I know that for the most part, if you read QDN, I’m the proverbial preacher and you’re part of the choir, but I figure I have to point out to those who peeking in the windows that the official Republican Party platform now calls for a ban on all embryonic stem cell research, public or private, derived from existing cell lines or not. This goes even further than Bush’s 2001 law that allows research on embryonic stem cells that weren’t created expressly for the purpose of research (e.g., unwanted IVF clinic embryos that are going to be discarded), and turns its back on an amazing amount of promise. It’s quite a stunning change; the scientist and cancer researcher in me is aghast that this alone might still not be enough to drive folks from the arms of the GOP in droves.

(As a related sidenote, how does this principled stand on the part of the GOP not mean that the party should also be strongly and firmly against in-vitro fertilization? The process generally involves creating more than one embryo, and likewise generally does not involve transferring all of them, meaning that there are left-over embryos that are put into liquid nitrogen tanks and saved. After some amount of time, a significant number of these remaining embryos never get used, and end up being discarded by the families and IVF clinics — how is this somehow better than doing research on their stem cells?)