marți, 1 februarie 2011

NYT endorses California stem cell measure

Prop 71 is getting lots of support, and rightly so.

The ballot measure, known as Proposition 71, would expand embryonic stem cell research far beyond the 20 or so cell lines that can be studied with federal support under the Bush policy, thus allowing the fuller range of research that most scientists deem important. Senator John Kerry has promised that, if elected, he would lift the Bush restrictions to make many more cell lines available, and would ramp up spending to at least $100 million a year, four times the current level. He would also allow federal support for therapeutic cloning to derive treatments tailored to a specific individual, but not for reproductive cloning to make a baby. The California proposition would also support therapeutic but not reproductive cloning, and it would pour in much more money than Mr. Kerry has proposed.

Supporters of Proposition 71 cite the great potential of stem cell research to provide treatments for a wide range of ailments, including diabetes, Parkinson's and heart disease, among some 70 or more ailments. The supporters gloss over the uncertainties over whether embryonic stem cell research will pay off in a big way, and they play down the likelihood that any clinical applications are years away. The supporters also cite studies purporting to show that the California measure would more than pay for itself by generating taxes, creating jobs, bolstering the state's biotech industry and cutting future health care costs by providing new treatments.
A vote for Prop 71 is a vote for new discoveries.