It's no secret that government dollars allocated to scientific research are few and far between (especially compared to the astounding bank bailouts of late), but the good people at CERN seem optimistic for 2009. On the cellular level, let's hope that the incoming administration follows the Brits' lead and offers belated encouragement toward stem cell trials--it's high time this vital, and robust, line of research is reinvigorated. Nothing less than cures for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, spine injuries, heart disease, arthritis, blindness, MS, cancer (I could go on) are at stake. Like many other "moral mandates" that President Bush has insisted on conflating with his own personal biases, the controversy surrounding embryonic stem cell research is largely overstated for dramatic effect, discounting the incredible contribution such research could yield for millions of suffering citizens. An example of the hypocrisy: in vitro fertilization clinics throw out excess viable embryos all the time (embryos that could simply be donated for use in stem cell research)--somehow, that wealth-fueled industry thrives without malcontent from the folks who decry using those very embryos in a lab. Apparently, the trash can is a nobler destruction.
The good news is that tomorrow, a new era dawns, and not just for science--for all of humanity. I'd say it's in the nick of time.
Update: Green Light for US Stem Cell Research!