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Stem Cell Research article

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Stem Cell Research article

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From the Washington Post Op-Ed section - Facts on Stem CellsBy Ruth R. Faden and John D. GearhartMonday, August 23, 2004; Page A15 This summer marks the third anniversary of President Bush's announcement of his policy on stem cell research. In the intervening years, the subject has become a polarizing flash point for American politics and a focal point for the presidential campaign. For many of Sen. John Kerry's supporters, the Bush administration's stem cell policy is a leading symbol of everything that is wrong with the current domestic agenda. For Bush supporters, his stance on stem cells is a leading symbol of all that is right. Translating science into political symbols and slogans comes at a price. There is hype on both sides. In the rush to put a human face on a complicated biomedical challenge, supporters of both stem cell research and Kerry sometimes seem to suggest that but for the administration's policy, stem cell cures for dread diseases would already be in hand. Even under the most supportive policies, however, considerable research needs to be done before the therapeutic promise of stem cells is fully understood and its benefits are realized. In no cases are cures guaranteed, and even in the most promising areas, reliable cures are years, in some cases as much as five to 10 years, away. That said, and despite the hype to the contrary, there is no question that the current policy is substantially retarding progress in stem cell research. In an Aug. 4 op-ed in The Post, Anne Applebaum argues that our national debate on stem cells should begin with the facts. We agree. Here are some facts:
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