Posted by: biochem belle
Posted on: Sun, Sep 05, 2010, 9:04 am CDT
I think hESC research should go forward and that really what is limiting it is just a fundamental lack of public education on the issue. And the blame for that rests not on our shoulders but also patient advocacy groups need to get in the fight as well.
Regardless of the amount of public education on the subjection, there is a small segment of the population that will always be opposed to hESC work on moral and/or theological grounds. Though small, this segment has a loud voice. Zealots for a cause will always be heard-maybe not heeded but heard enough to create political controversy.
However, I do think that much of the population opposing hESC work simply don't understand it. They don't understand how the cells are derived, from what sources, or the difference between adult, iPS, cord blood, and embryonic stem cells. Some of the responsibility lies with scientists to clarify, in lay terms, the importance and potential of hESC research and why it's needed in addition
and not as a replacement to other stem cell research. You're right that patient advocacy groups should get involved, as well. Public education on this issue will require a multifaceted approach.