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Stem-Cell Research Funding Institute Is Shuttered

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the politics-is-political dept.

Government 86

An anonymous reader writes "The National Institutes of Health, the top funder of biomedical research in the U.S., has closed a program designed to bring induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) from the lab to the clinic. It has made no public mention of the closure, but the website has been deleted and Nature News reports that the center director, Mahendra Rao, resigned his post in frustration after the program allocated funds to only one clinical trial in its last round of funding."

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So Obama canceled stem cell research? (0)

isa-kuruption (317695) | about 7 months ago | (#46695505)

I just want to make sure that's what you're saying... because you know, blame Bush.

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46695637)

Why does it matter? It's not as if the Repugs were supporting this at any point. It's idiots like you that are the cancer killing this country. Go eat shit and die.

Correcting Lies (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 7 months ago | (#46695863)

I'm an indépendant but I do hater liars of any stripe - the Republicans only objected to embryonic stem cells, there are lots of other paths and kinds of stem cells.

The Republicans otherwise funded stem cell research.

Re:Correcting Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46695921)

An independent spouting conservative talking points isn't.

Re:Correcting Lies (3, Insightful)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 7 months ago | (#46695929)

Facts are not talking points. Blanket accusations like in the GP are.

OHMIGOSH! Time for a PANIC ATTACK! Dial 10-1-1!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46696277)

Our Royal Federal Government, the lush fountain of richness and wonder from which all science and progress flows, has decided not only to kill ALL research worldwide but to BAN it. Only our Great Federal Government, giver of all that is good, could possibly EVER lead to progress and innovation and technology. Imagine where the Holy Grail of Perfection would be today if we gave trillions or perhaps quadrillions of dollars for dead-end pork-barrel research that would NEVER happen otherwise. Amen.
 
Disclaimer: I work for a government-funded research house on the east coast.

so.... you're saying that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46701733)

"The Truth" == "conservative talking points"?

Wow... somehow I do not think you meant to make that assertion, but it is the logical conclusion of the combination of your statement and reality. In this particular case, that's correct. It may not always be, but HERE it is. "The Truth" is not a partisan thing... we all used to be able to agree on basic facts even when they did not line-up with our ideologies; the basic facts provided a stable intellectual platform upon which we could debate. In the modern hyper-partisan world however where politicians boldly lie to their bases and the independents about their opponents and everybody is forced to doubt even the most basic documented facts we are headed for real trouble.

The simple fact is this: The Republicans (led at the time by George W Bush) were the first to actually federally-fund (there was plenty of other funding before that, so do not misconstrue this point) stem cell research, and the Conservatives (NOT the same thing as Republicans, but generally a subset of the Republicans) were in agreement on that funding. The only stem cell research they opposed was that which used the cells from (generally aborted) human embryos, and any future creation of human embryos for the express purpose of stem cell harvesting; to Conservatives the use of cells from human embryos was just a step too far into Godwin territory. Incidentally, Bush did NOT ban private funds being used for such research by non-government researchers, he just banned taxpayer involvement in it.

Reality == reality. If your politics/beliefs/opinions are unable to face that then your politics/beliefs/opinions are what is wrong.

Re:Correcting Lies (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 7 months ago | (#46695989)

This is actually correct, as the article talks about induced stem cells. Induced means they are not stem cells naturally (i.e. embyonic).

Without getting into the whole "who believes in god, life and are adults with invisible friends silly" argument, the point is that this field of research is about making stem cells out of cells that are not stem cells. In other words, from cells that we don't have to extract from embryos.

This is why the research is so difficult in largely fruitless.

Re:Correcting Lies (4, Informative)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 7 months ago | (#46696563)

Odd definition of "Lie"

What happened was that there was ongoing funding of stem-cell research, much of it government-funded. However, there's an existing law that forbids any government funding of abortion. When fetal stem-cell research became a possibility [wikipedia.org] , President Clinton issued an executive order saying that research didn't count against the law. Then he left office, and President Bush (II) issued his own order saying it did qualify (at least for any new fetal tissues). When president Obama took office, he issued his own order saying it was OK again.

Yes, all that was banned was new fetal tissue research. But that was where the new research was being done at the time, so its a distinction without much difference.

Today Congress is (perhaps inadvertently) getting around this re-funding by simply blanket defunding all government funding of research (along with everything else). This was the only kind of "budget" they could agree to. This has nothing whatsoever to do with Obama though. Sure, he signed the law for the current qasi-budget we operate under, but only because it was the best we were ever likely to get out of a House of Reps (yes, run by Republicans) that reflexively votes against anything he so much as says a kind word about.

Perhaps the Republican goal wasn't to defund stem-cell research, but that's certainly the effect. At some point incompetence becomes advanced enough that it is indistinguishable from malice.

Re:Correcting Lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46697925)

The truth is that the House has repeatedly passed budgets, and the Demoncrat controlled Senate led by Dingy Harry Reid has refused to take them up.

Re:Correcting Lies (5, Insightful)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 7 months ago | (#46698117)

The truth is that the House has repeatedly passed budgets, and the Demoncrat controlled Senate led by Dingy Harry Reid has refused to take them up.

That's one of those "truths" that folks like to hide lies in. Yes, the House has repeatedly passed budgets, that is true. It is also true that the Senate has repeatedly passed budgets, and Obama has repeatedly submitted budgets he'd be happy to sign to Congress. So everyone's doing their job in good faith, right?

Clearly not. The real truth here is that the House's "budgets" have contained no attempt whatsoever to contain language that has a hope of passing in the Senate, much less get a signature from the POTUS. The House knew full well those budgets wouldn't pass when they voted for them. So pretending these were serious attempts at legislation is a flat out lie.

The Senate's passed budgets, on the other hand, quite often could get a majority in the house (and a POTUS signature). The House deals with this situation that threatens to produce an actual budget by refusing to bring them up for a vote.

So yeah, we could mislead everyone and claim the House has been trying to pass budgets, or we could tell the honest truth.

Re:Correcting Lies -INDEED! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46696701)

the Republicans only objected to embryonic stem cells, there are lots of other paths and kinds of stem cells.

To your rank and file Bible Thumping Republican, they are one in the same.

The Republicans otherwise funded stem cell research.

Really? They made an exception for stem cells? Because they are against ALL government funded scientific research - that whole government waste, low taxes, fuck the poor but bail out their buddies ... thing.

Had you remained silent you'd have (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46701887)

seemed more honest and intelligent.

"To your rank and file Bible Thumping Republican, they are one in the same."

Garbage. First, where ARE these "Bible Thumpers" you paranoid lefties are always going on about? I've never seen ANYBODY "Thump" a Bible except on TV shows and in movies where idiots in Hollywood are extrapolating about people they've never even met. Second, the George W Bush stem cell policy was widely discussed and debated in the media, on the web, etc and the most-religious conservatives in the US agreed with the policy (so your "point" here is a total LIE)

"Really? They made an exception for stem cells? Because they are against ALL government funded scientific research - that whole government waste, low taxes, fuck the poor but bail out their buddies ... thing.

Are you on hallucinogenic drugs or is somebody spoon feeding you this CRAP? The vast majority of conservatives (even the religious ones you are so paranoid about) in the US support government funded scientific research into a very wide array of things (including many things that the anti-science left opposes like nuclear power, nuclear weapons, etc). Religious conservatives in the US backed the Apollo program to put man on the moon at a time when a lot of lefties, led by Democrat congressman Walter Mondale tried to use the Apollo 1 fire as justification to de-fund NASA and shift the dollars into welfare programs. Religious conservatives in the US supported all the scientific research done by the Reagan and Bush41 administrations into rockets, lasers, x-ray systems, rail guns, etc as part of the Strategic Defense Initiative (lefties opposed much of this). Religious conservatives in the US supported the Bush43 administration efforts to aim NASA manned spaceflight back at the moon and at Mars, and supported things like the Hubble telescope and the Space Station.

You guys on the left like to pretend that anybody who opposes ANYTHING that YOU label "science" is therefore "anti-science" on ALL science. If somebody disagrees on Global Warming, you lie and say he is "anti-science". If somebody supports ALL science except human embryo stem cells (on moral grounds) you proclaim him "anti science". I wonder... if somebody proposed a scientific study that involved dissecting live homosexual activists to study their brains, would YOU object? (I certainly would) On MORAL grounds? (that'd be the case for me) Would that make YOU "anti-science"????? By your warped standards it WOULD... but by MY standards it would not... it would just make you a decent human being.

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46695887)

Why does it matter? It's not as if the Repugs were supporting this at any point. It's idiots like you that are the cancer killing this country. Go eat shit and die.

Clearly the thinly veiled attempt at sarcasm was not received by those who assume every political comment reflects support for that fucked-up system.

Now calm the fuck down already dumbass, and learn to take a joke.

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 7 months ago | (#46696015)

If that was a joke, possible, it was a rather poor one. I think it was probably also tasteless, but as I can't identify where the joke lies, I'm not certain.

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 7 months ago | (#46696323)

Actually they support pluripotent SC research pretty widely. Mainly because you don'[t have to harvest SC's from human embryos. Speaking of emrbryonic stem cell research, which is supposed to make MJ Fox better and Cristopher Reeve walk again, how many diseases can now be treated with emrbryonic stem cell therapy?

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46697179)

I think you can treat about as many diseases with ESC cells as you can with iPS cells, pretty much nothing yet. That's why more research is needed. In fact we wouldn't have iPS cells if we hadn't done previous ESC research. Most ESC research is performed on ESC cell lines as far as I'm aware, which are originally derived from an embryo yes, but years ago. It doesn't make sense to stop the ongoing use of these cells.

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 7 months ago | (#46698727)

You're really stuck in 2001.

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 7 months ago | (#46701189)

If stem cells can make Christopher Reeve walk again, they're a helluva lot more powerful than anybody ever thought.

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 7 months ago | (#46701239)

shushhh. That's just a tiny detail. ESC's can make the average person fly, don't ya know. Never has anything overpromised so much, and underdelivered so little.

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46701351)

Yet another 1 line fart from gmhowell. No talent. No creativity. Nothing. Just a horrible stench of stupidity.

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (3, Informative)

RDW (41497) | about 7 months ago | (#46695661)

"James Anderson, director of the NIHâ(TM)s Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives, which administered the CRM, counters that only one application - that made by Kapil Bharti of the National Eye Institute in Bethesda and his colleagues - received a high enough score from an external review board to justify continued funding."

You can take this at face value, or assume academic politics, but it doesn't seem like party politics.

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46695681)

But it has to be! Everything must be a reason to fist bump how great your own side over the other! The GP is a fucking tard.

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46695835)

Okay, cool, I get it.
Only blame the president if he's a Republican.
Seems clear enough.

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (3, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 7 months ago | (#46696063)

That sounds like the actual reason and the main problem behind iPS. They are about as high of a hanging fruit as there is on that particular tree of science right now. A lot of research into inducing cell into becoming a stem cell has been done, and the only methods that work are extremely difficult and expensive to implement.

As a result, there's a lot less research on the topic, simply because we have already picked all but the highest hanging fruit already. Most methods are either impractical or are being outed as either mistakes or fraud (read up on STAP cells for a good recent example, they were outed as fraud just a week ago by the same research institute that hailed their invention in january). So if internal review board can't find good research, it's likely not because of politics, but because there simply is very little promising research available on the subject.

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46696201)

but it doesn't seem like party politics

No, it doesn't.

The proposed work didn't impress the independent reviewers and the reasons don't appear to have anything to do with pro-life hysteria. Maybe the reviewers are wrong and they deserved funding. Maybe, as is so often the case with stem cells, the promises were baloney and the reviewers saw through it.

Either way this doesn't appear to be Bush related.

But don't let that impede any Bush hate-fests. Hate on bro!

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#46696407)

I would love to see who was on the external review board. I suspect certain members of congress.

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46695837)

Bush is to blame for Obama being elected.

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 7 months ago | (#46696053)

No, that was McCain and Palin. If people has seen a better choice they might have gone with it.

FWIW, I may have voted for Obama, I can't recall, but if so it was only as the lesser of two evils. He probably was that. This isn't much as praise, but it's the best I've got in stock.

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46696313)

So you still voted for evil. Idiot.

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (1)

parkinglot777 (2563877) | about 7 months ago | (#46697087)

but it's the best I've got in stock.

And I think the quote above from him would be the reason why he voted 'again'. ;)

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46695969)

We have total discretion over what we fund. The Executive Branch had nothing to do with this. This is our own directorate. Review boards determine what / who gets grant money.

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (2)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 7 months ago | (#46696291)

Obama doesn't fund the government. That's Congress' job [wikipedia.org] .

People like to say "Bush banned stem-cell research". Because he took an executive order to do so, at a time when Congress was backing everything he did (he did not veto a single bill during his first 6 years in office, which I believe is a record).

Obama has pretty much the opposite kind of Congress. The only blame you could possibly give Obama for this is for not pretending that he hated stem-cell funding research, thus forcing them all to pass bills requiring it. Reverse psychology is about the only thing that could possibly work for him at this point.

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#46696367)

FYI: certain religious members of congress have been trying to remove funding from all Stem Cell research, regardless of the science.
Bush stopping the type of research he did was a compromise for an issue within the pub party.

Some of those pubs are the same idiots who want to keep funding NCAM. Even though it has never produced any results. But hey, it' magic.

Re:So Obama canceled stem cell research? (2)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 7 months ago | (#46696825)

Pssh...stem cell research is sooooo 90's. It's all about solar energy and electric cars now.

back to even darker ages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46695511)

our greatest enemy is us? http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=stem+cell+therapy momkind new clear options wwwildly popular

Well (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#46695531)

certain whack-a-loon true believer in congress will be happy.

Re:Well (2)

kaliann (1316559) | about 7 months ago | (#46695683)

They shouldn't be.

Induced stem cells are the huge area of research devoted to finding ways around using embryonic stem cells. Basically, it's everything but embryonic stem cells in stem cell research.

We will, eventually, have reliable, cheap mechanisms for inducing stem cell potential in non-embryonic-derived cells, but only by continuing research on how to make them.

This is a travesty.

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46695803)

Buh buh buh the world is black and white and right and wrong and only one party is right on everything and the other is 100% wrong.

Do not feed morons like that. They think because of the way they think everyone else should too because you know they are so happy.

This smells more like a money trolling than actual research. But I am randomly guessing. As will be most of the posts in this soon to be political discussion.

Re:Well (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 7 months ago | (#46696089)

This doesn't mean that just any proposal that mentions the magic words should get the nod. This seems to be a case where only ONE adequate project was proposed.

Re:Well (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#46696453)

Only one got past an external review board. Who was on that board? qualified experts in the field, or elected officials?
I"m being a little paranoid, but I ahve spent a lot of the last 15 years or so trying to get some people in congress to understand science and watch them just cut programs. People saying things like 'Science should only be funded if it makes money'. Elected officials with that level of ignorance is really shameful

Re:Well (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 7 months ago | (#46696545)

I suspect this is related to the dust-up caused by Haruko Obokata [wikipedia.org] and the charges being hurled her way. Some of the (maybe, apparently, possibly fraudulent?) most promising work is under fire at the moment.

Fuck the politics. This sucks regardless (4, Insightful)

sconeu (64226) | about 7 months ago | (#46695553)

This sucks regardless of what side of the aisle you are on.

There are diseases where the only known effective treatment at this point in time is stem cells. And those are/were in the trial stages.

Fuck politics.

Re:Fuck the politics. This sucks regardless (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46695875)

My gut feeling is that you should be saying 'fuck religion.' The main reason stem cells have been getting such a hard time being researched has to do with a bunch of bible thumpers that think it goes against God's law.

Re:Fuck the politics. This sucks regardless (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 7 months ago | (#46696111)

Except that most "bible thumpers" hate embryonic stem cells and often hail induced pluripotent stem cells as the "religiously ethically correct alternative", as they do not require embryo to produce.

Re:Fuck the politics. This sucks regardless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46696463)

Don't speak the truth here. If it weren't for the endless knee jerk most Slashdotters would get no exercise.

Re:Fuck the politics. This sucks regardless (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#46696609)

and yet they will be all for in vitro fertilization.
The embryo's used in research comes from the waste of in vitro fertilization.

Re:Fuck the politics. This sucks regardless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46697149)

You're missing the point and I can't help but think you're doing it on purpose... the cells being researched are in no was part of the types of stem cells targeted by pro-life groups.
 
If you couldn't read the GPs post and understand what he was saying may I suggest going back to the 5th grade and taking a reading course or maybe get on some meds so that you don't snap to a conclusion with the impulses of a threatened cobra.

Re:Fuck the politics. This sucks regardless (1)

volmtech (769154) | about 7 months ago | (#46696817)

How many Bible thumpers does Japan have? China? India? Is the US the only country with enough intelligence to do medical research?

Re:Fuck the politics. This sucks regardless (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 7 months ago | (#46703713)

Are you really so ignorant of the world that you think that any of these countries have christian majorities?

In Japan, extremist taoists and buddhists are the problem. In India, usually hindus and buddhists. And China has strong enough central government to suppress such people.

Re:Fuck the politics. This sucks regardless (1)

volmtech (769154) | about 7 months ago | (#46705585)

That reinforces my point. Even people who do not have a Judeo-Christian religion still believe in the sanctity of life. Even in the US this research is not banned, just public money can't be used to fund it.

Re:Fuck the politics. This sucks regardless (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 7 months ago | (#46711049)

The only problem there is money. Not intelligence. In fact, a lot of researchers doing research everywhere in the world are in fact foreigners in the country doing research.

The issue is that of funds. This research is astronomically expensive and extremely difficult, requiring very expensive hardware, extremely specialized workforce and solid infrastructure.

If you're trying to push for american exceptionalism line here, you certainly can. It won't make you any less silly, as this kind of research also happens in all other rich countries. It just doesn't face the same pressure on the embryonic cells as it does in US due to prevalence of certain religious groups and their grip on power that is largely absent in Europe and Japan, the other two giants in the field.

Re:Fuck the politics. This sucks regardless (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46698633)

Well, if the less-religious were to donate half as much money to the research as the "true believers" give to God they probably wouldn't have funding issues.

You win the prize for truth excavation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46701985)

The ONLY stem cell research religious conservatives in the US oppose is research involving cells harvested from human embryos (generally from aborted embryos). The opposition is both because they generally believe it wrong to abort human beings, and because of the likely morally-objectionable effects that (a) the use of aborted children could lead to additional abortions to produce more stem lines, (b) the activity could go industrial and lead to the creation of human lives for the pure purpose of killing them and taking their cells, and (c) the very dark potential for converting human life into an industrial component. There was no significant religious opposition to stem cell research using cells from adults, or even using embryonic cells that were already obtained at the time the policy went into effect (the opposition was to federal funding for research using any new embryonic cells)

Nothing in the stem cell policies which George W Bush established (and which the religious supported) blocked private researchers from going ahead with private money on embryonic cells ... the Bush policy just cut the taxpayer out of the morally-dubious endeavor. You are brilliantly correct that if all the whiny shrill lefties who have been screaming about this would just donate the same amount to some organization of their choice that religious people donate to their causes then THAT organization could easily do the work that Bush did not fund (and also did not ban). The fact that this has not happened is all the proof needed that, for the left, this is all about the political talking point and NOT about the research at all.

Re:Fuck the politics. This sucks regardless (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 7 months ago | (#46695909)

This is bureaucratic troubles, not partisan politics. No one is opposed to iPS on ideological grounds. Well, no one who is worth considering anyway. iPS aren't made from embryos. ESC are the ones that conservatives hate, that come from fertilized eggs.

Re:Fuck the politics. This sucks regardless (2)

sconeu (64226) | about 7 months ago | (#46696579)

Let me explain the title of the post.

I was the third poster. The first two were fuck Obama posts.

I don't give a shit if it's W or Obama or Ted Cruz or Pelosi or whoever. It sucks. period.

Re:Fuck the politics. This sucks regardless (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 7 months ago | (#46696361)

And not a single one of them is treated with embryonic stem cells. Because of tumors.

Re:Fuck the politics. This sucks regardless (0)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 months ago | (#46698233)

One of the main issues is lack of understanding of embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells.
We classify Stem Cells in one group... However the issue with embryonic stem cells are that they come from aborted human fetuses. Which many people would consider sacrificing a human life just to perform scientific research, this usually falls in the unethical category. However there is a group who doesn't consider a fetus to be human life, so it would fall in the ethical category.
Politics being politics, will normally favor the group to say No don't do that, vs the group that will say lets go do that.
As you will suffer less angry people from a dept who didn't get funding, then a dept that does get funding.

Re:Fuck the politics. This sucks regardless (2)

Doubting Sapien (2448658) | about 7 months ago | (#46701785)

However the issue with embryonic stem cells are that they come from aborted human fetuses.

This is right-wing propaganda at its worst. embryonic stem cells DO NOT COME FROM ABORTED HUMAN FETUSES. They come from left over embryos that those seeking fertility treatment no longer need. They were never aborted because they were never implanted in the first place. Because they were never implanted, they never had the chance to develop into anything near resemblance to a fetus. Please get your facts straight, no matter which side of the debate you are on.

Re:Fuck the politics. This sucks regardless (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 7 months ago | (#46704885)

There are diseases where the only known effective treatment at this point in time is stem cells. And those are/were in the trial stages.

Fuck politics.

This is the thing that frustrates me the most about the current political situation. A few nihilists who have taken over one of our parties (the "Republican" one), are able to screw over the whole system so that nothing productive can get done. But that's not the worst part; any gamer can tell you that the world is full of griefers. The worst part is that they are getting away with this behavior because nobody blames them directly. So here you're clearly ticked, but you blame "politics". Why aren't you blaming the actual greifers causing the problem?

Hell, we're about to have an election this year, and both houses are likely to get more of these greifers. If voters don't make the responsible individuals pay for this behavior, where does it end?

Sequester strikes again (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46695675)

It's not because of the subject that the research is being stopped. The NIH, along with the NSF and NASA, had its science budget cut during the sequester and it hasn't recovered. Lots of programs all over the country are being discontinued as a result.

Re:Sequester strikes again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46695993)

BINGO

[I am at the agency in question]

Re:Sequester strikes again (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 7 months ago | (#46696127)

I don't think that's the answer this time. This time it appears that only one adequate proposal was received.

Re:Sequester strikes again (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46697979)

Just remember- the sequester was proposed by the thief-in-chief himself, the almighty liberal savior, Obama.

Of course (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 7 months ago | (#46695693)

Everyone knows stem cells are bad. We can't let rational thought and facts get in the way of our crusades.

Seriously, at this point the anti-embryonic stem cell movement has tarnished the name and scientists should pick a new name to avoid these sort of issues in less objectionable forms of stem cell research.

Re:Of course (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 7 months ago | (#46695851)

This is about iPS.

If you don't know, that's the umbrella term for all stem cells that are NOT derived from embryonic material. Effectively if you're against embryo-related stem cell research, but would like stem cell research itself to continue, iPS research is what you're going to be investing into. One of the main points of iPS research is about getting a cheap way to manufacture stem cells without having to extract them from an embryo.

Waybackmachine on Dr. Mahendra Rao (3, Informative)

DTentilhao (3484023) | about 7 months ago | (#46695711)

Mahendra Rao, M.D., Ph.D.

"Dr. Mahendra Rao is internationally renowned for his research involving human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and other somatic stem cells. He has worked in the stem cell field for more than 20 years, with stints in academia, government and regulatory affairs and industry. He received his M.D. from Bombay University in India and his Ph.D. in developmental neurobiology from the California Institute of Technology.

Following postdoctoral training at Case Western Reserve University, he established his research laboratory in neural development at the University of Utah. He next joined the National Institute on Aging as chief of the Neurosciences Section, where he studied neural progenitor cells and continued to explore his longstanding interest in their clinical potential.

Most recently, he spent six years as the vice president of Regenerative Medicine at Life Technologies in Carlsbad, California. He co-founded Q Therapeutics, a neural stem cell company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also served internationally on advisory boards for companies involved in stem cell processing and therapy; on committees, including as the U.S. Food and Drug Administrationâ(TM)s Cellular Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee chair; and as the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine and International Society for Stem Cell Research liaison to the International Society for Cellular Therapy." ref [archive.org]

Re:Waybackmachine on Dr. Mahendra Rao (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46695781)

What a wasted life, he could have found all the answers in a single book: the Bible.

Re:Waybackmachine on Dr. Mahendra Rao (1)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 7 months ago | (#46696005)

You could be trolling or you could be a religious fanatic. Hard to tell. But no, your statement is wrong.

Re:Waybackmachine on Dr. Mahendra Rao (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about 7 months ago | (#46696165)

Bible is the outdated version. More modern version is called Quran.

In before someone tells us that all this fancy 2.0 stuff is lame and that real men use Torah.

Re:Waybackmachine on Dr. Mahendra Rao (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46696175)

Why read the bible?

We already know the answer to everything is 42. A lot more synthetic, don't you think?

Re:Waybackmachine on Dr. Mahendra Rao (1)

Minwee (522556) | about 7 months ago | (#46696255)

Re:Waybackmachine on Dr. Mahendra Rao (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46696355)

But which Bible could he trust?

Any one with provable facts and documented evidence.

Any passage which can't be corroborated, verified, or proven .. .throw it out.

That would leave you a very small book. Lots of people claim to speak to god ... these days we have the good sense to medicate them, and detain them if necessary.

If your god created this vast and wondrous universe, he's not a bigoted asshole. If you think your god is, then the problem lies with you.

Re:Waybackmachine on Dr. Mahendra Rao (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46696411)

You'd figure the billionaires (meaning:

1. Those with the most to gain.
2. Those who have the most to invest without losing their lifestyles.) ...
would be funding the hell out of this stuff. BUT THEY AREN'T. That's the true cost of acquiring money... you get so lost in the game that you end up losing sight of what's truly important: Life itself.

Welcome to America ... home of the Luddites ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46695927)

America is rapidly becoming a country where the ignorant and stupid drown out the intelligent and thoughtful.

Where your faith defines science, policy, and what other people are allowed to do.

Where if you (as a religious nutjob) want to shout down someone else's view point, then you're exercising your free speech. But if someone wants to protest your point of view, then your free speech is being infringed.

In short, America has become a country with a ridiculous double standard, driven by people who are incapable or unwilling to evaluate evidence, and where religious superstition trumps everything else.

In short, Christians in the US are little better than the Taliban.

Americans no longer believe in their own founding values, they believe in them as narrowly interpreted for their own benefit.

America is a fucked country, where stupidity and ignorance are virtues.

For the smart ones left, either work to fix this, or accept your country's inevitable decline. Because you will cease to make scientific advancement if your science is being determined by religion.

Your village called, they're missing their idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46702239)

"America is rapidly becoming a country where the ignorant and stupid drown out the intelligent and thoughtful. Where your faith defines science, policy, and what other people are allowed to do. Where if you (as a religious nutjob) want to shout down someone else's view point, then you're exercising your free speech. But if someone wants to protest your point of view, then your free speech is being infringed."

Yeah, it's very sad to see this once predominantly-Christian nation devolve into a progressive nightmare where any heretic who denies the religion of global warming or abortion or gay marriage gets shouted down while supporters of global warming insist on defining policy and what other people are allowed to do (no matter WHAT the impact on the economy is... because their crusade against carbon is the "one true faith")

"In short, America has become a country with a ridiculous double standard, driven by people who are incapable or unwilling to evaluate evidence, and where religious superstition trumps everything else."

Yup, you have nailed progressivism completely! The gurus of global warming refuse to evaluate all the evidence and insist that it's ok for them to have the "carbon footprint" of a small town as they live in mansions and fly private jets BUT the "little people" in "flyover country" must live with less to "save the planet" ... you're right: some religious fanatics have double standards...

"In short, Christians in the US are little better than the Taliban.

sooo.... in YOUR pea-brain Christians ban all music and art, and kite flying, and deny girls the right to go to school or a doctor, and fund their economy from heroin sales... and kill anybody who does not worship their God? You cannot possibly be as stupid and dishonest as your post makes you look.... do you remember to periodically inhale?

"Americans no longer believe in their own founding values, they believe in them as narrowly interpreted for their own benefit."

You are right... the founders all believed there is a God, who created man and gave man his rights, and because his rights came from God, government could not take them away. They believed that the federal government should be very small, doing only do a very limited number of things and leaving all else to the states, the communities, and the individuals... and they made this VERY clear in the Constitution; try reading it some time. It is those basic Christian beliefs of our founders that made America a place where the individual is respected, has rights to freedom of speech and thought and worship and where minorities (both political and ethnic) have rights. The Christian idea that each man is directly accountable to his maker (rather than communities being collectively accountable) is what leads to all this freedom for the individual, and lack of this belief is why in so many other societies so many have been killed for not behaving as the society dictated (like not believing in Allah, or playing music, or shaving a beard, etc). It was those very Christian beliefs that drove the end of slavery and drove the civil rights movement of the sixties. Our founders' belief in the Christian view of man as a sinner led them to design a government that had checks-and-balances, to try to make it harder for sinners to misuse. That set of beliefs led them to design a judicial system that presumes flaws and errors and therefore has paths for rectifying them. It was a big reason why they favored small government (to keep some politically powerful sinner or group of sinners from getting the power to mess with the lives of the individual people). Without the Christians you apparently despise, you would not have the rights you have to attack them. A reminder from one of our founders:

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." - John Adams

Our founders gave us a REPUBLIC and NOT a democracy, but the Democrats have been working for decades to convert it to a democracy (which is just formalized mob-rule) and they have largely succeeded because of an ignorant public. If you feel the darkness of oppression approaching and smell the stink of societal decay, that's just tough. It'll just get worse the more you progressives succeed in tearing the place down; you guys are making your utopian bed, you get to lay in it like everybody else. I personally wish you'd all gone to France (where you'd have been happier to begin with, since THEIR revolution was secular) and wish you'd helped make that place "better", leaving this nation to those of use who loved it so dearly. It'll take a lot more time and effort to re-build the place after you guys are done trashing it... sorta like fixing-up a place after some frat boys have lived there.

"Democracy... while it lasts is more bloody than either aristocracy or monarchy. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There is never a democracy that did not commit suicide." - John Adams

"America is a fucked country, where stupidity and ignorance are virtues."

Twas not always so... back when we were a FAR more religious (Christian in this case) country we were the creators of most of the world's new medicines and technologies and we put a man on the moon while protecting the freedom of the western world. Now as we become an increasingly secular and amoral nation that cares little for the things that made us great we are losing the "protestant work ethic", losing the tendency for self-reliance, becoming far more coarse and hostile, our politics are getting toxic and our science and technology efforts are being poured into things that are politically correct rather than actually productive and beneficial. By turning our backs on our founders we have NOT improved our nation, and by kicking God to the curb we have NOT stopped being religious (we now just worship bits of creation, or ourselves, rather than a creator). Where once we preferred more circumspect conversation (aware that we were all imperfect, and answerable to God for our actions) we now feel free to rant and rave and hurl unending piles of expletives at each-other, confident in our own absolute superiority and infallibility. Quite an improvement you progressives have made...

Fallout From Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46696059)

One of the lead international researchers, from Japan, has been charged with fraud had her paper(s) retracted and demoted from RIKEN. Although she is counter-suing RIKEN it appears a major flame out of a once hot career.

Bites the Reps in the ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46696065)

The nasty bit about science is: even if you stop believing in it, its still there. So pluripotent stem cell research happens elsewhere, medical breakthroughs happen elsewhere, patents are granted elsewhere, people are cured elsewhere. Of course the progress of science is slowed, but not stopped.

Which is which? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46696137)

I'm too lazy to look it up, so are the induced pluripotent stem cells the 'bad' ones that come from embryos and make baby Jesus cry? Or are they the 'good' ones that come from adults that get the Yahweh pro-life seal of approval?

Re:Which is which? (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 7 months ago | (#46696381)

They are the ones that don't cause tumors.

The "Science" President ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46696251)

Hooray for Obama our wise Brother Leader! No more space shuttle so if we want to put astronauts on the space station we have to beg the Russians to get us there and now no more of that awful stem cell crap! Great job!

Shuttered? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46696591)

Well, just open the shutters again? Was does "shuttered" mean? Is this a weird colloquial American usage, like "anymore" to mean "these days"? What's wrong with "closed" or "shut down"?

We just do the research in Canada and the Bahamas (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#46696731)

and China and Taiwan and South Korea and places that like massive grants of private funds

It's like you don't get that research gets done no matter what you "say".

Seriously, you're wasting your time.

(not speaking for anyone, just telling you what happens IRL)

Embryonic stem cell research (1, Flamebait)

conquistadorst (2759585) | about 7 months ago | (#46697121)

Makes good research but I wonder if it could ever by economically viable. Maybe someone can enlighten me and explain otherwise.

I imagine if it ever hit mainstream with usage on a public daily basis, you'd need millions of embryos, perhaps even every day? What? Would women be expected to line up for embryo drives like we have blood drives today?

Re:Embryonic stem cell research (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46697357)

Uh, you do understand what stem cells are, right? As in, embryonic stem cells replicate themselves more or less perfectly. And you do understand that during the Bush days, all embryonic stem cells derived from basically four lines. In other words, four aborted fetuses. And what, you thought only four petri dishes ever existed?

Re:Embryonic stem cell research (3)

Doubting Sapien (2448658) | about 7 months ago | (#46700637)

Please mod parent up, as it ought to be considered an honest question deserving of an honest answer.

I work with human embryonic stem cells (hESC). I'm going to hazard a guess that you've bought into certain propaganda efforts attempting to mislead the public into believing ESC research "destroys" embryos. That is not at all the case. First a primer in cell biology: At a certain stage in their life cycle, most normal "somatic" cells enter a stage called "senescence" where they may continue to live but no longer divide and will eventually die. Stem cells, on the other hand, have the unique ability to continue dividing indefinitely without becoming "old". This "self-renewal" property makes a stem cell culture very much like the "mother dough" a baker would use to perpetuate starter cultures for years or decades.

Our lab uses uses cells that originated from fertility treatment at my institution's OB/GYN clinic. Individuals who have achieved a successful pregnancy would consent to allow fertilized but unimplanted embryos to be used for research purposes. (If we didn't ask for them, they would have been destroyed as medical waste.) During the early stages of growth, all the cells in the embryo have stem cell qualities and are all "self-renewing". Under artificial growth conditions, these cells are coaxed into remaining stem cells without developing further into a fetus with all different types of tissues and organs. As such, they remain masses of stem cells that could be split/divided and given to research groups as necessary.

So you see, a single embryo can establish a "cell line" that (depending on culture methods and/or skill/technique of cell-culturist) can be maintained indefinitely by researchers. At the moment, the "economics" of this has more to do with the resources needed to grow them rather than obtain them. Cell culture growth media is incredibly expensive right now because it is hard to keep these delicate, finicky guys happy in lab conditions. (Stem cells like growing in an organic environment - not in a dish.) So far, embryonic stem cells are only being used for research as a way to study some fundamental things that are still poorly understood. (Like for example how to grow cells intended for tissue/organ transplant in artificial conditions cheaply and reliably. Expect cost to come down as we make progress on this front.) My lab, for example, only grows enough of them to support a few experiments at a time on DNA damage/repair. Now, the anticipated therapeutic use of stem cells are different. But you would not necessarily need millions of them as one would as in the case of drug manufacturing to produce useful proteins. Because stem cells are "self-renewing", conceivably you only need enough of them to keep itself going in, say, replacing a failed organ or tissue.

At the moment, it is too early to concretely say what the future might look like where stem cells are commercially used for therapies. A couple of possible guesses for how they can be obtained: 1) a person donates his/her own by having parents who made the smart decision to bank "cord blood" saved from the umbilical cord when the baby was born. 2) the small minute number of stem cells that circulate in the blood or exist elsewhere in the body can be extracted. 3) Cells from other parts of your body that have already specialized into certain cell types can be treated to return them to a "stem-cell-like-state". This last thing is what people are talking about when they mention "induced pluri-potent stem cells" (iPSC). In any case, I find it hard to come up with a scenario where stem cells take on the qualities of a commodity to be produced for mass consumption. I suppose anything is possible, but other problems need to be solved along the way, like how to prevent organ rejection when your immune system recognize that your implant doesn't belong to you.

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