Following the successful cloning of human embryonic stem cells in South Korea I thought I would add a topic to discuss the wisdom, or not, (as the case may be) of cutting back this kind of research. The UK has decided to continue with some work in this area but the US has decided as far as I can tell to ban all such research.
Given the success of the S. Koreans, and I believe Japanese and Chinese scientists are also working in this field, is there a danger that the we are simply bowing out of the next big thing in medicine and that these countries will leap ahead of us technologically? In the future, if they are successful, the rich of the West will pay for these treatments in Korean, Japanese or European clinics? - whilst potentially life-saving treatments will be unavailable to the general public in those countries who have declined to go down this route.
Of course, putting the other side of the argument, have our Governments shown wisdom in protecting us from the unknown dangers that lay ahead?
I think, on the whole, I support the current UK position of continued but careful advance in order that we do still have, at least, a finger-hold on the technology, perchance it should take off. However, I fully understand if someone were to say that this position is, at best, amoral opportunism. I am open to others opinions on this.