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Widespread support for nonembryonic stem cell research, VCU Life Sciences Survey shows

tics has a positive affect on their life, 38 percent say this research hasnt affected their lives and 3 percent say it has a negative affect.

  • Cloning and therapeutic cloning. Opinion about therapeutic cloning is evenly divided with 47 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed to using cloning technology for the development of new medical treatments. When cloning is not restricted to therapeutic purposes, about eight in 10, or 81 percent, oppose the use of cloning technology in humans. Opinion on both issues has been fairly stable since the first VCU Life Sciences Survey was conducted in 2001.

  • Animal research. Medical research has long involved testing on animals. About six in 10, or 62 percent of adults, favor the use of animals in medical research either strongly or somewhat, while 35 percent are opposed.

  • Morality and ethics in scientific decisions. A majority, 51 percent, of the public says that scientific decisions should be based primarily on an analysis of the risks and benefits involved rather than the moral and ethical issues involved (32 percent). At the same time, a majority, or 63 percent, agrees that scientific research doesnt pay enough attention to the moral values of society.

  • Whats the governments role" Opinion about the governments role in regulating scientific research is mixed. A 46 percent plurality says that government regulation is necessary to protect the public interest, while 39 percent say government regulation does more harm than good. At the same time, 57 percent of Americans disagree with the idea that government rules will keep us safe from any risks linked to modern genetic science.


Contact: Anne Buckley
Virginia Commonwealth University

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