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Thanks to IPSCs, adult stem cell successes, and bounteous funding of ESCR via state and philanthropic sources, the Bush federal funding restrictions have (so far) barely registered as a campaign issue. And now, John McCain’s campaign may be signaling that, in light of the many advances that have been made in these “alternative sources,” he may be willing to take a second look at his earlier opposition to the Bush approach. From the story in the St. Louis Post Dispatch:

Bob Heckman, director for conservative outreach for the McCain campaign, said that while McCain is “pro-life in his heart,” his position on embryonic stem cell research funding “was a tough decision for him to make, like it is for many pro-life Catholics.” Heckman said the senator continued to talk to bioethicists, including a recent meeting with Princeton professor Robert George, a Catholic conservative and member of the President’s Council on Bioethics.

“He has said that this is a very difficult decision for him and that his mind is genuinely open,” Heckman said. “He is encouraged by advancements in the science, and he hopes it gets to a point where this is a moot question.”
The story focuses on the Catholic angle and so this may be much ado about very little, but at least McCain seems aware that this isn’t 2001 in the stem cell controversy. Can we say the same thing about Senator Obama?

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