Two particular points on the Center for American Progress item Ramesh linked below.
Moreno writes (as many others have) that “without human embryonic stem cell lines, the Wisconsin and Kyoto groups would not have known what the earmarks of pluripotency are, and therefore could not have accomplished their breakthrough.” This, it seems, should mean those who say the new advance vindicates Bush’s refusal to fund the continuing destruction of embryos are mistaken. But actually, this is basically the logic of Bush’s funding policy—allow the use of a limited number of existing lines for basic science but without encouraging the destruction of more embryos for more lines. The Wisconsin team, which Moreno mentions, used precisely those “Bush-approved” lines for their comparative work, and in fact their study was funded by the NIH, which it couldn’t have been had it involved any materials not permitted under the Bush policy.
Moreno also writes that “it will take some time, perhaps a year or two, to find transcription factors that do not stimulate tumor formation.” Actually, the Japanese team that published the first reprogramming paper on November 20th published a further paper last week showing they had successfully removed the tumor-causing factor.