Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Stem Cell Miracles

Wired published a Top Ten list of bioresearch breakthroughs in 2008. One of them is truly incredible. Medical scientists used a woman's stem cells to regrow her trachea.

This is a testament not only to human innovation but to our commitment to helping fellow humans and making the world better. You might ask where this giant medical step for mankind happened. Boston? San Francisco? New York? Of course not! It was in Italy! Come on now. Did you really think it could happen in the US? Get serious. We've decided that pleasing extremists like pretend-conservative Sam Brownback is more important than keeping our economy competitive and helping people. How did we get to this place? When do we say "enough"?

It would be an interesting experiment to take one country and split it in half, with fundamentalist nuts in charge of one and a modern secular government in charge of the other. It would be even more interesting if that had already been done, like in Singapore and Malaysia. I can tie this back to bioresearch with personal experience. In the last six months I have interviewed at a Singaporean biotech company. But somehow, Muslim Malaysia does not have, shall we say, a thriving medical research sector.

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