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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Science and politics: Key lessons from the stem cell controversy

Ron Reagan (son of Ronald) 1. called it "The greatest breakthrough in our or any lifetime."

John Edwards, 2004 US vice-presidential hopeful and part time prophet, predicted that Christopher "Superman" Reeve would arise and walk provided that religious fanatics did not stop the progress of science.

And when Bush nixed new funding in 2001, Newsweek's science correspondent Sharon Begley suggested that his compromise might be "a cruel blow to millions of patients."

Whatever were they all talking about? The fabled fountain of youth? Well, more or less. Actually, they were talking about processing frozen human embryos abandoned at fertility clinics, to use in stem cell research (ESCR).

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