La competencia de las células madre continua

La investigación científica generalmente se lleva a cabo para mejorar nuestras vidas, pero también es una industria, una que representa una inversión masiva por parte de los gobiernos y las corporaciones. Los riesgos y las recompensas potenciales en unos cuantos temas de investigación son muy altos, por lo que el reciente descubrimiento de que el científico coreano Hwang Woo-suk inventó los resultados de su trabajó sobre las celulas madre ha resonado tan ampliamente.

El episodio refleja la carrera que está en marcha en materia de investigación científica global sobre la salud y que se desarrolla en el campo de las células madre. Está en juego posiblemente uno de los más grandes premios en la historia médica, y cualquiera -verdaderamente cualquiera- podría obtenerlo.

La última gran competencia científica de este tipo fue el esfuerzo por elaborar el mapa del genoma humano, que promete cambiar nuestra vida futura radicalmente. Ese estudio lo inició Estados Unidos, que utilizó información desarrollada a raíz del bombardeo atómico de Japón, para entender la magnitud del daño genético a largo plazo. Los esfuerzos científicos actuales sobre las células madre y su potencial tienen la misma importancia porque conllevarán a una revolución médica igualmente radical.

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