Scientists Say Bush Has Brought Stem Cell Research to a Standstill
Several scientists told a US Senate subcommittee yesterday that President Bush has severely thwarted research on embryonic stem cells that could hold the key to cures for such degenerative diseases as Parkinson’s, neural injuries and diabetes. Last year, Bush gave into anti-abortion forces and placed serious restrictions on federal funding for stem cell research – currently there are 78 “self-sustaining” cell lines that are eligible for federally funded research.
However, access to these lines has been made “inordinately difficult,” according to Dr. George Daley of the Whitehead Institute who testified before the Senate Appropriations labor, health and human services subcommittee. “The field of embryonic stem cell research is in a fragile state at best under the current presidential policy,” Daley told the subcommittee. In addition, the cell lines approved by Bush were cultivated with mouse cells which means they have very little therapeutic value for humans, Roger Pedersen, a California researcher who has moved his research to England because of the restrictions, told the subcommittee.
Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), who chaired the hearing, told the scientists that he would press Congress to do away with the president’s restrictions, according to the New York Times. Earlier this year, Specter introduced a bill (S. 2439) that would allow cloning for therapeutic services while outlawing it for reproductive purposes that gained support from such anti-abortion lawmakers as Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Earlier this month, Specter announced that he had the 60 votes needed to pass the bill but it has since been stalled in the Senate. The House has already passed a bill outlawing cloning for any purpose.
Media Resources: TheHill.com 9/4/02; Associated Press 9/26/02; New York Times 9/26/02; Washington Post 9/26/02; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report 9/26/02
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .