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ESC AS "SPECULATIVE SCIENCE": Sen. Brownback Pushes Uncertainty Angle on ESC; Says Distracts from Adult SC Research; Bishops Argue Adult SC Offers Ethical Alternative

In this news release from Focus on the Family, Senator Sam Brownback pushes the SCIENTIFIC UNCERTAINTY frame in arguing against the Spector-Castle ESC bill, claiming that ESC is "speculative" science and diverts funding from research on adult stem cell sources. To emphasize the message, Brownback stole a page from pro-research advocates, gathering patients treated with adult stem cell therapies to give personal testimonials at a news conference held here in DC on Tuesday. Brownback was joined at the press conference by representatives from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who argued that adult SC research offered an ethical alternative .

Conservatives have been pushing the "ESC is junk science, adult sources are all we need" angle since 2001, but this strategy appeared to gain greater prominence during the 2004 Presidential campaign, and has taken on added weight with the Korean cloning scandal. It will be interesting to see how much press attention, if any, Hwang's fraud trial, under way this week, gets here in the U.S.

In other stem cell news, the Australian PM John Howard has rejected recommendations from a special commission that therapeutic cloning research be allowed in that country.
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