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11/10/2008

Iran Loves Stem Cells

According to Payvand’s Iran News, Iran’s Cord Blood Bank has announced that the government of Iran will be investing $2.5 billion over 5 years to study stem cells. Not liberal in regard to much, according to Payvand, Iran is pretty lenient when it comes to stem cell research–even doing embryonic stem cell research which was given approval by Ayatollah Khamenei.

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This news report also suggests that the Iranian government will be closer to President-Elect Obama’s stem cell policy than President Bush’s. As PressTV.com, the source of this report, acknowledges, there exist multiple ethical issues in the debate over stem cell research, even though Muslim clerics acknowledge life begins at three months, thus making embryonic stem cell research possible under Islamic law.

It’s good to know that with the arrival of the Obama administration our stem cell research policy will be as liberal as Iran’s. (Go figure.) Unfortunately, one has to wonder–with two wars and a floundering economy–whether the US can pony up the same kind of cash Iran has for stem cell research.

Summer Johnson, PhD

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