June 22, 2005
Jeb Bush, scientist and humanitarian
More scientifically sound thinking from the Bush baby:
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday that he opposes human embryonic stem cell research because it requires the destruction of days-old embryos.
Embryonic stem cells form during the early days after conception and can turn into any tissue in the body. Many scientists hope to one day harness them to grow replacement tissue to treat diabetes, spinal cord injuries and other diseases.
But prominent social conservatives, including President Bush and the Roman Catholic Church, are against the research because days-old embryos are destroyed. On Tuesday, the president’s brother said he agreed.
“I’m opposed to it,” the Florida governor told a small group of reporters. “Taking a human life to save life is a huge contradiction morally.”
I guess “taking a human life to save a human life” must be wingnut shorthand for “using cloned embryonic stem cells to develop treatments that could save tens of thousands of lives.” The wingers certainly repeat their little mantra at every opportunity. Perhaps they hope to convince the three out of four Americans who really do support saving lives.
Still, Bush was speaking at a biotech conference—one organized by supporters of embryonic stem-cell research—so you might expect some dissent from attendees. Say, from cutting-edge establishments like the Scripps Research Institute:
Bush was in Philadelphia at the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s annual convention to build on his attempts to create a biotechnology hub of companies in Palm Beach County.
Bush cobbled together $800 million in state and county money to woo the prestigious Scripps Research Institute to expand to Florida from its La Jolla, Calif. location. Bush believes many biotechnology companies will choose to launch or relocate to be near Scripps, [whose] … researchers are known for groundbreaking work in leukemia, ovarian cancer, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and AIDS.
But a spokesman said the institute doesn’t work with human embryonic stem cells and the governor’s position has no effect on its continued intentions to move to Florida. “It’s not an issue for us,” said Scripps spokesman Keith McKeown.
That stance may prove a little short-sighted.
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