Well it's turning out that embryonic stem cell research is something of a dead end and that adult stem cell research is really the way to go. Why? Partly because adapting embryonic stem cells to a specific patient is too much work. Mostly because embryonic stem cells suffer from severe supply problems which are alleviated by using adult stem cells.
Who could have seen that coming? Well I did for one. I even mentioned it in passing almost two and a half years ago. It was essentially a throw away remark in a post about the moral considerations surrounding embryonic life.
I must say this whole thing really pisses me off. We've wasted how many years on this? Six or seven? Bush made this whole stem cell compromise before 9/11 didn't he? The whole issue is mooted and predictably so. What a waste.
UPDATE: As a response to comments, my prediction for future stem cell research is this: if stem cell treatments become practical at all, they will use adult stem cells for reasons of ethics and economics. Some fundamental research will still be conducted with the embryonic cells, but most applied research will also switch to some form of adult stem cells as soon as possible.