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Biotech Science

First Human Embryonic Stem Cell Study Approved 139

dogmatixpsych writes "The FDA recently approved a privately funded study where human embryonic stem cells will be transplanted into subjects with complete spinal cord injuries. All trials will be paid for and conducted by researchers working for Geron Corporation. The stem cells come from the existing lines Pres. Bush approved federal funding for in August 2001. With Barack Obama now president, many scientists believe federal funding will soon become available for embryonic stem cell research on new cell lines, resulting in additional similar studies."
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First Human Embryonic Stem Cell Study Approved

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  • Food nor Drug (Score:4, Interesting)

    by planckscale ( 579258 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @03:12PM (#26578869) Journal
    Would stem cell therapy be considered drug therapy? I wonder why the FDA provides approval? Is that the only government agency that enforces this type of research? Me thinks it's great that this "work toward curing disease such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and diabetes." is finally getting the approval it deserves.
  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @03:45PM (#26579361) Journal

    As someone who works in biological research I sort of agree with you. Not that we shouldn't be funding scientific research, but no one should be able to patent research done with public money. I like the NIH rule that any federally funded research must be published in an open access journal. I would argue for another rule, that any patents from federally funded research must be licensed freely, if granted at all.

  • Re:Shame (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @03:50PM (#26579419) Journal

    No one is forcing anyone to stop researching promising treatments based on adult stem cells. Adult stem cells are good at some things, and they have produced successful treatments. Since we've produced successful treatments with adult stem cells, it stands to reason that we can also produce successful treatments with embryonic stem cells. It would be wrong of us to ignore those treatments and allow people to suffer unnecessarily.

    Let me also mention that ALL stem cell research requires the destruction of life. A stem cell, whether embryonic or adult, is alive.

  • by pcolaman ( 1208838 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @04:28PM (#26580107)
    I think patenting work done with public money is okay, as long as, like you said, the patent is licensed freely. This protects the work of the scientists, doctors, etc, as it pertains to credit for their work, but at the same time doesn't allow them to derive obscene profits off of public money.
  • Re:Food nor Drug (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:08PM (#26582699)
    Indeed. All the other advances have been done with adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells have major hurdles to overcome (e.g. rejection) before they're ever useful.

    Bush was actually right on this one, even if he didn't know why.
  • Re:Yay Obama! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cekander ( 848307 ) on Friday January 23, 2009 @11:47PM (#26585145)
    Hurray for private charity, yes. But capitalism? I fail to see what capitalism has to do with with this. What makes you so sure this wouldn't have been done a long time ago if capitalism weren't around?

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe