It’s been a busy couple weeks. So the story of…

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It’s been a busy couple weeks.

So the story of the day involves the 400,000 human embryos that are frozen in U.S. fertility clinics. Rick Weiss wrote a great article for the Washington Post today.

“The freezers of U.S. fertility clinics are bulging with about 400,000 frozen human embryos, a number several times larger than previous estimates, according to the first national count ever done, released today,” he wrote.

(I’ll come back to this with more time.)

Which brings me to today’s topic #2…..

Biologists are beginning to fear the sway of religious fundamentalists in DC. Law-makers are due to consider a bill later this month outlawing cloning not only for reproductive purposes but also in research – a distinction scientists are keen to draw.

The stakes aren’t high yet, but if biotechnology turns out to be the area where the next generation of medical breakthroughs come from, then the current restrictions on funding will have a much larger implications.

More immediately, prodigious defense spending is crowding out investment in education. While President Bush flexes US military muscle and plots a bold new foreign policy course as the leader of an unopposed superpower, the irony is that cosiness with industry, religious prohibitions and comparative financial neglect of non-military research may squander the very intellectual capital that helped propel the US’s international ascendance in the first place.

Something to think about.

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