and spinal-cord injuries. After Bush's decision, the question becomes whether they'll ever get a fair chance.

    To most people, the idea of researchers dipping freely into an eternally regenerating, federally bankrolled pool of 60 stem-cell lines sounds pretty good, and that's just the way the President wanted it. "Research on these 60 lines could...lead to breakthrough therapies," Bush said. Maybe--provided scientists can get hold of them.

    It was the National Institutes of Health that arrived at the 60 figure, conducting a worldwide survey of labs to determine which ones had viable cell lines already in inventory. As recently as last month, the nih put the figure at just 30, but after what a senior Administration official described as an "arduous process" of searching, the number doubled.

    The day after Bush's speech, the Administration had boosted the figure even higher, to 65. And though the White House originally reported that only half a dozen of them were derived in U.S. labs, that number too was revised upward--to 30. Whatever the actual figure, no one denies that many of the cell lines were developed by private companies that protect creations of this kind with a seawall of patents. "It is very possible that they will either not be available or available at exorbitant prices with all sorts of legal clauses attached," says Yale cell biologist Dr. Diane Krause. Says Dalton Dietrich, scientific director of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis: "That's what all the scientists are asking this morning--how am I going to get my hands on these cells?"

    The White House insists that procedures are in place to deal with just this concern--in the form of so-called material transfer agreements, under which the NIH will negotiate with patent holders for access to their cell lines. "Obviously, in any area of medical or scientific research," says the Administration official, "there are companies that get out in front of the technology, and they get the patents."

    In other areas of research, however, the door hasn't been closed to latecomers the way it has with stem cells, and that has the scientific community worried. In order to maximize the medical payoff from stem-cell research, researchers prefer to work with the most robust population of cell lines possible. No one knows, after all, if some lines are more viable than others and if some lend themselves to many uses while others to only a few. If too many of the lines dead-end or die off, research could stagnate. "Some stem-cell uses," says Krause, "will require diversity greater than 60 cell lines."

    Here, too, the Administration is sanguine, pointing out that the wide range of countries from which the available cell lines hail--including India, Israel, Singapore and Australia--helps ensure that they will be as diverse as possible. Some researchers even insist that the precise number of cell lines isn't important at all because none of them will actually wind up in the body. At this early stage, investigators aren't so much developing cures as creating research and manufacturing techniques. For that, the specific cell lines aren't important. "This will enable the biomedical community to iron out the molecular biology of these cells," says Dr. Thomas Okarma, CEO of the biotech firm Geron, which finances stem-cell pioneer James Thomson as well as John Gearhart, "and that doesn't turn on one cell line vs. another."

    Other people are troubled not by what the Bush ruling may do to the science but by what it may do to America's standing in the world. The U.S. was embarrassed once this summer when stem-cell researcher Roger Pederson of the University of California, San Francisco--fed up with all the hand-wringing and rulemaking--was seduced overseas by Cambridge University in England. This, of course, may be just an isolated defection rather than the start of a national brain drain. "I'm not packing," quips Thomson, who pronounced himself pleased that the feds would finally make some money available. But in the wake of Bush's decision, other countries may certainly be tempted to bid for more of America's best and brightest. "Overall," says Chris Higgins, director of the Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre in London, "[the decision] adds to a general uncertainty as to where research can go in the U.S."

    There are, to be sure, ways around the federal rules. Nothing prevents scientists who are working with forbidden stem cells from talking to--and sharing information with--those working with approved lines. And when scientists publish their work, anyone can read it. Institutions that receive federal funds are not absolutely limited in the work they can do as long as work that falls outside the White House ban is conducted independently, with no commingling of funds or facilities or--more important--cell lines.

    But even if the research proceeds apace, can stem cells ever live up to their promise? On this question, it's the science of the thing that matters, not the politics, and the science is uncertain. Investigators have already made significant advances in stem-cell research--the latest being the announcement from researchers at the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion) that they'd used a batch of embryonic stem cells to grow heart cells that actually beat and insulin-producing cells that mimic those in the pancreas. But there are plenty of steps between these advances and actual treatments--and any or all of them could pose difficulties. Says Dr. Karl Skorecki, director of Technion's Rappaport Research Institute: "We are at the beginning of a long process."

    The first major hurdle is that while embryonic stem cells can develop into just about any type of tissue, scientists have little control over which one. Both the insulin-producing cells and heart cells, for example, came about by spontaneous differentiation. Scientists had to let the cells grow on their own, then pick out the ones they wanted.

    But creating the appropriate cells is just part of the problem. Scientists then have to ensure that the new cells can survive in a host and do the job they're supposed to do. Dr. Lior Gepstein, leader of the team that developed the heart cells, has doubts. "If they stay in the damaged area and don't combine with the other heart tissue, they won't contract simultaneously, and they won't do any good."

    Preliminary research in this area has yielded mixed results. When primitive cells are injected into rats with spinal-cord injuries, reports Dietrich, the animals' motor function frequently improves. But if you look at the rats' spinal cords at the end of the experiment, you don't see a big increase in the number of nerve cells or connections per cell. One theory about what's going on: the injected stem cells are releasing growth-promoting factors that may help the nerve cells that were already there reroute signals around the injury. Unfortunately, they may also be releasing chemicals that prevent the repair from being complete. And these are just animal experiments. Researchers will almost certainly face a whole new set of obstacles when they begin experiments on human subjects.

    So given the tortuous road to stem-cell therapy, how long will patients have to wait? For some areas of research, things could move quickly, with scientists churning out lab-grown cells within a year or two. But moving into animal models and then human trials could take much longer. "There is no reason to think that this will happen overnight," says Dr. Christopher Saudek, president of the American Diabetes Association.

    While research will now move faster than it would have if Bush had banned stem-cell work outright, it will also move more slowly than it would have if he had approved unrestricted funding. As the President himself allowed, there's no telling whether stem cells will be the panacea some people say. When the answers do start to come, they could be far in the future--and far beyond U.S. shores.

    --Reported by David Bjerklie and Alice Park/New York, Anthee Carassava/London and John Dickerson/Washington

    "All the scientists are asking, 'How am I going to get my hands on these cells?'"

    In this country... The Federal Government will bankroll research into embryonic stem cells, but scientists will be limited to working with 65 or so existing stem-cell lines. Institutions not receiving money from Washington may continue to create new cell lines

    ...and abroad

    BRITAIN

    Parliament recently approved creating human embryos for research purposes. Regulations that do exist apply equally to publicly and privately financed labs

    GERMANY

    Creating human embryos for research is prohibited. The country has asked the United Nations to back a worldwide ban on embryonic stem-cell research

    JAPAN

    New guidelines permit stem cells to be created only from surplus embryos that were created in fertility clinics and are set to be discarded

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MORE TIME STORIES:
    Cover Date: August 20, 2001
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  3. #3
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    How Bush got there

    How Bush got there

    http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/time/...8/20/bush.html

    Months of debate--and one lucky break--led to the President's compromise. The inside story.
    By Richard Lacayo
    With reporting by James Carney, Matthew Cooper, John F. Dickerson, Michael Duffy and Douglas Waller
    For a while this year it seemed that George W. Bush buttonholed everybody he met to get his or her view on stem-cell research. Emissaries from Capitol Hill, delegations of scientists, pro-lifers, bioethicists, patients' advocates, the Pope--if they had a take, they had his ear. "Almost everyone in the White House, well, he asked your opinion at one point," says presidential counselor Karen Hughes. "He also questioned what led you to that decision. He wanted to know the rationale."

    Of all the advice Bush got, however, none was more important than the consultation he held on Aug. 2 with doctors and scientists from the National Institutes of Health. Weeks earlier, Bush had sent the NIH on a treasure hunt through clinics and laboratories around the world, searching for available lines of stem cells. These are cells extracted from embryos created for fertility treatments but not used to produce children. The extracted stem cells potentially can be made to grow into any cell in the human body, making them an extraordinary resource in the fight against Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes and other diseases.

    Religious conservatives argue that using those stem cells means deriving benefit from the destruction of human embryos--fertilized eggs in the early stages of development--in their eyes no less a crime than abortion. And Bush, son of the great tax-promise breaker, did not want to go back on his vow that he would not fund such research. He believed that if he banned federal funding of research using stem cells derived from embryos destroyed in the future, many pro-lifers might swallow their misgivings about the use of stem cells already extracted from discarded embryos. There was still a problem. Bush and his advisers were being told there were probably a dozen, maybe 20, such lines--not enough, many scientists said, to sustain the necessary research. But the Aug. 2 meeting with the NIH scientists lifted that cloud. They told Bush there were more than 65 lines available worldwide--not as many as scientists would like but enough for a plausible compromise.

    "It made this decision possible," said a senior White House official. "It allowed you to balance the hopes of research against the moral imperative that the government should not be funding the destruction of human life."

    Last spring, when Bush was running for the White House, stem-cell research was for most people an obscure specialty on the frontiers of medicine. In a campaign dominated by education and tax cuts, his promise, made in a letter to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, that "taxpayer funds should not underwrite research that involves the destruction of live human embryos" must have seemed like a detail on the margins of his platform, like his pledge to reform the crop-insurance program.

    Instead, it has provided the central predicament of his young presidency. It is an issue that has placed Senate pro-lifers like Orrin Hatch and Strom Thurmond on the side of those who want federal funding, and brought out stars like Mary Tyler Moore and Michael J. Fox to speak on behalf of juvenile diabetics and people with Parkinson's disease, who might benefit from the research. For Bush, the past few weeks provided a supreme opportunity. For a man who has sometimes seemed to lack the gravitas that the presidency demands, the stem-cell debate offered the chance to show that he was thoughtful, earnest, tireless--in short, worthy of holding the title of President of the United States. Bush's prolonged rumination about the right thing to do was not just a time for soul searching. It was a way of signaling that he could engage issues that mattered at a level commensurate with their importance. In the days just before and after his speech, his aides were everywhere to spread the word that Bush had given this question every last ounce of the consideration it deserved. "I think he just really took it seriously," says an Administration official involved in the decision. "He was bombarded from so many sides. I think he just had to sift and sift."

    What Bush announced in his televised address last Thursday night was a compromise that was, at least in the short term, wonderfully adroit. By allowing funds for research on the small number of already existing stem-cell lines but denying money for any work with stem cells derived from embryos destroyed in the future, he positioned himself in the narrow political space that allowed him to claim he had not stood in the way of promising medical investigations. At the same time, he could insist that he had kept his promises to the Republican right, which abandoned his father after the elder Bush broke his no-new-taxes pledge. To placate scientists who argue that Bush did not go far enough, he promised "aggressive federal funding of research on umbilical-cord, placenta, adult and animal stem cells, which do not involve the same moral dilemma." The government is already spending $250 million on such research this year.

    The White House is hoping that the Bush compromise will deflate moves in Congress to push through legislation that would override his decision. Majorities in both houses support federal funding for research on embryonic stem cells. The Bush compromise might be enough "to head them off at the pass," says Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, an opponent of embryonic stem-cell research. It helped that Bush timed his announcement for the summer recess, when members of Congress are scattered, making it harder for Democrats to offer a speedy, unified alternative.

    For the most part, Bush also defused the fury from the right. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops--to whom he initially made his no-funding promise--blasted his decision as "morally unacceptable." Ken Connor, president of the Family Research Council, said that by trying to distance himself from the destruction of the embryos, Bush was like Pontius Pilate, who "washed his hands of the blood" of Christ. But evangelical leaders like Jerry Falwell and conservative radio host James Dobson called the compromise one they could live with.

    If nothing else, it was not the outcome that pro-lifers feared most--the compromise developed last month by Republican Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the only physician in the Senate, who has been an important Bush adviser on medical and health-care issues. Frist's plan would allow stem cells to be extracted from surplus embryos currently in stock and due for destruction in clinics and labs around the country, a supply that numbers between 100,000 and 1 million. Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, who was mildly critical of Bush's compromise, says he will introduce a broad stem-cell funding bill that could embrace the Frist approach; in the fall Daschle will find out whether Bush has cut him off at the pass.

    For months a White House working group led by Karl Rove, the President's top political adviser, had been taking views from all sides on the stem-cell question. Bush turned to the issue seriously three months ago. On May 8 he had lunch with Tommy Thompson, the pro-research Secretary of Health and Human Services. At the time Thompson was fairly certain that Bush would not budge from the position he took during the campaign, when the question had been turned over to aides who handled abortion issues, with predictable results. To Thompson's surprise, Bush insisted that he was looking for a solution somewhere between a total ban and the kind of green light that might encourage the spread of virtual embryo factories. "He made it clear that he was up in the air," says a White House aide.

    Thompson was a major advocate of the idea that already existing lines of stem cells might serve as the basis for compromise. He spoke from time to time with James Thomson, the stem-cell pioneer at the University of Wisconsin (see America's Best), who had led him to believe there could be useful research with even a limited number of stem-cell lines.

    Bush continued to seek views from everywhere. On an Air Force One flight to Philadelphia a few months ago, G.O.P. moderate Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania presented the case for a bill he had sponsored that would fund and control stem-cell research through the NIH. Bush listened attentively but gave no hint of what he thought. On July 11, Bush met with medical leaders to talk about the patients' bill of rights. Toward the end of the meeting, he broke away from health care to tell his audience that "the issue I am wrestling with is stem cells." Dr. Stan Pelofsky, president of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, says he told Bush that "the genie was out of the bottle" and that federally funded research with oversight would accomplish the best of both worlds. "You would perhaps get spectacular benefits down the road," he said, "and you would also have governmental oversight." But again Bush gave no indication of which way he was leaning.

    As the President peppered people with questions, his staff suggested a series of Oval Office meetings with representatives from all sides of the issue. One of them, in early July, turned out to be pivotal. Bush met with conservative bioethicists Daniel Callahan, co-founder of the Hastings Center, a bioethics institute, and Dr. Leon Kass from the University of Chicago. (Bush named Kass last week to head an advisory panel that will monitor stem-cell research and recommend guidelines.) At the July meeting, the two ethicists reinforced Bush's growing conviction that he should not fund research on newly extracted stem-cell colonies. Now it only remained for him to find a way to make the narrower compromise work. When the NIH discovered the larger number of existing stem cells, the shape of the policy was locked in.

    Meanwhile, pressure was building in Congress. On July 25, Rove huddled with 43 moderate Congressmen of the Republican Mainstreet Partnership at the Capitol Hill Club. Minnesota Representative Jim Ramstad, whose mother suffers from Alzheimer's disease and whose first cousin died from juvenile diabetes, stood up and made an impassioned plea for stem-cell research. In reply, Rove recounted how on a trip he took to Georgia a young couple came up to him and pleaded for stem-cell research to continue for another six months so it might save their ailing child. The President, Rove told the Congressmen, considered the consequences of a stem-cell decision "no less important than a decision to commit troops to war."

    The next weekend, when both men were attending the G.O.P.'s Midwest Leadership Conference, Ramstad informed Rove that a letter would soon be delivered to the White House with the signatures of 202 Congressmen backing the research. Forty were Republicans. "And I have 15 other Republicans," Ramstad warned, "who have committed to us but who didn't want to go public with their support."

    Pressure also came from stem-cell opponents on the Hill. In early July House majority leader Dick Armey, majority whip Tom DeLay and Republican Conference chairman J.C. Watts had issued a joint statement demanding that Bush prohibit funding. "It is not pro-life to rely on an industry of death," they argued, "even if the intention is to find cures for diseases." House Speaker Dennis Hastert, though he opposes stem-cell research, refused to join his three top lieutenants in the statement.

    For all his consultation on the subject, Bush did not talk much with members of Congress. Even Senator Frist did not have an in-depth talk with Bush after Frist floated his own compromise. "He was searching more for moral authority than political counsel," says Senator Sam Brownback, the Kansas Republican who opposes funding.

    The speech Bush ultimately gave last week was written by Hughes, who has a gift for conveying complex issues in kitchen-table language. She rehearsed it with him Wednesday. Until the final hours before he delivered it, just a handful of people knew what he would say--Vice President Dick Cheney, Rove, Hughes, chief of staff Andrew Card, White House communications aide Dan Bartlett and legal adviser Jay Lefkowitz. Half an hour before airtime, Rove held a conference call with five Republican members of Congress who were outspoken opponents of embryonic stem-cell research--Senators Brownback and Santorum plus Representatives Christopher Smith, David Weldon and Joseph Pitts.

    "The reaction was first one of relief," says Santorum. "We had heard rumors that the President was going to fund stem-cell research, and many of us thought this was going to be the Frist proposal." Santorum says Bush's decision might "actually stop further destruction of human life because the scientists who now are looking for robust funding programs are going to be working with these existing stem-cell lines. So the desire to create more stem-cell lines through destruction of human embryos will be alleviated."

    In weeks to come, protest against the compromise is likely to intensify among both scientists and people waiting for medical breakthroughs. There were immediate questions about whether Bush was correct in saying there are "more than 60" existing stem lines available for research. A White House that has often called for "sound science" on global warming will now have to prove that it has not offered a rosy number of available stem-cell lines.

    One way that Bush may have come up with a higher number of available stem-cell lines is through a relaxation of the ethical rules governing how they are collected. The Washington Post reported last Saturday that one of the ethical guidelines put in place by Bush--that the embryo donors must have given "proper informed consent"--was less strict than rules established under Bill Clinton, which specified in detail what informed consent would be. That change could have helped make a larger number of stem-cell lines available for research.

    Bush may end up tripping on his own logic. Now that he has sanctioned the principle of government funding for research in existing stem-cell lines, he may have difficulty holding the line at 65. Privately funded researchers will be producing new stem-cell colonies from discarded embryos. When scientists come to Bush saying the federally approved cell lines show promise but they need more cell lines, by what argument will he be able to say no? "I have made this decision with great care," Bush said in his address. "I pray it is the right one." It may be, at least for a little while.


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  4. #4
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    "We Must Proceed With Great Care"

    "We Must Proceed With Great Care"

    In a 21st century speech on stem-cell funding, Bush budges and finds compromise. Will it work?
    By Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy
    With reporting by Andrew Goldstein/New York
    Prime-time presidential addresses are good for declaring war on enemies foreign and domestic. We've had the War on Poverty, on crime, on drugs, and these exercises are often as much about defining a presidency as defeating an enemy. So it tells you something about the times we live in that George W. Bush's first big televised chat with the nation was not about war or welfare or weapons systems, but about bioethics. And it tells you even more about Bush that he chose to redefine his presidency through an issue he barely mentioned during the campaign, one so complex it can be discussed only in full paragraphs, not quick slogans. No wonder the White House wanted to be sure everyone noticed.

    Until last week, Bush had steered clear of the bully pulpit. He plays the man of action, not words, and has inherited his father's suspicion of gaudy soul searching. Where Bill Clinton seized every chance to open up his brain on national television, take you through every twist in his thought process, Bush has avoided every such opportunity. But that changed for a moment last week when he brought down the lights, turned up the volume and built the suspense around his decision, as if to say, I am a man capable of subtle thought, not just ideological reflex; I can balance ways and means and right and wrong.

    Bush has compared the decision about federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research to a decision to commit troops to battle. This is biology spilled down a slippery slope; the arguments divide and subdivide and seemed to promise only injury to a rookie President not known for taking on the hardest moral and intellectual questions of our time. But far from ducking, week after week White House aides raised the stakes. When they saw him engage the issue so deeply, they realized that stem-cell research was not just a tough call but a fresh chance--an opportunity to reintroduce Bush to America as an honest broker and surefooted guide who could reach a place of clean common sense. His address Thursday night raised all the hard questions without answering any of them: Is an embryo growing in a Petri dish the same as one growing in a womb? Is it O.K. to experiment on it if it's going to be destroyed anyway? When they grapple with these questions, politicians and scientists are often accused of playing God. On issues this morally and scientifically mysterious, Bush knew, humility was the better part of wisdom. He avoided playing national priest (relying purely on Scripture) or capitalist tool (letting the markets decide). Instead, he played lifeguard: These are dangerous waters, he warned. Mind where you swim when you go looking for treasure.

    And so he decided to proceed, but very carefully. By allowing federal funding for research only on stem cells that have already been harvested, he could argue that he was upholding his campaign promise not to promote research that requires destroying embryos. But Congress, science, Bush's own logic--or some combination of all three--could quickly overtake the President's decision. If the 65 Bush-approved stem-cell colonies aren't enough to find the limits of this new science, pressure to expand the research will be intense. By opening the door to research on cells derived from embryos in the past, Bush may have made it harder to draw a bright line against cells harvested in the future.

    Since Bush did not block funding altogether, as the most hard-line conservatives hoped, but did sharply limit it, he got credit for moving toward the middle without moving much at all. The loudest objections came from scientists, whose natural interest is in the greatest possible funding to do the freest possible research. But Bush's timing was shrewd, coming just two days after three scientists appeared before the National Academy of Sciences to discuss the progress of their offshore baby-cloning lab.

    As for the thicket of moral arguments, Bush ducked and weaved through the logic of his decision. At times he came close to the kind of cost-benefit analysis they taught him at Harvard Business School but which true believers deplore. He would allow research on existing stem-cell lines, "where the life-and-death decision has already been made." But does it really keep the government's hands clean--to benefit from the destruction of embryos so long as other people do the destroying? The problem with crafting public policy in this way, argues Hastings Center bioethicist Erik Parens, "beyond simply the internal inconsistencies, is that it allows us to get around asking the really hard questions: What is the proper scope of embryo research? Simply massaging the language and pretending we aren't really doing embryo research opens a nifty loophole but fails to answer some of the questions that this research is sure to generate."

    Whatever its moral lumpiness, there was political beauty in Bush's narrow escape from an issue that seemed sure to leave him bruised by one constituency or another. But on this issue his party is split--even pro-lifers are split--so although some on his right flank are disappointed and wary, Bush is not at risk from them, at least for now.

    If Bush's goal was to sand the hard edges off his presidency, recover some standing with soccer moms after spooking them with arsenic and oil wells and ozone levels, then how he decided mattered almost as much as what he decided. In fact, that was the subtext of the whole speech. He laid out his own internal debate, lingered respectfully over arguments on both sides, showed how he had tried to wrestle the contradictions to the ground. He seemed earnest and engaged on a brutally hard issue--this from the man who for much of the year has seemed auto-piloted, anti-intellectual, far too playful and a few shifts short of hardworking. On top of everything else, Bush needed to reassure the vast middle ground of Americans that he could be trusted with the job they didn't really give him in the first place. "I have made this decision with great care," he said, "and I pray it is the right one."

    And this is where the science actually helped him. The harder the issue, the more acceptable he would seem if he could just stay afloat and move through the murky waters. It takes less than the 11 minutes Bush spoke to see that this is a hard call, one we can't leave to either the scientists or the priests. It's why we have Presidents; more directly, it's why we need a wise one. On Thursday night, Bush almost seemed as if he was auditioning for the job he won last December.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MORE TIME STORIES:
    Cover Date: August 20, 2001

  5. #5
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    The Bush decision

    The Bush decision

    By Mitch Frank

    WHAT HE SAID

    --Existing Stem-Cell Lines

    Bush will allow funding for research on stem cells already extracted from embryos. But his position has raised questions.

    WHAT ARE THEY?

    A line is created by extracting cells from an embryo only a few days old; this destroys the embryo. Under the right conditions, cells will replicate, creating genetically identical cells.

    THE NUMBER?

    Until last week, most scientists knew of only a dozen cell lines. National Institutes of Health experts now say they have tracked down at least 65 cell lines worldwide. All were created from leftover in-vitro fertilization embryos. But scientists question how many are viable--and who owns the patents.

    $250,000,000 --Federal Funding

    In his address, Bush cited the tax dollars spent this year on researching stem cells from adults, umbilical cords and animal embryos. But Bush hasn't announced how much money he will ask Congress to allocate for embryonic stem-cell research in next year's budget. Will embryonic research be on an equal footing with less controversial science?

    --The Council

    Bush will appoint doctors, lawyers and ethicists to a panel on bioethics to advise him on stem cells, cloning and other ethical quagmires of the brave new world. Dr. Leon Kass, who helped Bush make this decision, will lead the council.


    THE FALLOUT

    "It's going to delay the progress we need to bring these therapies to the bedside." --DR. JOHN GEARHART

    --The Scientists

    The most skeptical reaction to Bush's decision came from biologists. They agree some funding is better than none but question the existence of 65 viable cell lines. They fear that 65 won't be enough to develop therapies effectively. And who will control those lines?

    --Conservatives

    Opponents, from Evangelicals to the Pope, pushed for a total funding ban. Many were relieved that Bush did not go further--though several accused him of breaking, or at least bending, his campaign promise.

    --Patient Advocates

    Activists like Michael J. Fox and Christopher Reeve had mixed reactions. Some were cautiously optimistic. Others will ask Congress for funding with fewer restrictions.

    --Capitol Hill

    Party affiliation helped shape lawmakers' reactions. Republicans on both sides of the issue expressed mild disappointment but are sticking by their guy. Some Democrats are asking for a vote to sweep aside Bush's narrow compromise.


    THE RESEARCH EFFECT

    FULLY FUNDED

    Adult Stem Cells

    Opponents of embryonic stem-cell research argue that more money should be spent researching adult stem cells. Hidden within bone marrow and organs, these stem cells replace old cells in the body. Scientists have isolated and replicated some, but adult stem cells are not capable of developing into any other cell type.

    --THE EFFECT

    Embryonic-cell research could take cash from work on adult cells. Could be conservatives' next battle.

    --WHAT'S NEXT?

    A fight in Congress over which research gets the money.

    Umbilical Cord

    Biologists have also found stem cells in umbilical-cord blood. These cells have proved useful in combatting blood disorders, including leukemia. Some firms even offer to freeze and store this blood in case children later develop a treatable illness. But doctors question such practices and argue that more research is needed.

    --THE EFFECT

    Like adult-stem-cell research, work on umbilical blood cells will compete for dollars with embryonic cells.

    --WHAT'S NEXT?

    A fight in Congress over which research gets the money.

    RESTRICTED

    Frozen Embryos

    The President approved research only on existing cell lines drawn from embryos created for in-vitro fertilization by willing couples who received no money for their donation. But thousands of leftover embryos still in freezers must either be adopted, discarded or donated to researchers relying on private funding.

    --THE EFFECT

    Frozen embryos will find a use in private research, especially if Bush's rules prove too restrictive.

    --WHAT'S NEXT?

    The status of frozen embryos remains up in the air.

    NO FEDERAL FUNDS

    Donor Embryos

    During his deliberations, Bush was reportedly worried when a Virginia institute announced it had collected sperm and egg donations to create embryos specifically for developing stem cells for research. Researchers argued it was more honest to create embryos solely for research. Bush saw a slippery slope.

    --THE EFFECT

    Bush's rules cut these stem cells off from federal dollars. Private funding remains an option.

    --WHAT'S NEXT?

    Private research will continue, especially if the 65 lines are insufficient.

    Cloned Embryos

    To create a new embryo, biologists implant the nucleus of an adult-donor cell into an egg-cell membrane. After extracting stem cells from the embryo, scientists may be able to grow cells and organs that are genetically identical to the donor's. Those could be implanted in the donor without fear of rejection.

    --THE EFFECT

    Bush has ruled out funding for research, and the House passed a bill banning all cloning procedures.

    --WHAT'S NEXT?

    If the Senate bans it, even private research will end.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MORE TIME STORIES:
    Cover Date: August 20, 2001
    • How Bush got there

  6. #6
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    Leon Kass: The ethics cop

    Leon Kass: The ethics cop

    By Michele Orecklin
    With reporting by Matthew Cooper/Washington
    Conservatives were heartened last week when President Bush appointed Dr. Leon Kass, an eminent University of Chicago bioethicist, to head an advisory panel on stem-cell research. Kass's visibility was already on the rise. He'd been morphing from political thinker to political player, largely because of his passionate opposition to human cloning. He has written two widely read articles on the topic for the New Republic and testified persuasively before Congress. In July he attended a crucial meeting at which Bush moved toward his decision to allow only limited federal funding of stem-cell research.

    While Kass has made his views against cloning well known--simply put, he believes it robs us of our humanity--he has been more opaque on the issue of stem cells. "I regard it as a deeply vexing and serious moral question," he told the New York Times. Daniel Callahan, a colleague who attended the July Oval Office meeting, says he does not recall Kass's coming down one way or the other. "He seemed somewhat ambivalent on the topic," says Callahan. In one of his anticloning articles, however, Kass appears to oppose embryonic research in general. "By pouring our resources into adult stem-cell research," he writes, "...we can avoid the morally and legally vexing issues in embryo research."

    Kass, 62, has taught for 25 years at the University of Chicago, where he earned his medical degree. Now he will be scrutinized by a much larger audience. He knows that if he stacks his panel with stem-cell opponents, it will be too easily dismissed; if he brings in a broad range of views, he may have trouble reaching a consensus. But Kass believes consensus is overrated. He prefers the prickly, the individual, the brilliant. It will be great fun to watch him work in Washington.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MORE TIME STORIES:
    Cover Date: August 20, 2001

  7. #7
    Senior Member Jeremy's Avatar
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    Time Magazine

    Here is the link to the Time Magazine article http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101010820/index.html if you look under profiles you'll see a story about our friend Dr. Young

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