Jan 24, 2012

Stem Cells—Thompson, Neumann and Fitz Have to Answer in Radicalized GOP

James A. Thompson
Imagine if the lost decade of 2001-2009 saw a Manhattan Project-size effort funding stem cells—treating Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, paralysis, Leukemia, blindness; imagination and political will are the only impediments to what stem cells may do in the future.

U.S. Senate candidate, Tommy Thompson, needs to answer to the Wisconsin people on stem cell research, namely Thompson's flip-flopping.

Pioneering scientists like University of Wisconsin-Madison professor, James Thompson, should be supported in the lab as though our families' health and lives depend on it; and not have to wage a political fight against the Republican Party that is steadfastly hostile to the promise of "human embryonic stem cell research, ... a [GOP] position running counter to both scientific and public opinion."

GOP candidates for Senate, Mark Neumann and Scott Fitzgerald, need to explain their extremism on this public-minded research as well.
As Alan I. Leshner and Dr. Thomson write in their December 3, 2007 column defending embryonic stem cell research, "Standing in the Way of Stem Cell Research":

Efforts to harness the versatility of embryonic stem cells, and alleviate suffering among people with an array of debilitating disorders, began less than 10 years ago. Since then, scientists have continued to pursue embryonic stem cells because of their ability to transform into blood, bone, skin or any other type of cell. The eventual goal is to replace diseased or dysfunctional cells to help people with spinal cord injuries, neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other conditions. ...

Federal funding is essential for both adult and embryonic stem cell research, even as promising alternatives are beginning to emerge.

Unfortunately, under the policy President Bush outlined on Aug. 9, 2001, at most 21 stem cell lines derived from embryos before that date are eligible for federal funding. American innovation in the field thus faces inherent limitations. Even more significant, the stigma resulting from the policy surely has discouraged some talented young Americans from pursuing stem cell research.
On this, Wisconsin should listen and be guided by Dr. Thompson, not Tommy Thompson and Republican extremists.

A look at this video [below] of Thompson appears to indicate that Thompson may have lost it.

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