Smoke And Mirrors Or Just Reality

Dakota Voice (Smoke and Mirrors on Stem Cell Research in South Dakota) takes a break this morning from preaching the ills of homosexuality to call out an Argus Leader story on stem cell research in South Dakota. The Argus article in question details South Dakota philanthropist extraordinaire T. Denny Sanford’s efforts to help fund the San Diego Consortium for Regenerative Medicine’s stem cell research center.

Bob Ellis of course takes offense with the Argus reporting reality, South Dakota’s ban on embryonic stem cell research, and how that ban could affect our state’s ability to attract top researchers in the stem cell research field. He attempts to read between the lines to figure out the Argus’ ulterior motive because if he doesn’t agree, it must be some liberal media conspiracy.

Ah, there’s the pitch from the “objective” people at the Argus Leader.

Hey, South Dakota! These ignorant Bible-thumping rubes are going to scare off all the smart people! You know, the ones with all the MONEY!”

So now the ultimate purpose of the article starts to come together. Though there’s no direct connection between this Sanford money and the embryonic stem cell research and South Dakota, maybe with Sanford himself as the “bridge” we can create an article to leverage support for getting rid of this “primitive, ignorant” ban on embryonic stem cell research here in South Dakota.

The elitists at the Argus Leader want to stir the ignorant masses to cry out to their legislators to get rid of this “superstition-based” law so that the light of human ingenuity can shine across our state and land…at the cost of innocent human life created in the image of God.

Exactly where is the smoke and mirrors? South Dakota wants to be a leader in medical research in large part because of T. Denny to the point where our re-named Sanford medical system has pledged to cure Type 1 diabetes of which a key to a possible cure is stem cells. Sanford then goes to where he can get that research performed and looks to fund it.

There is your direct connection to Sanford and South Dakota’s Stem cell ban that Mr. Ellis doesn’t see. Is the Argus therefore also wrong in mentioning in support of the end around that:

A. In California embryonic stem cell research is legal, In South Dakota it is not.
B. Right or wrong many top stem cell researchers believe that the most promise in the field is with embryonic stem cells and therefore would prefer to at least be able work with those cells if they want.

Using my Ohio math, A + B = researchers would go where they have access to all the tools they feel they need. In other words top scientists will bypass South Dakota’s ban to work in other states. Not rocket science nor is it bias on the part of the Argus, it’s reality.

Ellis then goes on to take exception with the research in general pointing out that adult stem cell research, has produced many more successes than their embryonic cousins but only presents part of the story.

There are already dozens of cures and therapies from adult stem cell research, including treatments for meningitis-related limb damage, retina regeneration, heart tissue regeneration, angina, diabetes, bone cancer, nerve regeneration, liver cancer, and leukemia.

Embryonic stem cell research, which involves the destruction of human embryos, has yet to produce a SINGLE success.

While everything he writes is true, it must be because it is almost word for word taken from Family Research Counsel’s talking points, he fails to put those results into context. Ever since the Bush Administration banned using federal dollars to fund research using embryonic stem cells, much of the research being federally funded, has moved away from embryonic cells out of necessity meaning that the vast majority of research is done on adult cells.

Has that slowed or even prevented cures from being found? Maybe, we might never know, but when privately funded research is available that allows research using embryonic cells, you would expect scientists to flock to it.

All decisions have consequences, so when South Dakotan’s decided they do not want embryonic stem cell research being performed in our state why do some of us still act surprised when faced with the possible loss of jobs because of it? Are we “Bible thumping rubes”? I guess that depends on your perspective.

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