Human Exceptionalism

Heading for a Biotech “Dot-Com” Bust?

So, my governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, has authorized California to borrow $150 million to fund the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. This means a lot of money is going to go to human cloning and ESCR, more perhaps than researchers will be able to spend–money that may well never be repaid if the appeal against Proposition 71 is successful.

Some will claim that this defies Bush. But it is actually in keeping with the president’s policies. The people of my state–unfortunately–voted to financially support this research. I am now stuck having to help foot that bill. But at least people in other areas of the country who disagree won’t have to open their wallets.

The field of ESCR and therapeutic cloning has become so hyped that an Oklahoma Land Race mentality has set in among the states, many of which are competing to throw the most money at cloning and ESC researchers–primarily for (mis)perceived business reasons, it seems to me. But this blank check mentality creates the distinct potential of a great dot-com type bust; only this time with public instead of private money since the entrepreneurs are generally avoiding investing in this highly speculative and morally controversial area of research.