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Genetic Crossroads
August 4th, 2005

Opinion: Jesse Reynolds, "Stem Sellouts: Progressives and Stem Cell Research Beyond California," TomPaine.com (July 20)
"Progressives are inclined to [strengthen] their support of stem cell research as an effective wedge issue to split Republicans. But before we move ahead with simplistic calls for more funding and fewer restrictions, we should pay heed to troubles with California's new stem cell research agency-and to the larger implications of biotech boosterism."

Opinion: Carl Elliott, "Should journals publish industry-funded bioethics articles?" The Lancet (July 6)
Bioethicist Carl Elliott asserts that corporate funding of bioethics is damaging the credibility of the field, and recommends that journals should not publish articles if the authors have a personal financial stake in the topics addressed.

Opinion: Roger Highfield, "Have we been oversold the stem cell dream?" The Telegraph (UK) (June 29)
"While many scientists sincerely believe that huge strides will come in the long term from research into stem cells, the parents of all 200 or more types in the body, they fear a backlash will result when the research fails to live up to unrealistic expectations in the short term. Over the decades the mismatch between the daily agenda of the media and the glacial pace of research has set a familiar pattern, where the media turn tentative findings into headline news and, with equal glee, seize on the inevitable disappointments and failures that follow."

Review article: Carl Hall, "Fast-moving cloning developments spark new worries: Oversight concerns shadow new technology," San Francisco Chronicle (May 30)
This article reviews some of the political concerns raised by embryonic stem cell research, including the lack of a central regulatory mechanism, and the risks of egg extraction for research.

Investigative series: Clint Riley, The Record and Herald News of North New Jersey (June 19)
This three-part (part 1, part 2, part 3) investigative report examines the pitfalls and secrecy of the public funding of biotechnology in northern New Jersey.

Series: William Saletan, "The Organ Factory: The Case for Harvesting Older Human Embryos," Slate (July 25 - 29)
Saletan explores the scientific and bioethical arguments in favor of extending the age of embryos which may be destroyed for research, cautioning that we may begin to see pressure for pushing that limit.(part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5)


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