The downside to partisan embryonic stem cell hype over the last decade and conflation of it with adult stem cell breakthroughs, is that a whole lot of hucksters are exploiting public confusion and claims about miracle cures to make an easy buck. But there is real value in there too, the public just needs to be able to separate the good stuff from the nonsense.

Fan of science and Texas Governor Rick Perry is a believer, he underwent experimental stem cell therapy during back surgery last year, which prompted him to start advocating for stem cells.  The Texas Medical Board, however, is not yet convinced and will consider whether to approve some guidelines, as Perry requested last summer, or crack down.

More restrictions mean less innovation, argue proponents of stem cell therapies, but more oversight is needed, say critics.  The FDA does not restrict, nor does it endorse, stem cells for post-surgical healing. Perry wants to make Texas the world leader in this science, he wrote in his letter to the president of the Texas Medical Board.  The proposed rules require patient consent and approval from an independent review board and would only allow certain treatments. The FDA isn't tipping its hand, writing in a statement only that "Our position on stem cells remains the same. The FDA has regulatory authority over human cells, tissues and/or cellular and tissue-based products."

"The guidelines are skewed to favor business interests instead of patient safety," said Leigh Turner, a bioethics professor at the University of Minnesota What, caution regarding stem cells, take the slow approach?  Unthinkable in the 'restore science to its rightful place' era.  Doctors disagree and say the FDA is taking too long to come up with guidelines and patients are being harmed because none are properly formalized so Texas should show some leadership and help protect patients from quacks by laying out standards that the rest of the country can emulate.