"Well I can't get any sicker than I am… it's worth the risk. It's worth trying…you hope that it's a solution"
Sylvia (not her real name) is one of a growing number of patients seeking access to unproven stem cell treatments to treat a debilitating chronic illness. Despite widespread support for tighter regulation and monitoring, the market for unproven stem cell treatments appears to be expanding. In Australia, for example, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of private stem cell clinics, from two to more than forty in just three years. This series of blog posts examines some of the complex issues behind unproven stem cell treatments.
Paolo Bianco, scientist and defender of the anti-Stamina movement, passed away Saturday at the age of sixty. Here are the memories of colleague, friend and senator for life, Elena Cattaneo.
“We shall never surrender.” I often heard Paolo say these famous words first spoken by Churchill. He would cite them when our conversations ended up remembering the lessons of the courageous men of the past and the vision of those who made History. He would cite them when our discussions shifted to the role science should have (but does not have enough) in our society.
From the moment we began to unlock the secrets of the genome, the complete set of DNA including all genes and understand the effects that genes can have on human health, the idea of modifying the human genome – and hence controlling these effects – has held both promise and peril. Visions of a bright future free from the sufferings of genetic disease contrast starkly with darker fears of a genetically-engineered ‘Brave New World’.