Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Stem cell news is really light today. About a week ago there was news about a 4-institution consortium forming in California; it will include the Scripps Research Institute, The University of California at San Diego, the Burnham Institute, and the Salk Institute. It's certainly significant that several such research facilities are joining together to work on stem cell research, but obviously we aren't seeing results of it yet! The agreement was signed today, according to the San Diego Union Tribune. There's a more detailed article about the proposal from last week.
One of the interesting consequences of this is the puish in Florida that I blogged about yesterday--the Scripps Research Institute has a Florida facility, and I think that some people in Florida now see the state as in direct competition with California for research dollars. There's a short article in the Sun-Sentinel from last week about this.
It's interesting to me to see how some proponents of limited government regulation and an active free market economy find themselves in a quandary when it comes to embryonic stem cell research--they want to regulate it, limit it, and dispense with economic arguments in favor of "moral" ones. I would love to see that kind of thinking applied to something like education or health care, where the ethical goal of taking care of people carried more weight than the non-profitability (in the short term--it's very profitable over a generation) of such enterprises. Or hey, what about we limit the activities of power, mining and petroleum industries (etc.) on the grounds that it's unethical to contaminate and despoil the planet for everyone else?
OK, radical rant over.