[extropy-chat] California stem cell initiative progress

Brett Paatsch bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au
Sun Apr 18 01:36:51 UTC 2004

Reason wrote:

> The California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative has garnered more
> than 1,000,000 signatures.

Good stuff.

> They seem confident of making it onto the
> November ballot, which raises interesting possibilities given the timing
> the presidential election and the issues in question:

Yes. It will be great for the progress of embryonic stem cell research
if the Californians can get behind this. It will probably bring the American
research engine online again in this pivotal area.

> http://www.fightaging.org/archives/000086.php
> The efficiency in signature gathering is a sign of money and good
> organization behind the initiative, as well as public sentiment on the
> issue, no doubt.

No doubt. The JDRF folk in the US are masters at political activism.

They put the best arguments they can find in the hands of the best
political "storm troopers". Sick children. Anti-abortion republicans
folk that are very hard to attack politically and they move forward
on multiple dimensions.

If California can come on line I think America will pull its head from
its butt in this area and we will get real progress happening again.

Personally I'd prefer to see Bush rolled as well but that's a separate
matter.  If Bush gets defeated in the US and Howard holds out in
Australia maybe I'll start looking for a green card.

Btw. The first licences for doing research on "spare" IVF embryos
have finally been granted in Australia.

This is more of a small symbolic advance than a real breakthrough
or research enabler. Politically it might be useful for Californian's
to be able to point at it as "progress" elsewhere and "oh dear America
is getting left behind again" :-)

I was worried the licence applications might get stuck in committee
effectively forever.  There are precedents for that sort of "death by
bureaucracy" in this area - again from the US.

Anyway (sorry for the rant) for those who are interested here's an
article on the Australian embryonic stem cell stuff

And here's the links to the NHMRC National Health and Medical
Research Council web site with media releases, licences etc.

If extropians (as individuals not under an extropian banner) and
particularly those in California really want to fire for maximum effect
in a way that will directly impact on the rate of change - helping the
"California stem cell initiative" could give a very good return on time

The key thing about embryonic stem cell research is that it is the
fast track to understanding  basic developmental biology in
humans. You (we - people) can't learn fast about human
developmental biology (what can go wrong - what can be improved
etc) by studying only mice and other animals. Its like trying to learn
about oranges by studying only apples and other fruits.

Sorry for the rant, but maybe some folks are interested.

Brett Paatsch

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