Thursday, June 02, 2005

Korea Cell Research

There is a post on HK's website about the recent announcement by a Korean team led by Hwang Woo Suk 황우석 that they had successfully used therapeutic cloning to create human embryonic stem cells that were genetically matched to specific people. (prizes given out if you can explain what the hell this means!)
This is great news for the world and great news for Korea. I think there is general white-man snobbery when it comes to Asia announcing scientific discoveries. Many choose to ignore it as they believe that only Western countries could possibly invent or discover things. I have often heard it said that the Koreans, Japanese, Taiwanese and others make great products, taking Western inventions and improving them. The West is willing to accept that East Asian goods are good quality, but will not let go of the idea that anything new and innovative could possibly come from that part of the world. Heaven forbid that one day African researchers discover a great new scientific revelation, I am sure they would get the same derision from the so-called enlightened West. This attitude is frankly racist and offensive as it smells of an old colonial attitude that I had hoped had vanished some time last century.
Good on Prof Hwang and his fellow researchers, including an American(!), I hope that you continue on this road of discovery as I strongly believe stem cell research can revolutionise medicine as we know it.

San Nakji for President!

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