"The Bush administration has begun a broad restructuring of the scientific advisory committees that guide federal policy in areas such as patients' rights and public health, eliminating some committees that were coming to conclusions at odds with the president's views and in other cases replacing members with handpicked choices," reports Rick Weiss. The Department of Health and Human Services has shut down or revamped committees set up to give advice on topics such as biotechnology and the effects of environmental chemicals on human health. The Bush administration's subordination of science to politics angers paralyzed actor Christopher Reeve, who thinks he might be able to walk by now if the Bush administration hadn't hobbled stem cell research. "When I was first injured, I thought hope would be a product of adequate funding, and bringing enough scientific expertise to the problem," Reeve said. "But those are not the problems - the budget of the National Institutes of Health has risen from $12bn when I was injured to over $27bn now. What I did not expect was that hope would be influenced by politics."
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