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  1. #1
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    stem cell research: is it hot? why, or why not?

    hello there
    this is my first thread, so bear with me.
    one of the major issues we (in america) are dealing with today is the "Stem Cell" debate. should it be legal? should it not? I, personally, think that it should remail perfectly legal. why? it could save lives, it can cure some of the worst diseases known to man. why should that be illegal? oh sure, those religious fanatics say "its murder" as well as other things. you know who im talking about: the guys who stand in front of the Whitehouse, their faces painted red, have the words "LIFE" fingerpainted on their forheads, gathered up in a circle with there hands touching in the center as they pray. in reality, all thats needed for stem cells is the harvesting of a simple blob of cells. if we illegalize that, then scratching yourself would also become illegal, because thats killing cells too. when a man masturbates, he kills hundreds of thousands of sperm cells, each one with the potential to become a human life. so when a man does that in public, he wont be fined for doing sexual acts in public, but instead sent to death for killing hundreds of thousands of potential human lives.
    thats serial murder to the EXTREME.
    anyways, enough with my mindless ranting, what do you think?

    p.s. im sorry if im copying someone elses post. i dont know if there is already a thread on this site about this topic (i guess i should have checked), but if there is, my bad.

  2. #2
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    Re: stem cell research: is it hot? why, or why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Crab of PAIN!!!
    if we illegalize that, then scratching yourself would also become illegal, because thats killing cells too. when a man masturbates, he kills hundreds of thousands of sperm cells, each one with the potential to become a human life. so when a man does that in public, he wont be fined for doing sexual acts in public, but instead sent to death for killing hundreds of thousands of potential human lives.
    I agree that it should be legal, definitely.
    If people don't want to contribute to the stem cell collective then why don't they just not contribute to it and leave it at that.
    Accept that not everyone shares their views on what constitutes as a human life.
    If a woman wants to have an abortion and donate that fetus to science then she should be allowed to do that, just like if a woman wants to continue on to have the baby she should be allowed to do that as well.

  3. #3
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    Re: stem cell research: is it hot? why, or why not?

    need more action on this thread
    :D

  4. #4
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    Re: stem cell research: is it hot? why, or why not?

    It is my understanding that "stem cells" are a very specific type of cell. I do know that they exist in the umbilical cord - and therefore, available every single time a baby is born - so why is there all the controversy? I'm with you. Harvesting the stem cells from umbilical cords should be manditory - as the cords serve no purpose after birth. I do not know why they're talking about "abortion" unless they refer to harvesting from the cords of aborted fetuses. Even if this were the case - who is having an abortion so that they can harvest stem cells? My money is on "NO ONE" - these stories belong in the national enquirer with the Elvis and flying saucer sightings.

  5. #5
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    Re: stem cell research: is it hot? why, or why not?

    hmm... i dont know if stem cells are in the umbilical cord. when scientists "harvest" stem cells, i think it involvs creating a zygot in a petri dish, and then disassembling it for the cells. thats where people get upset
    thanks for the support though :D

  6. #6
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    Re: stem cell research: is it hot? why, or why not?

    okay - you got me there - I've read up a bit more on the subject and the debate issue seems to be the little miracle that begins at cell division-from 1 on up to 150 cells - That's the magic time that cells can be "whatever you want them to be". So it is within this range- while the fetus is forming- that is optimum, according to some science experts.... News to me is that an embryo is chock full of such "stem" cells- not just "the cord". On this issue, I cannot believe anyone would even try to convince any reasonable person that ending the life of one fetus to prolong the life of another person is acceptable. It's just not the way the western world works (thank god). There's lots of room to progress this theory and it does not require murder.
    I would like to remind everyone that "dolly" the cloned sheep died prematurely with the symptoms of "old age".
    ......Just because we can does not mean we should......

  7. #7
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    Re: stem cell research: is it hot? why, or why not?

    Here's some light reading from a Secular humanism POV.
    About ethical considerations

    Everybody Must Get Cloned Ideological objections do not hold up

    by David J. Triggle
    The following article is from Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 23, Number 1.

    In contrast to the Dylan original, “Everybody Must Get Cloned” seems unlikely to serve as a national anthem for this decade. This failure reflects yet another triumph for metaphoric morality over significant science and human health.

    In reality, the human cloning debate has less to do with a race of look-alikes, a team of super-athletes, or even replacement cells and genes than it does with the far broader clash of cultures that, particularly in the United States, includes abortion, assisted suicide, birth control and family planning, evolution, religion in public spaces, and sex education. On one side, James D. Watson, Nobel laureate and author of The Double Helix, asks, “If we could make better human beings by knowing how to add genes, why shouldn’t we?” On the other side, Leon Kass, head of the President’s Council on Bioethics, claims that “We can see all too clearly where the train is headed, and we do not like its destination.”

    Both Kass and Francis Fukuyama subscribe to a thesis that “there is a natural functioning to the whole organism that has been determined by the requirements of the species’ evolutionary history, one that is not simply an arbitrary social construction.” On first reading this thesis appears plausible, even resonant, but it is transparently false. Humankind has been interfering with its evolutionary history ever since striding out of Africa: antibiotics, artificial insemination, Caesarian birth, contraception, in vitro fertilization, radiation therapy, sanitation and clean water, and surgery are just a handful of the roadblocks that we have thrown in the way of “natural functioning.” Presumably, neither Kass nor Fukuyama want to ban all of these now widely accepted and publicly demanded practices . . . or do they?

    Indeed, according to physicist Stephen Hawking, we may need extensive genetic modification simply to stay competitive with emerging intelligent machines and computers. “We must follow this road if we want biological systems to remain superior to electronic ones.”

    Cloning and its attendant issues deserve a hearing independent of any argument that the technology and its uses are, no matter what the apparent benefit or value, the final “slippery slope” for humankind. But this is not the hearing provided by the Kass-led President’s Council on Bioethics, whose report is now available. The commission argued unanimously to ban reproductive cloning, but split sharply on research cloning, where a majority favored a four-year moratorium while expressing support in principle for cloning for purposes of biomedical research. Cynics may say this decision was politically crafted so as to follow—or at least not directly contradict—the views of Kass and President Bush, who have announced their opposition to any form of cloning.,

    To be sure, there are excellent scientific and technological reasons not to practice reproductive cloning at this time. It is inefficient; it is likely (and perhaps even certain at the present state of the technology) to be dangerous to the clone, with the production of physical abnormalities and/or a shortened life span associated with aberrant gene expression and regulation; finally, the use of any clone for “spare parts” is likely not to meet with approval by the clone. In any event, the Brave New World scenario of creating defined worker groups, usually of the militant or menial classes, through cloning is much more readily achieved through societal conditioning and programming. For example, fundamentalist religions have no difficulty in producing religious zealots and suicide bombers; the United States has been extremely successful in creating a new underclass through the application of punitive drug laws directed almost exclusively against urban minorities. As for asexual reproduction, it is no fun; furthermore, Muller’s ratchet hypothesis argues that sex purges the system of deleterious mutations. However, if gene loss from the Y chromosome continues at its historic rate, men will become extinct over the next five to ten million years: asexual cloning may then become necessary. Ironically, this consideration should commend cloning to the fundamentalist religions that see sex as a dirty, sinful, and nasty prerequisite for procreation.

    Meanwhile, the only arguments that can be advanced against research cloning are blatantly ideological. One extreme position holds that all embryonic stem cell research or use involves the destruction of human life, and thus must be banned because it sacrifices one individual for the sake of the treatment of another individual’s disease. Clearly, such a position would also ban abortion under any circumstance including rape and incest. Others argue that the use of “spare” embryos left over from fertility clinics is appropriate, but refuse to countenance the deliberate construction of embryos solely for research purposes. This is the same moral trap President Bush walked into on August 9, 2001, when he stated, “I have concluded that we should allow federal funds to be allowed for research on these existing stem cell lines, where the life and death decision has already been made.” If it is immoral to create the stem cells in the first place, then surely it must be immoral to use them no matter how laudable the purpose. Additionally, why the distinction between the two kinds of embryos? As Michael Sandel, a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics, observed, “Opponents of research cloning cannot have it both ways. They cannot endorse the creation and use of excess embryos from fertility clinics and at the same time complain that creating embryos for regenerative medicine is exploitative.”

    Another argument holds that only federal funds should be withheld from research cloning programs. If it is immoral for federal funds to be used to develop new cell lines, why is it moral for private funds to be used? Nothing in recent months suggests that the private sector is more moral than the public sector.

    For anti-cloning ideologues, the debate ultimately turns upon our definitions of life and its value. President Bush himself observed, “I also believe that life is a sacred gift from

    our creator. I worry about a culture that devalues life. . . .” Religious leaders have not been reticent in sharing God’s views on life and its meaning. Georgetown University professor Edmund Pellegrino sums up the position of many conservative Protestant and Catholic groups in these words: “Upon conception, the biological and ontological individuality of a human being is established.”

    Reasonable as the proposed four-year moratorium on research cloning may appear at first reading, since the opposition to cloning is dominantly if not exclusively theologically based, nothing is likely to change during the moratorium period. Hence, the moratorium serves little useful purpose: no secular-religious compromise is likely ever to be reached on this subject, since by definition dogma does not change. Furthermore, any decision to ban the use of federal funds for these purposes is foolish, since it will leave this critical area solely in the hands of for-profit fertility clinics and the private biotechnology industry. This, of all the new technologies, is not one to leave to Adam Smith’s invisible hand. Those who favor doing so as a “market approach” cannot have read Adam Smith: had they done so they, would not have missed his observation, “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in some conspiracy against the public. . . .” Far better that we have a governmental statutory authority, along the lines of Britain’s Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, set the tone.

    In setting proper standards for cloning research, the non-dogmatic, non-ideological criterion should be to protect sentient life expressed in a suitably complex multicellular structure. The small collection of cells constituting the blastocyst is clearly not sentient. Therefore, ideological considerations aside, there should be no principled objection to the continued study of research cloning with human embryonic stem cells. Of course, patients are the ultimate bottom line. Daniel Perry estimates that as many as 12.5 million Americans suffer diseases or disorders that might be aided by stem cell research. This number is likely to increase with our aging population. They will not be a silent majority.

  8. #8
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    Re: stem cell research: is it hot? why, or why not?

    Please, please please read up on the different kinds of stem cells before debating this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stem_cell

  9. #9
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    Re: stem cell research: is it hot? why, or why not?

    ian - I hear ya. I do not think cloning can be compared to stem cell research. My statement in my previous post may be to blame-my bad - but really - people, get the facts before you respond????. You are so right - there is much more to this issue and it isn't a pretty topic. Why would we allow anyone to create a baby solely for the purpose of an experiment. I'm certain our laws prevent it - as they should.

  10. #10
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    Re: stem cell research: is it hot? why, or why not?

    Quote Originally Posted by linda49
    okay - you got me there - I've read up a bit more on the subject and the debate issue seems to be the little miracle that begins at cell division-from 1 on up to 150 cells - That's the magic time that cells can be "whatever you want them to be". So it is within this range- while the fetus is forming- that is optimum, according to some science experts.... News to me is that an embryo is chock full of such "stem" cells- not just "the cord". On this issue, I cannot believe anyone would even try to convince any reasonable person that ending the life of one fetus to prolong the life of another person is acceptable. It's just not the way the western world works (thank god). There's lots of room to progress this theory and it does not require murder.
    I would like to remind everyone that "dolly" the cloned sheep died prematurely with the symptoms of "old age".
    ......Just because we can does not mean we should......
    i put a little extra look into it as well, and you were right the first time.
    there are SOME stem cells located in the umbilical cord. unfortunately, these are extremely hard to extract and too few in number to even be worth it. besides, in SOME circumstances, the stem cells need to be genetically identical to the person its being used for, so the stem cells will have had to come from a clone. the cloning is a whole nother topic, both suported and resented by the same groups of people. i still think that stem cell research is worth it, considering how a ball of 15 cells is no more of a human life than your skin flakes are.
    Last edited by Blue Crab of PAIN!!!; 02-28-2006 at 10:34 PM.

  11. #11
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    Re: stem cell research: is it hot? why, or why not?

    damn, i was wrong again (pardon my language). umbilical cord cells are easier to extract that i was originally informed (stupid bio teacher lol). i guess these work, but this topic is moreso on the "harvesting" of stem cells. i, again, support that, because its much, much more resourceful, making it MUCH easier to help fix many of the problems that umbilical stem cells take very long to fix alone.

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