1 PAGE, 1 PARAGRAPH, 9 DAYS: to Speak Up for Stem Cells…
Dear Stem Cell Research Supporter:
What if you could shape the guidelines allowing scientists to get money for stem cell research? You can… if you act now. The next 9 days are the last of the public comment period for the new stem cell research funding guidelines. Read this one page, write and send one short paragraph—maybe tell a friend or two—and do it now.
Click on (https://nihoerextra.nih.gov/stem_cells/add.htm) and send a message to the National Institutes of Health, the folks who make money decisions for science. The note can be as long as you want it, or as simple as this sentence:
“I support the position of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) to improve the new federal stem cell research funding guidelines.”
It’s easy enough, that’s for sure—but why should you bother?
The new guidelines (https://stemcells.nih.gov/policy/2009draft.htm) have problems. If they are not fixed, as many as 90% of the currently existing stem cell lines—ones scientists are using right now—could become ineligible for federal funding. One change required is simple, and urgent: a “grandfather clause” so that stem cell lines developed during the Bush Administration may not be disqualified on a minor technicality.
Want more information? Three websites: For an expert analysis, read the 11-page position paper developed by the California stem cell program, the world’s leader: CIRM Comments on Draft NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research 5/15/09 (REPLACING 5/12/09 version). Or, visit the website of the Coalition for the Advancement for Medical Research www.camradvocacy.org, or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund, www.jdrf.org, for clear “people talk” explanations.
If you prefer to send a hard-copy letter, send it to: NIH Stem Cell Guidelines, MSC 7997, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Maryland, 20892-7997
Or use the comment box: (https://nihoerextra.nih.gov/stem_cells/add.htm). It’s easy, and it matters. Either way is fine. But do it now, before the May 26th deadline passes.
It’s time. Haven’t we had enough political delays? We all know someone who suffers an incurable disease or disability, which stem cell research might alleviate, or heal. For me, that person is my paralyzed son, Roman, and also my sister Barbara, who has cancer.
So I ask you. Write your letter. Be among the overworked few who change the world.
Don C. Reed, www.stemcellbattles.com