A recent Technology Review article documents the impact of Bush’s 2001 stem-cell decision on US stem-cell research. The news is not good, as seems generally true for technology and future industries under BushCo’s Big Oil regime.
One part of the article follows a researcher’s response to Bush’s 2001 stem-cell speech.
At first, Lensch was relieved, even elated. The administration had crafted regulations that allowed publicly funded research on existing embryonic stem cells and hadn’t called for the banning of privately funded research on new cell lines. “I really thought we might be up and running in a few months,” Lensch says.
But not so. More below the fold —
Today, that reaction strikes [Lensch] as naive. Bush’s apparently simple decision to withhold federal money inadvertently created an enormous regulatory maze that few scientists have managed to escape. Four years after the president’s speech, Lensch’s team has not yet been able to begin a full research program. Its story is not unusual: with a few exceptions, private funding sources–philanthropies and businesses–have not stepped into the gap left by Washington’s withdrawal. Nor have research groups been able to capitalize on federal funding for the study of existing stem cell lines, partly because they are fewer in number than Bush thought, and partly because of unexpected patent restrictions.
The bottom line is that Bush’s decision was a multiple-whammy. The limit to existing stem-cell lines was the first blow, but the came the red-tape impacts and a general chill across US stem cell research. And of course, Bush is preparing to veto a saner stem cell bill.
This amounts to yet another helping of the BushCo damage that might well — like Iraq and the WoT — turn out to be a gift that keeps on giving. So please remind your Congress folk (as the veto approaches) that this is in fact the 21st century, and for America to prosper, we cannot let theocrats and oil barons chart our science and tech future.