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Petition signed by more than 1,700 Italian Scientists and

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    Petition signed by more than 1,700 Italian Scientists and

    More than 1.700 italian scientists, researchers, and university professors already signed Luca Coscioni appeal

    We Italian citizens,

    denounce, as a most grevious fact, the vote expressed by the Italian Senate and Deputee Chamber, approving a text that, if left unchanged by the definitive reading by the Senate, would exclude from the patentability of biotechnological innovation any process and technique involving human embryonic stem cells, including those cells derived from the autologous nuclear transfer technology contemplated by the Dulbecco Report;

    believe that the approval of this setting - which is much more restrictive than what communitarian directive would require - would prevent our country to compete internationally on the front of scientific research, taking away from millions of italian citizens the concrete hope of cure and healing in a future which appears ever more close;

    direct our appeal to all the MPs who acknowledge the principle of the secularity of the state and mean to guarantee the abidance of the Italian Constitution, art. 33, which says that "Art and science are free and teaching them is free as well";

    demand them to fight so that the acts currently under discussion, in particular the one on the patentability of biotechnological innovations and the one on assisted reproduction, be free from any ideological setting and respectful of the needs research and Science present.

    A little background on the Luca Coscioni appeal. The Dulbecco report was published in 2001 and it strongly urged the Italian government to fund more adult or umbilical cord blood stem cell research. The Catholic University of Rome has opened a placenta bank to carry out stem-cell research. The report was controversial because some researchers felt that it was biased towards adult stem cell research and did not agree with its recommendation to outlaw research on stem cells derived from embryos to be discarded from in vitro fertilization clinics. Source

    The Luca Coscioni Association for Freedom of Scientific Research organized the appeal. You can go to its web site to sign the appeal Luca has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It is interesting that he lumps the United States with Britain as having approved embryonic stem cell research but he is probably correct from the viewpoint that President Bush is allowing NIH to fund research on embryonic stem cell lines derived before August 2001. He now has convinced over 50 Nobel laureates and 512 scientists sign the appeal to the members of the Italian parliament.