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I wrote the other day about the hype merchant, William Neaves of the Stowers Institute, continuing to tout embryonic stem cells—which he usually intentionally confuses with human cloning—as moving on the fast track to provide cures:

“The rapid pace of advances in embryonic stem cell research means that day when this science can be translated into cures is drawing near,”
But Alan Trounson, the new head of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine states that despite Californians borrowing $7 billion (including interest) to fund ESCR and human cloning research, cures may be 25 years away. From the story:
The same day that President Bush won a second term, California voters approved a bold plan to pour $3 billion of taxpayers’ money into stem cell research over the next decade. Supporters argued the investment would save millions of lives through new medical therapies, generate millions of dollars in added tax revenue, cut healthcare costs by billions, and create thousands of high-paying jobs.

Three years later, Californians are still waiting for some results. Until recently, most of the money was tied up in lawsuits. And even now that the tap is flowing, proponents acknowledge it could take years, if not decades, for the grants to pay off.

“It’s too early,” said Alan Trounson, president of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the agency charged with administering the stem cell funds. “There are very few substantial developments [in medical science] that have happened in less than 25 years. There have been some, but they tend to be rare.”
Of course, when the propounders of Proposition 71 in CA wanted Californians to dole out of their pocketbooks and into “the scientists’,” they too hyped CURES! CURES! CURES!. But now, with the money in the bank so to speak, suddenly the promised benefits are decades away.

But at least Trounson is finally telling the straight scoop. Don’t hold your breath for Neaves to be so honest. You might faint.

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