In The Stem Cell Banking Crisis , The Scientist reports that

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has allowed a contract for the dissemination of embryonic stem cell lines approved for US government funding to lapse, shuttering a key stem cell bank, and doubling the price researchers pay for samples of some human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line . . . from $500 per vial of frozen cells to $1,000.

The rest of the article describes the problem and implies the need for the government to distribute the lines and subsidize the sales as well.

Leaving aside how disturbing it is to find these Inception (2010) cells treated as a commodity, given their origin and use, why should the government — meaning you and me, through our tax dollars — be involved at all? Just practically speaking: if these cells will do everything promised, why haven’t businesses set themselves up to distribute them and why should the sales be subsidized given what profits the research will (we’ve been told over and over) bring?

Articles by David Mills

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