Letter: Let science rule in stem-cell issue
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Frankly, I am a man of science. My main interests revolve around the life sciences and those of astronomy, so rarely do I think of political matters. However, I do remember that the Bush administration refused to spend federal funds on embryonic stem-cell research. So I find myself in the position of involvement.
We have made incredible strides in that area of technology. It's no longer necessary to destroy embryos in order to obtain viable stem cells. We have the science to transform cells into the types of cells that we need for research (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16788809). By transforming skin cells into cells that developed into neurons, researchers were able to bypass stem cells entirely. Further development of this technology could help patients with damage to the nerves and central nervous system immensely.
I may be ambitious, but we may be able to reverse paralysis in the next 10 years if further research is approved. I wonder about the probable future of this research in the U.S. if a Republican candidate makes it into the White House. Where does the Republican Party stand on this issue?
I hope that our scientists can cooperate with the British, or establish our own research centers devoted to not only stem-cell technologies, but other alternative science.