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Does this help HM research?


#1

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=ayLc_3N41VkQ&refer=us


#2

Considering the U.S. already spends more than any country in the world on embryonic stem cell research, I doubt throwing more money at the problem is going to help that much. Of course it doesn’t hurt. But it usually takes a key discovery to get things moving. More money might increase the odds a bit, but I personally don’t think this is that big of a deal.


#3

» Considering the U.S. already spends more than any country in the world on
» embryonic stem cell research, I doubt throwing more money at the problem is
» going to help that much. Of course it doesn’t hurt. But it usually takes
» a key discovery to get things moving. More money might increase the odds a
» bit, but I personally don’t think this is that big of a deal.

Whether or not embryonic stem cell research is going to be a great scientific achievement towards any disease or ailment remains to be seen, per se (just the idea of embryonic stem cells can be seen as a pretty great scientific achievement). Unfortuantely, because of the ban, researchers haven’t been able to do as much with the science as they would like. However, with the removal of the ban, researhcers will better be able to explore this scientific area. Just on a side not, Time magazine did a nice article on stem cells and what has been going on over the past 8 years:

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1874717,00.html


#4

The removal of the ban only provides more money. Embryonic stem cell research was alive and well in the U.S. with the ban. And it will continue to be so after the removal. I still don’t believe this will make that big of a difference.


#5

» The removal of the ban only provides more money. Embryonic stem cell
» research was alive and well in the U.S. with the ban. And it will continue
» to be so after the removal. I still don’t believe this will make that big
» of a difference.

I think we’re sort of saying the same thing and I don’t want to get into a big argument about this, but the removal of the ban is much bigger than just “providing more money.”

First, the removal of the ban says to the public that this is something worth exploring. It is big from a PR prospective as well as a stand from the current administration. Some believe that an embryo is a life, thus they are against embryonic stem cell research. Bush was swayed by those who believed this, thus the removal of the ban states that the current administration isn’t going to take a “religious stand” on this issue.

Second, let’s clarify. The ban only related to research and stem cells that were funded by the federal government (This means all NIH funding-a key source of funding for many academics). Researchers rely on this money for multiple reasons. 1) They are expected to bring a certain amount of research dollars into their institutions. If the research they are doing is not going to bring in research dollars, they don’t bring money into the institution. The money they bring in also helps to fund their salaries. If they are not able to bring in money, if untenured (and even some tenured) they will be out of a job and/or asked to change their research interests. 2) As the Time article pointed out, many good researchers left the country to avoid the ban. Without getting too much into it, some believe the ban had dire consequences (i.e. placing science back 10 years).

When you say it’s just provides more money, we’re also talking about money that was wasted to buy a whole new set of equipment and supplies. If the federal government gave federal dollars to a lab, the lab could only use that money on equipment that was used for one of the existing (i.e. existed before the ban) lines of embryonic stem cells. Thus, many labs had to buy a separate set of equipment and supplies to do the same purpose. Thus, the money that was utilized for buying a whole new set of equipment could have been used on other things and much more efficiently. When you realize that the ban made this occur, it starts to become a principle against federal waste.

The bottom line is that the ban is not indicating that the administration is giving “more money” to embryonic stem cells. What is saying is that money no longer needs to be used to buy separate lab equipment and that once the current lines run out, new can be created using federal dollars. THE REMOVAL OF THE BAN INDICATES HOW FEDERAL FUNDS CAN BE USED, IT IS NOT ABOUT PROVIDING MORE FEDERAL FUNDS.

Nicely, as a result of the removal, more researchers may become involved in exploring this area of science. Thus, more funds may earmarked for these sorts of projects, which is a result of the lifting of the ban, but not the reason for the ban. If the current administration wanted to give embryonic stem cell research more money, they didn’t need to remove the ban. They would just give more money to the researchers who currently are doing this type of research. However, if research A wanted to do embryonic stem cell research and did not have access to embryonic stem cells, he couldn’t use federal funds to secure ones created in 2002. Now, after the ban is lifted, he will be able to.

AJ–since you indicated you have this information–just out of curiosity:
A) How much money is the U.S. planning on using this year’s vs. last year on embryonic stem cells?
B) How much money did the U.S. spend on embryonic stem cell research per person compared to other countries?
C) What percentage of the U.S. government budget is spent on embryonic stem cell research compared to other countries?

I thought you indicated that they were spending way more than any other country, thus I would assume you have some hard facts and reliable sources to show this…please pass that on, as you can tell, I am very interested in this topic.

Sorry for the long reply, since this is all off topic now, I will no longer reply to this on here…


#6

I don’t have all the numbers, because I don’t know what all 50 states are doing. but I know California alone allocated 3 billion dollars for embryonic stem cell research. I think New Jersey has a program as well. I think they spent 250 million to build stem cell research centers and I think they passed a bond for about a half a billion. I think Connecticut is spending 100 million. I’m not going to look up every state. I just know that there are already billions of dollars allocated in U.S. for embryonic stem cell research and that research has been going on for years. And I’m not aware of any other country that has allocated as much money on embryonic stem cell research. I looked up the major countries a few years ago, and I know none of them had allocated as much as California alone, let alone all of the U.S. But if you know of one, let me know, and I will stand corrected. I do know the EU ponies up more money than the U.S. right now, but I didn’t include them because I don’t consider the EU a country.

All I was saying is that the states just ignored the federal ban and started doing the research on their own. There were no federal shackles on them as far as what they could do. That’s why I’m saying I don’t believe this will make much of a difference. Yes, it makes a difference to those that want to make a political issue out of it, on both sides.

But from a research point of view, it still is just more money, nothing else. There isn’t anything that research scientists will be able to do that they aren’t already doing. And I was against the ban and glad it is lifted. I just don’t think an extra 10 billion or whatever it is going to be will make that much difference. Most of it will be wasted on people who just want funding.


#7

One of main points of the Time Magazine article is that now it is possible to create stem cells that have the properties of embryonic stem cells without involving embryos:

“The iPS technology is the ultimate manufacturing process for cells; it is now possible for researchers to churn out unlimited quantities of a patient’s stem cells, which can then be turned into any of the cells that the body might need to repair or replace.”

So ban or no ban, it doesn’t really matter anymore.


#8

» http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=ayLc_3N41VkQ&refer=us

its hard to tell if it does help or not imho.

all in all, any research that starts now is 15 years away from the market. so who cares.


#9

The harbinger or pessimism strikes again. I struggle to understand why you’re actually on these boards, Debris. Of course, we’re a long way off from a cure, but sometimes your advice is close to idiocy. I’m sure you do have your defenders on here, but I honestly think some of your advice is bordering on inane.