As the Senate weighs a bill forcing taxpayers to pay for research that requires the killing of human embryos, one of the president’s top scientists suddenly jumped ship on the administration’s policy in order to support the legislation. With a vote just weeks away, Dr. Elias Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), raised eyebrows with the timing of his endorsement, particularly since he has defended the administration’s stance in the past. To the Senate Appropriations Health Subcommittee, Zerhouni said, “It is clear today that American science will be better-served, and the nation will be better-served, if we let our scientists have access to more stem cell lines… I think it is important for us not to fight with one hand tied behind out back, and NIH is key to that.”
However, in his bold pitch for taxpayer money, Zerhouni neglected to justify the need for more embryonic stem cell (ESC) lines. Have there been so many advances with the 22 current lines that scientists can legitimize new ones? If Zerhouni is requesting taxpayer money from the Senate—in addition to the $40 million NIH spent last year on the project—then the least he could do is provide a record of ESC research advances and a detailed list of what cannot be done without new lines.
The reality is, 85% of the world’s embryonic studies use President Bush’s approved lines, and the NIH is waiting to distribute 3,000 shipments of cells derived from them. In the past, Zerhouni has said these lines are sufficient. What’s changed? Dr. Zerhouni also downplayed the promise of adult stem cells, saying that their potential is “overstated.” As the nation’s top scientist, Zerhouni should know that patients are using adult stem cell alternatives to treat over 70 diseases. We have personally met patients who are reaping the benefits of adult stem cells in therapies for sickle cell anemia, heart disease, leukemia and other diseases. That is progress, not speculation.
Even when controlling for maternal characteristics and background characteristics, adolescents living with both biological parents who were continuously married exhibited lower levels of problem behavior than peers from any other family type.
Source: “Family Structure, Father Involvement, and Adolescent Behavioral Outcomes”
Carlson, Marcia J. Journal of Marriage and Family Vol. 68, Number 1. February, 2006. Page(s) 137-154.
If your parents cautioned that playing video games would be harmful to your eyesight, their concerns may not have been entirely true. Findings from a recent study by researchers from the University of Rochester in New York show that playing action video games for an hour or so on a daily basis actually heightens ones visual acuity.
According to Daphne Bavelier, lead author in the study and a professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, “Action-video-game play changes the way our brains process visual information…These games push the human visual system to the limits and the brain adapts to it. That learning carries over into other activities and possibly everyday life.”
In case you missed it, Joe Carter, FRC’s Director of Web Communications (and managing editor of this blog), was profiled over the weekend in the Washington Post in an article entitled “Evangelical Bioethics and the Web” by WP religion reporter Michelle Boorstein. It’s a good look not only at Joe, but also on how the internet can be a forum for the some of the most important bioethical issues facing us today.
For the first issue of their new redesign, Time magazine has a cover photo of Ronald Reagan with a tear streaming down his face. Here’s how the table of contents describes the image: “Photograph by David Hume Kennerly. Tear by Tim O’Brien.”
How many people will believe that the tear is real, rather than a fabricated image? Is this a dishonest use of the image by Time?
More importantly, shouldn’t the magazine acknowledge that it ripped off the idea from Iron Eyes Cody, the “crying Indian” from those 70’s era PSAs on pollution?
During yesterday’s FRC blogger briefing conference call, Joe mentioned that registration is now open for FRC Action’s Washington Briefing. We’re especially excited about some special events related to bloggers and blogging which are in the works. Watch this spot for updates. In the meantime, here’s the relevant information for registration:
As we face powerful attacks on our values, there is no better time to stand with FRC Action and our friends at Focus on the Family Action, American Values, and the Alliance Defense Fund for a fall event guaranteed to change the public debate. Registration is now open for the second annual Washington Briefing 2007: Values Voter Summit from October 19-21 at the Hilton Washington in downtown D.C. Last year’s event attracted 1,800 attendees from 47 states and nationwide coverage from more than 200 major media outlets. Join us for special sessions featuring the 2008 presidential hopefuls, a who’s who of the pro-family movement, a presidential straw poll, book signings, a gala dinner, and much more! For more information or to register, log on to www.frcactionwashingtonbriefing.org or call 888-372-2284. Book your reservations by May 15 and receive a $25 Early Bird discount!