Thought I'd toss a few thoughts up here regarding the latest news on stem cells, as there's been a bunch.
I'm sure most have seen the big splash in the Washington Post about amniotic stem cells. This is because adult stem cells are fairly limited in what they offer for research and embryonic stem cells have all sorts of political issues surrounding their fair use in science. Prior to that report came this one from South Korea where there is work on producing cloned embryonic stem cells. The moral outrage on this procedure has yet to be accurately gauged, but I suspect it won't pass the litmus test, the C-word tends to upset people for somewhat curious reasons.
Of course, there appear to be tremendous results just around the corner. Parkinson's is one of those home run targets that will likely get a lot of attention in the mainstream press. President Bush has only vetoed one bill in his time in office, and of course, that was stem cell funding from last year. Congress is going to take another run at this legislation, but don't expect any surprises, it will likely meet a similar fate.
What this all means is the science is making big strides both in the forward and lateral motion. Amniotic stem cells are a big deal, but it does not eliminate any need for embryonic stem cells for research. If anything, it intesifies the need for them in the short term. Science, as always, is a cumulative, endless task. Waiting excitedly for the end would be a lot like waiting for Godot.