Saturday, August 19, 2006

Singapore, here we come

The NY Times reports:
Singapore, notably conservative on most social issues — including a ban on most types of chewing gum — is emerging as a hotbed for stem cell research, thanks to liberal laws in that field and equally liberal government financing.

Lately the tiny island-state’s ambition of joining the ranks of Boston and the Bay Area as a biotech hub has been getting a hand from an unexpected quarter: the White House. Bush administration policies that restrict federal money for stem cell research have prompted an increasing number of top scientists to pack their bags and head for this equatorial city.

Two of America’s most prominent cancer researchers, Neal G. Copeland and Nancy A. Jenkins, are planning to arrive here next month to take posts at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology. The husband-and-wife team, who worked for 20 years at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland, said politics and budget cuts had left financing in the United States too hard to come by.
Unless the climate changes in the State Capitol, where hard-line right-to-lifers have made it difficult to do research here, you can expect some stories soon about Wisconsin researchers pulling up stakes for California or even Singapore. The right-wing may say good riddance, but that is utterly foolish and short-sighted.

Embryonic stem cell research is going to happen and going to expand, as sure as we now have yellow margarine in Wisconsin. The only question is whether we'll be last and miss the wave.


At 2:46 PM, Blogger krshorewood said...

The sad thing is we have to throw the poor, the elderly, the ill and the middle class on the alter of "business development" to light up round after round of tax cuts.

Now we have these so-called "pro-business" Republicans getting all weepy over these 150 cell blastocysts, risking the creation of an industry that would put Wisconsin in the fore-front of this currting edge technology.

The public sees right through this strategy of appeasing the nut case "right to life" crowd for the sake of getting re-elected.

The only problem is that this same public has to get off their duffs and do something about it in the next three months to make the necessady changes in Madison.


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