Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Expert Appointed To Canadian Stem Cell Committee

17 November 2003


Ethics researcher Donald Evans is one of only two experts from outside North America appointed to a new top-level Canadian advisory body on stem-cell research.

Professor Evans, Director of the University of Otago’s Bioethics Centre, is the only Southern Hemisphere member of the 14-person Stem Cell Oversight Committee announced earlier this month by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

The Canadian committee’s primary role will be to review research funding applications dealing with human stem cells, to ensure each application conforms to guidelines for such research.

Scientists hope stem cells might lead to a medical breakthrough in fighting disease. But the work — which might involve manipulating very early cells from embryos — raises ethical questions that world health authorities are finding difficult to answer.

“Science is advancing at such a rate that it’s sometimes hard to understand what new developments may mean,” he says. “People often fear what they do not understand.”

Education, he believes, may go some way to alleviating some of those fears and clarifying issues.

Professor Evans says it’s interesting to see how different countries respond to stem cell research.

“The US has banned public funding for such work, and tried to see it stopped elsewhere, while some European countries have banned it but are happy to import the stem cells produced by others. And the UK legislation most facilitates embryonic stem cell research.

“By and large, Commonwealth countries are following the UK’s more liberal line and saying, yes, go ahead with caution. Canada is saying there’s pressure to be doing this, and we need to control it. I’m very pleased to be on the Canadian committee.”

Professor Evans was chosen after a world-wide call for committee members. His selection is a testament to his 20 years of considering such ethical questions, both in the UK and here in New Zealand.

As part of his involvement with New Zealand’s Independent Biotechnology Advisory Council, he produced a guide to cloning and stem cell research in this country. He is currently a member of the Health Research Council Ethics Committee and the National Ethics Advisory Committee of New Zealand.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Government: Delivering Lower Card Fees To Business

Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark has today announced the Government’s next steps to reduce merchant service fees, that banks charge businesses when customers use a credit or debit card to pay, which is estimated to save New Zealand businesses ... More>>

SEEK NZ Employment Report: April 2021

OVERVIEW OF APRIL 2021: STATE OF THE NATION: April, for the second consecutive month, saw the highest number of jobs ever advertised on Applications per job ad fell 9% month-on-month (m/m). SEEK job ads were up by 12% m/m. SEEK job ads were ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Warns Genesis Over Business Billing Errors

The Commerce Commission has issued a warning to Genesis Energy Limited about billing errors concerning electricity line charges to business customers. Genesis reported the errors to the Commission. The Commission considers that Genesis is likely to ... More>>

Stats: Lower Job Security Linked To Lower Life Satisfaction

People who feel their employment is insecure are more likely than other employed people to rate their overall life satisfaction poorly, Stats NZ said today. New survey data from the March 2021 quarter shows that 26 percent of employed people who thought ... More>>

The Conversation: The Outlook For Coral Reefs Remains Grim Unless We Cut Emissions Fast — New Research

A study of 183 coral reefs worldwide quantified the impacts of ocean warming and acidification on reef growth rates. Even under the lowest emissions scenarios, the future of reefs is not bright. More>>

The Conversation: Why Now Would Be A Good Time For The Reserve Bank Of New Zealand To Publish Stress Test Results For Individual Banks

Set against the backdrop of an economy healing from 2020’s annus horribilis , this week’s Financial Stability Report (FSR) from the Reserve Bank (RBNZ) was cautiously reassuring: the country’s financial system is sound, though vulnerabilities remain. More>>