Seeking advantage in U.S. stem cell controversy

So far political pressure has not slowed the progress of U.S. science on stem cells. But if the latest breakthrough does give political opponents an upper hand, there are lots of other places to go.

Singapore biopolisGovernments worldwide are seeking to take advantage of the continuing controversy over stem cell research in the U.S.

Research opponents have been using the recent breakthrough in reprogramming to demand embryonic stem cell research be put on the "back burner." Bogus claims of 73 existing cures using adult stem cells are also being made on the campaign trail.

Until now, Europe has been outside the progress loop due to restrictive laws against research using embryos. That may be about to change.  

Germany will double its investment in stem cell research, and plans to loosen its rules against the use of embryonic stem cells. Britain is actively educating its public on the technology.

Asia is where the competition will be fiercest. Laws there are highly supportive of using embryos in research.

Singapore's Biopolis hub  (top) is building a "dream team" of researchers, and scientists there are starting to work with each other, rather than just tieing themselves to an American lab.  

So far political pressure has not slowed the progress of U.S. science on stem cells.  But if the latest breakthrough does give political opponents an upper hand, there are lots of other places to go.

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