By Lisa Monique Thompson
In October 2007, the second annual Stem Cell Summit was held in Boston. The Summit, produced by the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, the Genetics Policy Institute, and the Burrill Life Sciences Media Group, gathered many great scientific minds, as well as ardent advocates, in the field of global stem cell research.
There was a combined feeling of hope and frustration from researchers, patient advocates and patients themselves. Patients and patient advocates decried what seems to be an interminable wait for U.S. research teams to catch up with international clinical trials. U.S. scientists cited a severe lack of funding combined with a lack of donated eggs to perform somatic cell nuclear transfer research (sometimes called “therapeutic cloning” research — see sidebar).
California, Massachusetts, and Missouri all have legislation supporting stem cell research. This does not mean that stem cell research in those states is safe. In fact, some legislators in Missouri are looking to ban and criminalize SCNT by revoking an amendment that currently allows for stem cell research and therapy as allowed by federal law. Catch phrases such as “Dolly