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AGAIN WITH THE STEM CELLS

Cindy Maddera

This is more of a science blurb than an actual posting, but the topic is one I’ve ranted about before. I’m sure we’ve all heard the Republican Right bashing Michael J. Fox for his political ad that encourages people to vote for candidates that support stem cell research. In the ad Michael says that stem cells could one day be a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Well, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is backing this claim. There are a specific cell type called DA neurons that relieve the symptoms of Parkinson’s. Researchers in several different laboratories have successfully induced stem cells to differentiate into cells that function as DA neurons. Thanks to the policy Bush signed in 2001, Scientist can’t afford to continue this research.

It’s crazy. We’re this close to curing a number of diseases like Parkinson’s and diabetes, but without government funding researchers can’t continue their work. Then the work goes to big corporations who then reserve the right to charge outrageous amounts of money for the cure. It’s the same ole’ gripe.