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for Freedom of Scientific Research
Number 13, June 2010
- ISSCR launches information service on stem cell treatments. Last June 8 the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) launched “A Closer Look at Stem Cell Treatments“ (www.closerlookatstemcells.org). According to their press release “the Web site was developed in response to the growing number of aggressive marketing campaigns on the Internet and elsewhere offering stem cell treatments. The ISSCR urges individuals to be cautious and to learn the facts before making any decision”. Luca Coscioni Association for freedom of scientific research welcomed ISSCR initiative and will help disseminating it through Soccorso civile (“Civil Rescue”) - a portal launched in 2007 to help patients and citizens to safeguard their rights and liberties.
- Relief over stem cell lines. The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the addition of 13 lines to its Stem Cell Registry, Jeffrey Fox reports. The total number of NIH-approved human embryonic cell lines in the registry, and thus eligible for federal funding, has risen to 64 as of April 29. NIH director Francis Collins says the approvals this April should enable researchers to “continue their studies without interruption, and we can all be assured that valuable work will not be lost” (see Nature Biotechnology 28, 538 (2010)).
- Medics performed 'interrogation research’. US medical professionals stepped over the line by using interrogation subjects overseas at prisons like this one at Guantanamo Bay for research and experimentation, Nature News reports. In these same years a less “tolerant” regulation was issued concerning research on human embryonic stem cells. Contradictions of Bush administration.
- Country report on freedom of research: New Zealand and Panama. The countries of the month are New Zealand and Panama, surveyed by the students of Bryant University, RI, USA. According to the report “Panama is a very bipolar country in terms of regulation, either something is specifically prohibited or there are no laws, creating a viable market for the private industry”. For instance following the Familial Code an embryo is interpreted as a human beings and all forms of cloning are positively prohibited, while artificial reproduction techniques are not regulated at all. As for New Zealand, the Country may be deemed to be quite liberal as far as it concerns end-of-life decisions, abortion and contraception, even if the situation of artificial reproduction techniques is less liberal than in other fields, as underscored by D Gareth Jones, Professor at the Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology of University of Otago. The reports are still incomplete in some fields. You can help monitoring freedom of research and cure in your country and in the world. Any contribution will be fully acknowledged. Read more.
- Therapeutic and research potential of human pluripotent stem cells. “I also want to tell you a little bit of a tremendous successful story for science; in particular about the legislation that has been changed over the last three years in the UK. As it is, I think this story is actually emblematic of how much power scientists really have. But scientists have to learn how to fight if they want to change religion and dogma and government perspectives”. Read on line the full text by Stephen Minger, Director, King’s Stem Cell Biology Laboratory, London (from the proceedings of the Second Meeting of the World Congress for Freedom of Scientific Research).
News in brief:
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