The Corner

RE: “100 MILLION AMERICANS”

Rep. Mark Souder recently asked James Battey, the head of the NIH task force on stem cells, about this number. (Battey had testified before Souder’s committee, and Souder sent some written questions to follow up.) Q. “A common figure tossed around regarding the ‘promise’ of embryonic stem cell research is that it can provide cures for 100 million people. Is there any scientific evidence to actually support that claim?” A. “It is unclear where this statistic came from.  Human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research is a relatively new field of science, having been first reported by James Thomson at the University of Wisconsin in 1998.  More basic research needs to be conducted in the laboratory before the full potential for treating diseases is clear.”

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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