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Thread: Question-embryonic stem cell research motivations

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    PhinPhan1227's Avatar
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    Question-embryonic stem cell research motivations

    As I understand current international patent law(which isn't much), there's a significant differnece between research on embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells.

    As I understand it, an embryonic stem cell that is "created" into a therapy is patentable. Whereas an adult stem cell that is "altered" into a therapy is not. The procedure is, but not the cells themselves. As I understand it, that makes for a significant difference monetarily.

    If this is the case, how much of that is behind the push for embryonic stem cell research? I have no doubt that every scientist working on this type of research wants to save people, but how many of them aren't also aware of the money?
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    ckb2001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhinPhan1227 View Post
    As I understand current international patent law(which isn't much), there's a significant differnece between research on embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells.

    As I understand it, an embryonic stem cell that is "created" into a therapy is patentable. Whereas an adult stem cell that is "altered" into a therapy is not. The procedure is, but not the cells themselves. As I understand it, that makes for a significant difference monetarily.

    If this is the case, how much of that is behind the push for embryonic stem cell research? I have no doubt that every scientist working on this type of research wants to save people, but how many of them aren't also aware of the money?
    It would help if you could link to some sites that speak of this, since I doubt any of us are really familiar with the laws involved. It's definitely something worth looking into though.

    I will say this. The University of Wisconsin actually patented several embryonic stem cell lines that were deemed to actually hinder research in the field. The US Patent Office in a re-examination rejected those patents however because they were found to be too similar to previously published results.

    So, that would be one specific case where at least an institution (not sure about the individual scientists) cared more about money than doing what would be best for further research in the field.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckb2001 View Post
    It would help if you could link to some sites that speak of this, since I doubt any of us are really familiar with the laws involved. It's definitely something worth looking into though.

    I will say this. The University of Wisconsin actually patented several embryonic stem cell lines that were deemed to actually hinder research in the field. The US Patent Office in a re-examination rejected those patents however because they were found to be too similar to previously published results.

    So, that would be one specific case where at least an institution (not sure about the individual scientists) cared more about money than doing what would be best for further research in the field.

    I'll try to look them up Friday night. That being said, I appreciate your example. It is a human constant that money motivates.
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