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Embryonic Stem Cell Bank Closes, Millions Wasted on Failed Science

by Wesley J. Smith | Boston, MA | LifeNews.com | 7/3/12 5:01 PM

Bioethics

Ah, the heady days of trying to overcome the evil BUSH!’s minor embryonic stem cell funding restrictions. You know, the ones that resulted in hundreds of millions spent in human embryonic stem cell research.

Back in those days when hype and lies ruled the biotech discourse, states were tripping over each other in an Oklahoma Land Race mentality trying to attract all the business opportunities, taxes and employment that the ESCR industry would create. Well, they’re still waiting.

One of those state funded projects was an embryonic stem cell boondoggle bank at the University of Massachusetts to store non Bush-qualified cell lines. Well, four years and nearly $10 million later, it’s now belly-up. From the Boston Globe story:

The stem cell bank that was a marquee piece of Governor Deval Patrick’s effort to bolster the life sciences industry will run out of funding at the end of the year and close, state and University of Massachusetts Medical School officials said Wednesday. The state invested $8.6 million in public funds to establish the bank at the medical school’s Shrewsbury campus. That decision in 2008 was seen then as a bold statement of support for research on human embryonic stem cells during a time when federal funding for work on the controversial cells was restricted. But advances in technology and changes to federal policies rapidly made the bank obsolete, state officials said…

Originally, the bank was seen as a repository for embryonic stem cell lines that were being created but were not eligible for federal funding under Bush-era restrictions. The field has evolved significantly since then, with President Obama’s loosening of restrictions on federal funding and the development of new technologies for making stem cells.

It seems to me that the creation of the “bank” was more about liberal politics than actual scientific need. And now, ESCR is becoming increasingly passe`.

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One day, when I get the time, I am going to go through my files and find some really choice pro-ESCR hype and lies. And I am going to republish them–and then show how things actually turned out. That is an article I am really looking forward to writing.

LifeNews.com Note: Wesley J. Smith, J.D., is a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture. He writes at his blog, Secondhand Smoke.