Oxymoron time at the National Academies of Science.
Election day, November 7th, is the also the first day of the two day Public Symposium of the National Academies of Science on their “Guidelines” for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research. How can there be ethical guidelines for a basically unethical enterprise?
I see that Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, is going to be there. Dr. Yamanaka was the lead researcher for the team that reported inducing adult somatic cells to turn back to (dedifferentiate) embryonic-like cells, or “induced pluripotent cells.” Laurie Zoloth,PhD., at the American Society of Bioethics and Humanities last week, during the session on the International Society of Stem Cell Researchers‘ Guidelines for the Conduct of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research (pdf here) was quick to tell the audience that Yamanaka had made statements to the effect that his cells were years away from being used in research. I worry that he might be under pressure from the pro-embryo-destruction team.
Insoo Hyun, the moderator for the oocyte donation session, was the chair for the ISSCR subcommittee on obtaining “materials.” and led that session at ASBH.
They said that there’s a lot of pressure from the international community, as well as some in the US, for Wisconsin to stop regulating their patents. There were also strong remarks about the lack of a call to share intellectual property and materials in those NAS guidelines.
(Edited 11-1-06 to correct Dr. Zoloth’s first name.)