Saturday, July 30, 2005

Spinal Confusion discusses eSC alternatives

Steven writes a great post on why 810 won't end the cloning debate. He also writes very intelligently about the process of cell dedifferentiation and why it is the most scientifically realistic of the eSC alternatives.
Transdifferentiation, including dedifferentiation, will allow researchers a way to obtain the cells they need to study the early stages of disease processes without destroying embryos or subjecting women to risky hyperovulation sessions, as eggs would not be required.

Friday, July 29, 2005

A round up of denouncements

I'll post more as they come up. These seem to be the first out of the bag. Its always brave to make big announcements like this on a Friday at the end of July.

It's the same as saying that we should use condemned criminals for medical experimentation because they're going to die anyway. It is morally incoherent. Senator Frist can no longer count on our support nor the support of the wider Evangelical or Catholic communities.

John Kilner, CBHD President, said, “Senator Frist soundly affirms that embryos are human life warranting the ‘utmost dignity and respect.’ But then he maintains that it is okay to kill them if other people can benefit. The implication is that human beings can be killed if others can benefit. The danger here is glaring!”

Senator Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican who opposes the stem-cell legislation, said the government should preserve embryos.
``There's a very basic principle that's involved here, and that is whether or not the young human embryo is a life or a piece of property,'' Brownback said.

The statement from someone who seeks the support of the pro-life community [and who once had Presidential aspirations] is very disappointing but not a surprise. It is reminiscent of the speech he gave to the 2004 Republican platform committee, where he squelched open debate on the ethics of embryonic stem cell research, as well as a 2001 Senate hearing testimony where he advocated production of hundreds of human embryonic stem cell lines which would have required destruction of thousands of human embryos. This reflects a unwise and unnecessary choice both for public policy and for respecting the dignity of human life.

Pennslyvania bishops issue stem cell statement

The bishops note that we are reminded in the 'Vatican Instruction on Respect for Human
Life' that 'no objective, even though noble in itself, such as a foreseeable advantage to
science, to other human beings, or to society, can in any way justify experimentation on living
human embryos or fetuses, whether viable or not, either inside or outside the mother's body.'

Dr. Robert J. O'Hara, Jr., executive director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, said,
'At a time when public policy makers are considering spending taxpayer money to finance
various bio-medical research initiatives, it is appropriate to consider the moral impact of such

A Stem Cell Joke

Exchange between two Washington Lobbyists at a recent costume party:

Woman, dressed in a donkey costume: “Knock knock.”
Man, dressed in an elephant costume: “Who’s there?”
Woman: “Clone.”
Man: “Clone who?”
Woman: “Don’t know, Senate hasn’t decided yet.”
Man smiles while staring at the wall with a far-away look in his eyes, then lifts his
trunk, downs his drink, and heads for the bar, shaking his head, knowingly.


Oh no Frist, how could you?

Yes, I know he supported it before President Bush first put limits on the federal funding of the research.

This guy wants to be president.

I think I hear the bells tolling for embryos: frozen, newly minted and cloned. A scientifically illiterate society wants to cannablize its young. Nothing, at least in terms of moral qualms or ethical dilemmas, will stand in the way.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Let's not shut our minds to stem cell research - just our logic

Let's hope we hear from even more about a right to life without the pain and anguish of Alzheimer's, Lou Gehrig's and Parkinson's diseases; spinal-cord injuries, and AIDS.

Unfortunately, no one has a right to a life free from pain: especially when a majority of the planet would still like a life free from hunger.

Remarkable story

Sunday, family, friends and neighbors of 19 year-old Eric Chase came together in Hastings. Eric was in a dirt bike accident two years ago that paralyzed him from the chest down.

On Tuesday, he'll fly to Portugal for a stem cell transplant, a treatment that may bring back the feeling in his body. Community members raised $90,000 for the operation - a donation Eric calls unbelievable.

'I just can't believe that a small community like this can come together and raise so much money that it just helps out to pay for surgery and therapy costs so it's been great,' Eric said.

His surgery is set for next Friday.

The outpouring of charity is typical of most communities. Nothing really remarkable there, in that we all tend to support our neighbors in time of need. Its a very nice story.

The story is remarkable for what is missing. If Eric is going to Portugal, it is most likely he is going to be a patient of Dr. Lima. Dr. Lima uses the olfactory ensheathing cells found in nasal cavities and has had scientifically documented success, unlike Dr. Huang from China. Another success for adult stem cells and not a single mention in the story. Why not? Because, when he comes back with some feeling/ movement, the press will want you to believe that it was embryonic stem cells that did it. It's called an agenda.

Attempts to sneak through embryonic stem cell research legislation

Embryonic Stem Cell Research Advocates Threaten Senate Amendment
Because it appears members of the Senate will not arrive at an agreement on which of several bills dealing with stem cell research to bring up, one senator says he's going to find an alternative way to make taxpayers pay for embryonic stem cell research.
Senator Arlen Specter says he will attach his bill to strike down President Bush's limits of funding the unproven research to other legislation.
'I don't like to put it on an appropriations bill, but we waited long enough,' a frustrated Specter told reporters Friday. The strategy, he said, is a 'fallback position which I have avoided up until now.'
Specter indicated he would attach the embryonic stem cell research funding bill, which cleared the House without a veto-proof vote, to the Labor-Health and Human Services 2006 appropriations bill. The Senate is scheduled to debate that measure after its August recess.