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Stem cell research is work for scientists, not columnists

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In her April 1 Journal column, “Too many eggs in Obama’s basket,” Kathleen Parker criticizes President Obama for lifting the ban on federal funding for stem cell research. She offers that there is a skin-based stem cell alternative that serves the same need. Thousands of stem cells are now stored in fertility clinics and would simply have been discarded if not used for their original purpose.  President Bush limited research to 21 existing stem cell lines. Congress twice passed bills to allow thousands more stem cell lines from surplus embryos to be used, but Bush vetoed these. Now these valuable cells can be used for a higher purpose than depositing in the trash bin. No stem cell methods are currently viable for the intended application: giving our body the ability to grow new cells to reconstruct defective tissue. There are very few guarantees in scientific research; until a suitable method is perfected, we should pursue many courses of stem cell research. Parker does not understand the methods of science. She should leave science policy to others better suited to the task. Ron Paitich Auburn