Stem-cell reversal; Scrap Romney restrictions on legitimate research.COLUMN: IN OUR OPINION
Gov. Deval L. Patrick's effort to reverse restrictions on stem-cell research Noun 1. stem-cell research - research on stem cells and their use in medicine
biological research - scientific research conducted by biologists
embryonic stem-cell research - biological research on stem cells derived from embryos and on their use in medicine imposed by his predecessor is most welcome.
The restrictions, adopted by the state Public Health Council, are in direct opposition to 2005 legislation, enacted over former Gov. Mitt Romney's veto, that permits human embryonic stem-cell research Noun 1. embryonic stem-cell research - biological research on stem cells derived from embryos and on their use in medicine
stem-cell research - research on stem cells and their use in medicine in the state. The former governor was opposed to the provision in the law that allowed for "somatic cell nuclear transfer Noun 1. somatic cell nuclear transfer - moving a cell nucleus and its genetic material from one cell to another
nuclear transplantation, SCNT, somatic cell nuclear transplantation
biological research - scientific research conducted by biologists ." The technique gives researchers a new way to study the development of a particular disease because the stem cells stem cells, unspecialized human or animal cells that can produce mature specialized body cells and at the same time replicate themselves. Embryonic stem cells are derived from a blastocyst (the blastula typical of placental mammals; see embryo), which is very young are created from the DNA DNA: see nucleic acid.
or deoxyribonucleic acid
One of two types of nucleic acid (the other is RNA); a complex organic compound found in all living cells and many viruses. It is the chemical substance of genes. of patients who suffer from that disease. Just this week, researchers reported that 13 young diabetics in Brazil being treated with their own stem cells are living insulin-free, some for as long as three years.
Make no mistake: Exacting and consistent guidelines must apply to research using stem cells. Human cloning already is banned in Massachusetts, a prohibition enforced by strong criminal and civil penalties. The law passed in 2005 also limits to two weeks of development the time during which embryonic stem cells could be harvested for research or treatment of patients.
Stem-cell research has the potential of becoming a significant economic driver for Massachusetts. While there is no public initiative in the works, the University of Massachusetts The system includes UMass Amherst, UMass Boston, UMass Dartmouth (affiliated with Cape Cod Community College), UMass Lowell, and the UMass Medical School. It also has an online school called UMassOnline. is seeking $66.4 million to establish the UMass Stem Cell stem cell
In living organisms, an undifferentiated cell that can produce other cells that eventually make up specialized tissues and organs. There are two major types of stem cells, embryonic and adult. Institute.
Massachusetts clearly is being outdistanced by Connecticut, New Jersey, California and others. Each of those states has committed hundreds of millions of dollars to programs supporting stem-cell research.
However, public policy that avoids putting unwarranted and unreasonable restrictions on scientific research is at least as important to the biotechnology industry as funding issues. Such restrictions could ring the death knell for life-science and biotech initiatives in Massachusetts.
We applaud Mr. Patrick's forward-looking efforts and urge the Public Health Council, which will be under the governor's control as of next week, to reverse the restrictions set by the former administration.