Nov 20 2007

Say Goodbye To Harvesting Young Humans For Spare Parts

Published by at 10:15 am under All General Discussions,Stem Cell Debate

The need for Embryonic Stem Cell Research is now gone. Instead of creating factories full of young human beings (they ain’t monkey embryos) and heading towards a future where there are more human embryos waiting to be harvested for spare parts than in wombs waiting to live, the Adult Stem Cell path has proven to be the best and more capable path. I posted on the demise of ESCR recently, but now there is further proof we don’t need to kill young humans to unlock the new medical advances stem cells can offer:

Scientists have made ordinary human skin cells take on the chameleon-like powers of embryonic stem cells, a startling breakthrough that might someday deliver the medical payoffs of embryo cloning without the controversy.

Laboratory teams on two continents report success in a pair of landmark papers released Tuesday. It’s a neck-and-neck finish to a race that made headlines five months ago, when scientists announced that the feat had been accomplished in mice.

I noted the success in mice in an earlier post and predicted it would spell the end for harvesting embryos. Adult stem cells have the benefit of having the patient’s own DNA which helps with rejection and deadly genetic mixing. And of course strong genes that fend off illnesses found in one individual can be embedded in another who lacks the strong genes by simply harvesting skin – not by harvesting humans. This is fantastic news – now is the time to stop creating human beings for spare parts. It is not necessary, let alone what a civilized culture would do.

For those interested I have been posting in this subject for years and you can go here to review my positions and predictions. It has been a long time coming, but it is good to see science (partially my field) doing things right, as well as good.

Gratuitous link to the NY Times for Memeorandum reference. But on a more serious note I must take issue with a post at the New Republic. The writer wants all those who were mistaken on this issue, along with those who exaggerated the potential of Embryonic Stem Cells Research and those who ignored the moral cruelty to just move on. Well forget about it. I am not a rightwinger. I don’t attend Church and would never be confused with someone who takes a stand based on religion. I have a BS in Biology and the ESCR snake oil that was being sold to the needy and gullible (anyone remember lawyer John Edwards promising if he was elected Christopher Reeves would walk) was a disgrace. Embryos ARE human beings, distinct and separate from their parents. The same DNA tests that are used in courts of law across this nation show this without any doubt. A human individual comes into existence at conception. From there on the stages of life (zygote, embryo, fetus, baby, toddler, child, teenager, adult) are all simply life cycles stages for the human individual. Humans do not change into a different form of life (amoeba, sack of cells, etc) simply because they are in one stage or another. This is scientific fact. And those who do not have the intellect or education to know better never should have relied on ego and arrogance to claim otherwise. Those who sold this snake oil to those in need did so for fame and profit. And they deserve to be roundly criticized.

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