Sorry, but I have one more post before leaving on vacation!

Michael J. Fox, in an
interview with Maria Menounos on The Today Show, said he will continue to be an advocate for embryonic stem cell research, even though an alternative method for obtaining the functional equivalent of hES cells has been found. I don’t get it. To my knowledge Fox doesn’t have a financial stake in ESCR. His career is not on the line. He is not aspiring for political office. He is an advocate for ESCR because he wants to find a cure for the Parkinson’s he and many others suffer from, and thinks ESCR is the most promising ticket to get there. Of all the public advocates out there, he is surely most interested in the clinical success of ESCR.

That’s why I am baffled that he would not switch ships at the dock. Why continue to support ESCR when an simpler, more efficient method of obtaining the same kinds of cells has come along? The number of hESCs we can obtain will always be limited to the number of frozen IVF embryos donated to research, or the number of eggs donated for cloning (if human cloning ever proves successful). But with iPS cells, we can create a virtually unlimited supply. All we need is a skin cell! Furthermore, labs all over the world can create iPS cells, whereas only a relatively few were equipped to do ESCR and cloning.

Furthermore, surely Fox must be aware of the fact that moral concerns are largely responsible for the slow pace of ESCR. Why not support the research that everyone agrees is morally acceptable? It can only speed up the progress, because it will enjoy the support of everyone, including the federal government. I can’t figure Fox out.

HT: Jivin J