The headline might be: "now the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine wants to give priority to adult stem cell research." However, this news has not been published. In 2004 another headline like the following was published: "Known Hollywood stars, including Christopher Reeves, support the adoption by referendum to spend 3,000 million dollars of public funds for embryonic stem cell research in order to cure diseases." Responsible people of the Institute have not wanted to publicize the shift given in the research policy. What happened? It happened what critics of the research with human embryos said: through this medium will not get any kind of therapy. Indeed, there has been neither treatment nor cure by using stem cells from embryos. So, they have decided to change and focus more on adult stem cells that give reasons of medium or long-term cure. The financial magazine Investor's Business Daily complains about double standards of the Institute since when they needed funding they talked about embryonic cells but when they referred to the results they did not mention the word embryonic.
We have to go into this interesting news in depth. In March 2009 when the U.S. lifted the limits established for experimentation with embryos, the former director of the National Institute of Health (USA), Bernadine Healey, wrote in a newspaper that she declared obsolete embryonic cells and that those types of cells could also be dangerous since, unlike adult cells harvested from the patient, the embryonic cannot be dominated and also they cannot obtain to convert in the desired tissue. She concludes: “researchers devoted on embryonic cells are those who have politicized science. They have stood in the way of real progress. So, we are glad to see that California researchers again put science in its place.
This is further evidence that science is not free of ideology, and that the search of funding for research is made convincing politicians.
José Antonio Calvo Baena
Independent Forum of Opinion