15 Apr

Monitoring Stem Cell Research

Category: What We're Reading
By: Amy L. Graeser
Published: 04/15/04

Since its inception in 2001, the President's Council on Bioethics has occupied itself with—among other tasks—monitoring the developments of human stem cell research. It has presented its findings thus far to the President and the public in Monitoring Stem Cell Research: A Report of the President's Council on Bioethics. The introduction to the Report states that, "[t]his report is very much an 'update.' It summarizes some of the more interesting and significant recent developments, both in the basic science and medical applications of stem cell research and in the related ethical, legal, and policy discussions." The Report is organized into four chapters—comprising the introduction, an overview of current Federal law and policy regarding stem cell research, a record of developments in ethical and policy debate on the research, and a record of developments in stem cell research and therapy—with a glossary of terms and several appendices of papers that the Council commissioned about various aspects of the research.

To read what others are writing about the report, see "No Decision on Stem Cells" by Eugene Russo, and "Reason as Our Guide" by Elizabeth Blackburn and Janet Rowley. Rowley, a member of the President's Council on Bioethics, is a professor at the University of Chicago and Blackburn, who was recently dismissed from her position on the Council, is a professor at the University of California, San Francisco. Russo is a contributing editor for the magazine The Scientist. [Posted April 2004, ALG]