By Charles Pugsley Fincher, A Spin-Off of

According to an Associated Press report on Wednesday by Lauran Neergaard, the Bush administration "... plans to open a 'national bank' to better grow the only embryonic stem cells eligible for government-funded research, holding firm against critics who want Bush administration restrictions on the controversial cells lifted."

However, Bush is still trying to satisfy his evangelical and anti-abortion constituency by refusing to open stem cell research to new lines, something called for by nearly all scientists and many prestigious Republicans including Nancy Reagan. The restrictions are maddening and absurd. I know people closely who have Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and diabetes -- all life-ruining diseases believed to benefit from expanded stem-cell research.

Bush should be ashamed for playing politics with this issue. I hope others who have family and friends suffering from the diseases don't forget his cynical, self-interested stand.

On the newly-planned, stem-cell bank, Keith Yamamoto, executive vice medical dean at the University of California, San Francisco, a leading center of stem cell research, said in the A report, " 'It's window dressing ... The call for more cell lines is not simply that scientists want more of the same ... The fundamental questions we need to ask come partly from what we learn by deriving them.' " 07.15.04

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