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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

New stem cell technique doesn’t kill embryos

Posted by on August 23 at 13:29 PM

Scientists have found a way to create stem cell cultures without killing embryos. After a fertilized egg divides into eight cells, doctors can extract one of the cells and use it to grow stem cells, instead of using the entire embryo.

There is no rational reason left to oppose this research,” said Dr. Robert Lanza, as if there was before.

There are, of course, still those who deride the research:

But critics of human embryonic stem cell research raised other objections, such as the possible risk to the embryo and the in vitro fertilization procedure itself in which embryos are generated from a couple’s egg and sperm.

If this technique works, it may be the end of the divisive stem cell debate. Or is that just wishful thinking?

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Yes, then we can just go back to disposing of the embryos as biological waste, as God intended. Amen.

Wishful thinking. This debate has never been about science.

"...we can just go back to disposing of the embryos as biological waste, as God intended. Amen."

Heh. With about 1/7 US couples needing reproductive assistance, and this rate increasing, the snowflake couples better get busy building cribs...

Actually, this could even work in our favor, if it can be proven over time that embryonic development is not significantly harmed by the removal of the single stem cell.

Imagine the scenario four or five years from now:

Scientists: "Okay, we know removing these single cells does no harm to the embryo - now, who wants a baby?"

Christians: "Um..."

Scientists: "What? After all that wailing and moaning, now you DON'T want the babies?"

Christians: "Er..."

Scientists: "Oh for crying out loud! So, what - we should just toss them in the garbage?"

Christians: "NO! DON'T DO THAT!"

Scientists: "Well, in that case, we could use them to make more stem cells - "

Christians: "Sacrelige!"

Scientists: "You've got to be - okay, fine. We'll just put them back in the freezer until you-all can make up your frickin' minds. But remember, we only did this because you SAID you wanted the babies."

Christians: "Oh..."

Scientists: "So, do you or don't you?"

Christians: "Em..."

I agree, wishful thinking. They hate science, just like they hate America and our values of Truth, Justice, and the American Middle Class way of life.

Nothing you do will change that.

Except drafting them.

Ad falso sequitur quodlibet, so it's rather hard to imagine response of those claim that an eight celled organism is the moral equivalent of a human being. My guess is that the idea of using a zygote as material for harvesting cells still won't sit right. If an eight cell zygote has rights, then it probably has the right not to be harvested for stem cells period - without it's consent - whatever that might mean.
At least science helps a little. If christians still adhered to the homuncular theory of sperm, we'd have federal masturbation police. I guess we should be greatful that at least sometimes science prevails.

Actually, K, that seems to be part of the problem - they DO sort of still cling to the homuncular theory. It's just been slightly modified, so that, rather than believing that the male sperm contains a teeny-weenie miniature human being inside (which seems to have been intended to completely discount any contribution the female egg might have made to the process of procreation), now they've simply decided that "ensoulment" takes place the moment sperm and egg fuse into a zygote.

Religious fundamentalists (like the one running the country) don't actually listent to fact so I really don't think this will make a difference.

heh. Faith-based federal masturbation police sounds like a bush program.

I can just hear it now, in his most condescending tone yelling at a reporter:

"well, of course each sperm is filled with a tiny baby! that's why we need the federal masturbation police to protect innocent life."

they hate us for our wet dreams.

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