In this election, we are hearing a lot of debate about the role of the federal government in our lives. Five months ago I was diagnosed with cancer. My treatment has given me a new perspective on this issue.
Taxol, one of my chemotherapy drugs, originally came from the Pacific yew, a tree found in our Northwest forests. For its discovery, we can thank two government employees in particular – a U.S. Department of Agriculture botanist who collected bark from a yew near Packwood, and a National Cancer Institute researcher who found that extracts from the yew’s bark could kill …