The New York Times had an article in last Friday's paper claiming that the federal government will allow the world's first test in people of a therapy derived from human embryonic stem cells. As we all know, the Bush Administration placed restrictions on any type of federal funding for stem cell studies because the creation of these cells cause the destruction of human embryos. This decision coincided with President Obama's inauguration. Obama has pledged to remove some of those restrictions that were placed. Many top officials involved in the stem cell program have different opinions as to why the go head took so long. The chief executive claims that this decision had nothing to do with the change of the administrations. The FDA first said no. The chairman, however, said "the approval is directly tied to the change in administrations."
The process is really a type of therapy. It would be injected into the spinal cord taking into account the amount of time that has passed. The test includes 8 to 10 people. "There would still be years of testing and many hurdles to overcome before the treatment would become routinely available to patients."
Within his first week, Obama has been making many changes. I think it's great that Obama has an open mind with issues like this. As we progress with our technology, we should use it to better ourselves.
However, it seems there are many risks that come along with the therapy. For instance, it raises the risk of cancer. Like I said, it's great to be open minded about these things but when many people who are involved with this research are skepitcal about whether the therapy would work or not.
Is this a chance worth taking?
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