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It apparently isn't just religious fanatics vs stem cells

by Bill Osler / November 30, 2004 6:30 AM PST

Switzerland, a country not recently known for its religious conservatives, had quite a fight over stem cells. There was a rather diverse group of people on the opposing side. The opponents did include (as expected) some people with religious motives, but they also included some from the political left. I'm still puzzling over that one. Left wing politics in Switzerland must not be quite what we have here.

Yahoo! News - Swiss Voters OK Stem Cell Research Law

BTW: I was chastised when I claimed that there was a connection between the stem cell research issues and cloning issues. As the article notes, I'm not the only person who sees the two as connected logically and morally even if the technology is not precisely the same.

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Fanatic?! Why, you ... (take a deep breath, Doug) :-)
by drpruner / November 30, 2004 6:55 AM PST

Bill,
I haven't spent much time on the cloning thing, but the embryonic. stem cell issue I'm sure of: I find several indications in the Bible that a full human being in God's eyes. is made at conception. I'm aware that many sincere persons disagree (the trimester and viability issues).

BTW, this also puts me off artificial insemination of humans via a sperm or egg outside the ones in the marriage (= adultery).

I'm putting this here just to give you insight into a specific point of view. I always value your reasonable posts.

Regards, Doug in New Mexico, and you should hear what they call me here!

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And have you seen the latest miracle Dr.
by SteveGargini / November 30, 2004 6:57 AM PST

Whilst everyone is arguing about ethics, they have used umbilical blood stem cells to enable someone to walk. See Paul's post.
The point is Dr. Bill, progress will never stop still when miracles are possible.
The ethical side should be weighed very carefully against the miracles that could be performed.
It would appear that the blood from the umbilical cord has plenty of scope, without killing ovarian cells, or whatever they were thinking of doing.

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Yes, I saw the news ...
by Bill Osler / November 30, 2004 8:36 AM PST

Of course, the news about reversing a neurologic problem with stem cells used fetal cord stems cells (IIRC).

It is, of course, too early to be sure. Still, I would not bet on there being any use for stem cells that absolutely requires a fetal source.

" ... it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science." -- Charles Darwin

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(NT) (NT) Good quote :)
by Dragon / November 30, 2004 11:24 PM PST
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Re: It apparently isn't just religious fanatics vs stem cell

Hi, Dr. Bill.

There's a segment of the far left that's always been opposed to recombinant DNA technology, fearing it will ultimately be used to modify the human genome to make us more resistant to toxic chemicals and allow greater pollution of the environment. MIT professor Jonathan King used to be a leader in that bunch, though I don't know if he still is.

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