Tuesday, March 10, 2009

George Bushs biggest Mistake & Science

Finally! My single biggest complain about George W. was his silly opposition to stem cell research, including forbidding federal funding for research on ALL stem cell lines. Actually in an episode of hipocrasy he actually said it was ok to continue research on 20 something stem cell lines, but no new ones. I think this contradiction indicates that it wasn't a well thought out idea in the first place.

News.com covers the Obama administration's overturning of the executive order today. Personally I'm ecstatic that this happened, and figure we'll see some research money coming from NIH and other resources that was not available before. Here's one of my favorite quotes (unsited of course) from the article:

But critics and skeptics of Obama's decision say that injecting taxpayer dollars into a delicate and already controversial scientific process could backfire. Obama's decision to make stem cell research scientifically worthy of federal tax dollars is as much of a politically subjective decision as Bush's choice not to, they say.

First and foremost I LOVE that they don't quote anyone. Even better is the fact that they say allowing the government to give money to stem cell research (just like it can to just about anything else) is "as much of a politically subjective decision as Bush's!" This is NOT affirmative action, but the removal of preferences, or lack therof. I'm just excited to have a president listening to science and sense! Obama also signed another memorandom saying:

 "Political officials should not suppress or alter scientific or technological findings and conclusions. If scientific and technological information is developed and used by the federal government, it should ordinarily be made available to the public."
I LOVE this, and I hope it will continue. Another good sign is that the "government" is all of a sudden interested in studying the comparative effectiveness of medications. To quote the article on the current state of drug studies:
Half the time, there's little if any good evidence comparing one with another. And one of medicine's little secrets is that new drugs don't have to work any better than cheaper, existing ones to be approved for sale.

What the heck? Our system is broke and WE DON'T COMPARE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF MEDICATIONS? I personally believe that with all the trouble we've seen with . What we can't forget in this new era of genetics is that some medications will work better for different people with different geno/phenotypes. If one medication or another is truly just more effective ECONOMICALLY then it should reign supreme. HOWEVER, as sequencing costs come down, we should start doing studies correllated to genetic markers to establish different "areas of competency" for different medications. 

I hope science continues to rein supreme!

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