Cloning and Stem Cell Research: Legal Documents
Stem cells are cells found in most, if not all, multi-cellular organisms. They are characterized by the ability to renew themselves through cell division and differentiation into a diverse range of specialized cell types. Stem cells can now be grown and transformed into specialized cells with characteristics consistent with cells of various tissues, such as muscles or nerves, through cell culture. For this reason, their use in medical therapies has been proposed. In particular, embryonic cell lines, autologous embryonic stem cells generated through therapeutic cloning, and highly plastic adult stem cells from the umbilical cord blood or bone marrow are touted as promising candidates. As promising as this may sound, under President Bush's administration, stem cell research in the United States was kept on a very tight leash. The administration limited the various uses of stem cell research enormously through the adaptation of strict legislation. The president even pronounced that he would use his veto, if the senate would stretch the stem cell legislation beyond his prescribed limits. Now, a whole new era opens for the US, since President Barack Obama has already made known that he will make important changes to the existing legislation concerning stem cell research. In the viewpoint of this book's contributors, this is necessary to put America back on the world map while discovering the possibilities of curing diseases with the help of stem cell research. In order to compare the new strategy of Obama to the old path prescribed by Bush regarding stem cell research, insight in existing stem cell legislation is necessary. Therefore, this collection of legislation on stem cell research provides a complete and in-depth overview of the current state of affairs concerning this topic in the US. The book will be vital for every legal academic scholar, especially now that the US is marking the progress of stem cell research as one of its top priorities.
Publication Date: 12/31/2010