Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Way to go, South Korea

S. Korea Lab Aims to Be Global Supplier of Stem Cells

I heard this on NPR this morning as well. This is ballsy. The South Koreans are going to open an embryonic stem cell bank and going to make it available to scientists from all over the world, including the United States. This is a major effort to side-step efforts by the Bush administration to maintain the status quo and push us further into a time that looks increasingly like the dark ages every day. I think this is great -- it just goes to show that regardless of what the social conservatives want, the rest of the world is going to move in the right direction and we'll all have no chioce but to follow them eventually.

As a side note, it really upsets me that social conservatives feel that the law is a good place to force their will on everyone else. If they're really so excited about getting to heaven, wouldn't they want to keep it from getting too crowded there?

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Researchers in South Korea said they will make the human embryonic stem-cell advances that caused a stir in recent months available to laboratories in the U.S. and elsewhere.

A new center called the World Stem Cell Hub under the direction of Hwang Woo Suk at the Seoul National University Hospital will create and store human embryonic stem cells for use by researchers in the U.S. and other nations, according to the university.

The center ``will open a new chapter in the history in bio- medicine by training new researchers and spurring global collaboration,'' said South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun, who attended an opening ceremony today. Roh said the government ``will give its full support for the World Stem Cell Hub to play a central role in global life science research.''

Creation of the center will extend South Korea's global lead in stem-cell research by attracting funds from U.S. foundations seeking to create new treatments for diabetes, Parkinson's disease and other ailments, experts in the field said.

``To my knowledge, the only team that can reliably produce disease-specific and patient-specific human embryonic stem cells is the team in Korea,'' said Shane Smith, science director of the Santa Barbara, California-based Children's Neurobiological Solutions Foundation, in a telephone interview yesterday.

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