U.S. Losing Scientists Over Stem Cell Restrictions

By Anthony | November 21st, 2005 | 1:05 pm

It seems that in at least one case our government’s restrictions on stem cell research are causing scientists to pursue their research in other countries:

Two government biologists heavily recruited by Stanford University have decided to work in Singapore instead, saying they will face fewer restrictions on stem cell research overseas.

…Copeland and Jenkins are famous for discovering a way to accelerate the identification of cancer-causing genes in mice. Scientists hope to advance this discovery by using embryonic stem-cell cultures to build models of leukemia, lymphoma and other cancers. If researchers can learn which genes are mutated in cancer, they could possibly develop drugs to block mutations.

At Singapore’s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, any of the couple’s discoveries would first be patented and used in Singapore.

I can’t tell from this if their concerns are due to a lack of available government funding for research that is otherwise legal, or if the issue is that there are more legal (not necessarily ethical) options over in Singapore. Either way, this shows that thought should certainly be given to where anti-science policies and attitudes may lead us. There are consequences, such as the possibility that cures and treatments may be getting delayed, and – in this case – the U.S. losing the benefits of having researchers make their discoveries here rather than elsewhere.

Comments are closed.