18 May, 2009

Speak Out for Stem Cell Research

We've got until May 29th to beat out the floods of anti-stem cell research hysterics and let the government know we'd really, really like to get the science going:

From Don Reed, national stem cell research advocate:

The next 12 days are crucial in the stem cell research struggle.

Here's why.

Remember when President Obama signed that document removing the Bush stem
cell restrictions? That same day he called upon the National Institutes of Health to draft a new set of guidelines for scientists wanting federal

Those guidelines have just been issued. see

The next 14 days are the comment period for the new guidelines for stem cell research, which American scientists will have to live with if they want federal funding. This is the public's only chance to shape those guidelines, which can be improved-or made worse.

Unfortunately, there are problems with the proposed guidelines!

Not only are the guidelines far more conservative than we had hoped, but
opponents of the research are systematically flooding the comment process.

Conservative religious bodies, have launched a national campaign to attack early stem cell research by mass emails to the NIH.

Go to this page and leave your comments.
Stem cell research is one of our best hopes for curing diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and a myriad of other horrors. Yet frothing fundies would prefer we just incinerate unused embryos rather than use them to save lives. Go fucking figure.

Let's make sure the NIH knows there's plenty of support for stem cell research. You can come up with your own wording, or filch the following:
P.S. Here is a sample letter from Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research (CAMR)

You can copy and paste into Comment section of NIH comment form and edit as appropriate for you.

Embryonic stem cell research holds great promise for millions of Americans suffering from many diseases and disorders. I am not a scientist, but I have been following progress in this field with great interest. Significant strides have been made over the past decade, and the final guidelines issued by NIH must build on this progress so that cures and new therapies can get to patients as quickly as possible. The final guidelines should not create new bureaucratic hurdles that will slow the pace of progress.

I am pleased that these draft guidelines -- in Section II B -- would appear to permit federal funding of stem cell lines previously not eligible for federal funding and for new lines created in the future from surplus embryos at fertility clinics. However, as drafted, Section II B does not ensure that any current stem cell line will meet the criteria outlined and thus be eligible for federal funding. It will be important for the final guidelines to allow federal funds for research using all stem cell lines created by following ethical practices at the time they were derived. This will ensure that the final guidelines build on progress that has already been made.

I also believe that the final guidelines should permit federal funding for
stem cell lines derived from sources other than excess IVF embryos, such as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Sections II B and IV of the draft
guidelines do not permit such federal funding and I recommend that the final guidelines provide federal funding using stem cell lines derived in other ways. If not, it is essential that the NIH continue to monitor developments in this exciting research area and to update these guidelines as the research progresses.

Thank you!

Let's put discarded embryos to good use and get some diseases cured, shall we?

1 comment:

Radha said...

Done. Filched most of your comment, but also added my little bit about perhaps being able to grow a new kidney from my own stem cells...

Thanks for the link and the filchable comment, Dana!