If you have access to a small child — say, a seven-year-old girl — and a 3×5 index card, try this demonstration. Place the index card on the head of the child. Now picture carrying on a child’s life with that much of skull missing since the age of four. Except it was nineteen square inches, not fifteen.

Now picture that index card as replacement bone, grown from the girl’s own cells. That’s what’s reported from Germany — and the treatment used adult stem cells, not embryonic.

Michael Fumento has an instructive story in National Review Online today. He outlines how long adult stem cells have been used for treating a number of conditions, and suggests that reliance instead on the hope of embryonic cell technology — about which research itself is just embryonic — may have contributed to Christopher Reeves’ death. Meanwhile, a Korean woman with similar injuries is beginning to walk again after treatment with adult stem cells.

Politicians may support science, but politics should not be steering it. Somehow objective truth doesn’t follow focus groups.