Wednesday, March 28, 2007

More on the Wright Brothers and stem cells

There was a comment to my March 25 post on an ABC News report of a promising treatment for cardiac injuries involving ADULT stem cells:

You may be on to something! You are right, if we don't do any hesc research we won't make any advances with it. The opposition is not only the well oiled pro-life lobby, but maybe adult stem cell researchers worried if advances come from hesc, they might find it hard to compete for grants. Pointing out that adult stem cells can work for a specific condition does not mean it can cure all conditions and we should not take that to mean hesc is not necessary. If we never studied internal combustion you would still be travelling on a horse. Who knows, given the same mentality, we might still be under the assumption the earth is flat.

IPBiz found the justaxposition of "compete for grants" and "internal combustion engine" interesting. Back at the time of the internal combustion engine, people were not competing for grants in order to make inventions.

The dark forces now seem to include "the well oiled pro-life lobby" [which did not do a particularly good job on Proposition 71, managing to get out-spent by a considerable margin] and "adult stem cell researchers" competing for grants against the "embryonic stem cell researchers." Getting back to the March 25 post, IPBiz was talking about an accomplishment that might be useful to patients. Remember them?

[In passing, IPBiz notes that a DIFFERENT IPBiz commenter suggests that "grant issues" may be motivating some of the concerns about Purdue's bubble fusion. IPBiz notes "grant issues" were a plot line on a Law & Order episode back in 1995, and are known to be potential problems in generating a variety of bad acts.]

And, for those who forgot the electric car, it was alive and well in the early 1900's, so that no one would have been required to use a horse, even WITHOUT any work on the internal combustion engine. The Wright Brothers might have had a problem with powered flight (they needed an internal combustion engine made of aluminum), but don't forget: they filed their patent application on three-dimensional control of flight BEFORE Dec. 17, 1903. While the folks at the National Academy of Sciences [NAS] working on patent reform haven't figured that out, it is worthwhile to know that Wrights' invention was NOT about powered flight. The Wrights considered "powering" a trivial add-on to what they had invented.

**Separately, there has been no comment to my comment at


Blogger bob said...

I do appreciate advances with all forms of research, the problem I see is that when a possible advance from adult stem cells is announced it is often used as an excuse not to need hESC to be researched. Sure there were electric motors way back and also in autos, but they didn't replace the horse, or even the internal combustion engine, because they weren't practical till only recently when battery technology permitted a longer range of travel. So be it with stem cells, when and if adult stem cells can act like hESC we could utilize them instead of hESC, until then it would be rather harmful to hold back research with hESC that could relieve suffering and premature death from disease.

6:40 AM  

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