Editor's Corner

Stem cell research should be encouraged
Advanced Cell Technology has taken a lot of heat for its work that purports to show researchers can create new embryonic stem cell lines without destroying the embryo. That remains more of a working theory than a fact. But as this week's top story illustrates, the controversy hasn't slowed down its research in the field. As researchers continue to highlight new ways that embryonic stem cells can provide cures for terrible diseases like macular degeneration, they will continue to put pressure on policymakers to revise a position that has slowed work in the field. This research needs to be encouraged so that young scientists will step into the field and advance new therapies. Throwing up a roadblock here by severely limiting federal funding is exactly the wrong thing to do. In the mean time, let's congratulate the UK's new stem cell bank (see tip below) for stepping in where the U.S. government has so far feared to tread. - John Carroll