Human Exceptionalism

Changing Its Tune: CIRM Bets On Adult Stem Cell Research

Well, now: In an apparent acknowledgment that adult stem cell research is moving much more swiftly toward clinical application than embryonic, the CIRM is putting most of this year’s cache of taxpayers’ borrowed money into adult stem cell research.  The New York Times has noticed. From the story:

In a tacit acknowledgment that the promise of human embryonic stem cells is still far in the future, California*s stem cell research program on Wednesday awarded grants intended to develop therapies using mainly other, less controversial cells. The $230 million in grants awarded Wednesday to California universities and companies represent a big step toward moving stem cells from basic research toward application in treating diseases like cancer and AIDS. Grant recipients are supposed to have a therapy ready for initial human testing in four years. But only 4 of the 14 projects involve embryonic stem cells. The others will use so-called adult stem cells or conventional drugs intended to kill cancer stem cells, which are thought to give rise to tumors.

The grants thus represent a departure from the program*s original mission. California voters approved the 10-year, $3 billion effort in 2004 largely to get around restrictions on embryonic stem cell research imposed by the administration of President George W. Bush…Leaders of the California program say that what voters really care about are treatments for diseases, not what cell type is used.  They say that from the outset the program was not restricted to the embryonic cells.

In other words, human cloning and ESCR hasn’t worked out as well as expected, and now the tune has changed.  And here’s a quote the NYT would never have carried if Bush were still POTUS:

One project financed Wednesday would involve retrieving cardiac stem cells from a patient*s heart. The cells would be multiplied in culture and then put back into the heart to try to repair damage from a heart attack. Dr. Eduardo Marbán of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, who will lead the project, said embryonic stem cells turn into immature heart cells that might not help an adult heart. *The last thing we want to do is grow rogue heart cells,* Dr. Marbán said.

Funny, when ESCR opponents used to make that very claim, they were hooted down by “the scientists” and their camp followers in the media.

So, do I now think that the CIRM is peachy keen because it is beginning to support ethical stem cell research?  No!  I don’t care if the CIRM swore off ESCR for good.  The state is sinking beneath the red ink waves. School funds are being cut, the UC system is a mess, health care is shriveling, and our state parks are only going to be open on weekends.  The Bay Bridge is falling–literally–apart and other infrastructure is in trouble.  We have debt past the horizon with no relief ship in sight.  If the CIRM really wanted to help California, it would close up shop.

Most Popular

Culture

Why Progressives Wage War on History

Princeton University’s decision to remove the name “Woodrow Wilson” from its School of Public and International Affairs is a big win for progressive activists, and the implications will extend far beyond the campus. It hardly surprises me, in today’s polarizing environment, that my alma mater caved to ... Read More
Culture

Why Progressives Wage War on History

Princeton University’s decision to remove the name “Woodrow Wilson” from its School of Public and International Affairs is a big win for progressive activists, and the implications will extend far beyond the campus. It hardly surprises me, in today’s polarizing environment, that my alma mater caved to ... Read More
Culture

A Triumph at Mount Rushmore

If nothing else, President Donald Trump’s July Fourth speech at Mount Rushmore clarified the battle lines of our culture war. The New York Times called the speech “dark and divisive,” while an Associated Press headline declared, “Trump pushes racial division.” A Washington Post story said the speech ... Read More
Culture

A Triumph at Mount Rushmore

If nothing else, President Donald Trump’s July Fourth speech at Mount Rushmore clarified the battle lines of our culture war. The New York Times called the speech “dark and divisive,” while an Associated Press headline declared, “Trump pushes racial division.” A Washington Post story said the speech ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Washington vs. Violent Crime

In New York City, 49 people were shot over the holiday weekend. The death count, so far, is eight. With 101 shooting victims in the last week, shootings are up 300 percent over the same period last year; for the full month of June, they reached a level not seen since 1996. Even before this latest bloodbath, ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Washington vs. Violent Crime

In New York City, 49 people were shot over the holiday weekend. The death count, so far, is eight. With 101 shooting victims in the last week, shootings are up 300 percent over the same period last year; for the full month of June, they reached a level not seen since 1996. Even before this latest bloodbath, ... Read More
Media

The Unrelenting Assault on President Trump

There has never been a presidential campaign in the United States where the administration was so massively opposed by the principal media outlets as in this election. Nor, in at least a century, have the national political media so widely and thoroughly discarded the traditional criterion for journalistic ... Read More
Media

The Unrelenting Assault on President Trump

There has never been a presidential campaign in the United States where the administration was so massively opposed by the principal media outlets as in this election. Nor, in at least a century, have the national political media so widely and thoroughly discarded the traditional criterion for journalistic ... Read More

Patriotism Is Becoming ‘White Supremacy’

Never before has a speech extolling America’s virtues and the marvels or the nation’s heroes played to such poor — and completely dishonest — reviews. At Mount Rushmore on Friday night, President Trump gave a speech that was very tough on the woke Left, while largely celebrating America — its ... Read More

Patriotism Is Becoming ‘White Supremacy’

Never before has a speech extolling America’s virtues and the marvels or the nation’s heroes played to such poor — and completely dishonest — reviews. At Mount Rushmore on Friday night, President Trump gave a speech that was very tough on the woke Left, while largely celebrating America — its ... Read More
Regulatory Policy

Going Medieval

Writing in Bloomberg, Noah Smith gives more than a nod to Peter Turchin’s theory of elite overproduction (or, as Smith neatly relabels the phenomenon, “elite over-competition”) as a cause of the current wave of turmoil in the West, something with which I would agree but, I think, more emphatically. Quite ... Read More
Regulatory Policy

Going Medieval

Writing in Bloomberg, Noah Smith gives more than a nod to Peter Turchin’s theory of elite overproduction (or, as Smith neatly relabels the phenomenon, “elite over-competition”) as a cause of the current wave of turmoil in the West, something with which I would agree but, I think, more emphatically. Quite ... Read More