MedicineWorld.Org
Your gateway to the world of medicine
Home
News
Cancer News
About Us
Cancer
Health Professionals
Patients and public
Contact Us
Disclaimer

Medicineworld.org: Public funding and human embryonic stem cell research

Back to research news Blogs list Cancer blog  


Subscribe To Research News RSS Feed  RSS content feed What is RSS feed?

Public funding and human embryonic stem cell research




Bolstered by supportive policies and public research dollars, the United Kingdom, Israel, China, Singapore and Australia are producing uncommonly large shares of human embryonic stem cell research, as per a report from the Georgia Institute of Technology in the June 2008 issue Cell Stem Cell. Aaron Levine, assistant professor of public policy and author of the book Cloning: A Beginner's Guide, studied how countries output of research papers correlation to human embryonic stem cell research in comparison to their output in less contentious fields. He observed that even though the United States still puts out far more research in this field than any other single country, when one compares the amount of research in human embryonic stem cells to other forms of research in molecular biology and genetics, the U.S. lags behind.



Public funding and human embryonic stem cell research
embryonic stem cell

"The U.S. is still the largest producer of research in this field, but in comparison to other similar fields, our share is smaller," said Levine, assistant professor in Georgia Tech's Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts. "You have to ask yourself, are we happy producing this relatively small share?".

In comparison, the study showed that the U.K. and Israel were producing substantially more research in this area than in other fields. As per the study, the U.K. produced 5.3 percent more research correlation to human embryonic stem cells than research performed in other areas of molecular biology and genetics, while Israel produced 4.6 percent more research. Levine attributed that to the long-held public and political support of human embryonic stem cell research in those countries.

"Both the U.K. and Israel have long-standing policies that support research in this field," said Levine, "And this support seems likely to have bolstered scientists' efforts to set up labs and acquire funding for their research." .

But the biggest surprise was China and Singapore, with China producing 3.2 percent more human embryonic stem cell research than other areas of molecular biology and genetics, and Singapore producing 2.6 percent more research.

"China and Singapore both showed impressive performance in human embryonic stem cell research," said Levine. "Eventhough these countries are very different, both have been striving to grow their biomedical research communities and it seems likely they focused on human embryonic stem cell research, in part, because they saw that traditional scientific powerhouses like the United States were moving so tentatively in this area".

Australia had a more mixed policy and a more mixed result. While Australia does allow new stem cell lines to be created from fertility therapys, it explicitly banned the use of stem cells derived from somatic cell nuclear transfer from 2002 to 2006. Beginning in 2006 researchers were allowed to use stem cells from somatic cell nuclear transfer, but under strict regulatory guidelines. That may explain why Levine's study observed that Australia showed a more modest result of producing only 1.6 percent more human embryonic stem cell research than other areas of molecular biology and genetics.

The United States, however, is significantly under-performing in this area. Eventhough Levine's study observed that the U.S. produced 36 percent of the research performed on human embryonic stem cells, far more than any other country, when he compared those studies to other areas of research in molecular biology and genetics, he observed that the U.S. had a deficit of 10 percent.

Eventhough the U.S. government is the funding source for 63 percent of academic research and development, federal funds can only be used for studies on a small number of stem cell lines produced before August 9, 2001. As a result, much research in this area in the U.S. is done either with state money or private money.

Given that researchers have less incentive in the private sector to publish research papers, it's possible that Levine's metric undercounts the amount of research done in this area in the U.S. But even so, the contribution from the U.S. is still reduced since research that isn't published does little to increase public knowledge.

But that may change. Venturing where the federal government fears to tread, states like California, New York, Connecticut and Maryland are becoming places scientists can turn to for human embryonic stem cell funding. But Levine thinks that development may complicate matters.

"There are a variety of funding sources out there now, but it makes the field more complicated for researchers to follow the various rules set forth by the states and foundations," said Levine. "I think researchers would prefer clear oversight from a federal government that's supportive of their research".

Levine plans to follow up this current work with a look at how collaboration is affected by these different state policies.


Posted by: Scott    Source




Did you know?
Bolstered by supportive policies and public research dollars, the United Kingdom, Israel, China, Singapore and Australia are producing uncommonly large shares of human embryonic stem cell research, as per a report from the Georgia Institute of Technology in the June 2008 issue Cell Stem Cell. Aaron Levine, assistant professor of public policy and author of the book Cloning: A Beginner's Guide, studied how countries output of research papers correlation to human embryonic stem cell research in comparison to their output in less contentious fields. He observed that even though the United States still puts out far more research in this field than any other single country, when one compares the amount of research in human embryonic stem cells to other forms of research in molecular biology and genetics, the U.S. lags behind.

Medicineworld.org: Public funding and human embryonic stem cell research

Acute bacterial meningitis| Alzheimer's disease| Carpal tunnel syndrome| Cerebral aneurysms| Cerebral palsy| Chronic fatigue syndrome| Cluster headache| Dementia| Epilepsy seizure disorders| Febrile seizures| Guillain barre syndrome| Head injury| Hydrocephalus| Neurology| Insomnia| Low backache| Mental retardation| Migraine headaches| Multiple sclerosis| Myasthenia gravis| Neurological manifestations of aids| Parkinsonism parkinson's disease| Personality disorders| Sleep disorders insomnia| Syncope| Trigeminal neuralgia| Vertigo|

Copyright statement
The contents of this web page are protected. Legal action may follow for reproduction of materials without permission.