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This is all we need.... Super Mice!!

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I wouldn't worry about Super Mice!!

In reply to: This is all we need.... Super Mice!!

I'd worry about the desire to create The Perfect Race.

These new developments and discoveries have a great potential to benefit and improve the health and quality of life for our children and their grandchildren. And that's wonderful. They also can be just as easily abused.

"We do not condone the pharmaceutical enhancement of athletes." Yes, of course.

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Re: This is all we need.... Super Mice!!

In reply to: This is all we need.... Super Mice!!

Hi, William.

We already know that the regulation of obesity in mice is much less complex than it is in humans, so I think some of the statements in that article are a bit premature.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Opps!

In reply to: This is all we need.... Super Mice!!

I didn't see your thread before I posted mine. Sorry. I owe you one.

Amazing and scary stuff, ain't it.

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Re: Opps!

In reply to: Opps!

Just wondering Bob, why does this scare you but the kind of technique involved in some stem cell research doesn't seem to phase you?

Evie Happy

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Here Be Monsters!

In reply to: Re: Opps!

A buddy of mine took me to a Mavericks game one time. Being not such a rabid round ball fan, (and with my commie bent) my mind drifted around a bit. One thing was obvious to me and I was thinking: "These guys are friggin HUGE! That's not fair. That's almost cheating. They just reach up and drop the ball in the hole." So out of my mouth comes: "Aren't we lucky the human race isn't as variable as some species?" Blank stare. "I mean like dogs or cats or pigeons." (pigeons?) "Well I mean, we do have skin color to contend with and look at all the trouble we have with that. How big a mess would it be if some of us were 12' tall and covered all over with fur?" You did notice that I said he invited me to a game ONE time.

Genetic Manipulation is a ticking social bomb in our hands. And that's best case, when everything goes as planed. We've got Marathon Mouse and Swartsinegger Mouse and I expect Einstein Mouse and Marilyn Monroe Mouse aren't far off. How about Svengalli Mouse? (BTW, is there a gene for spelling?) I wouldn't take too much comfort in "Mice aren't men". (Barry Manilow Mouse! The Horror!) (NO. I got it now: Bubba & Hillary Mice's! Yeah, that's the ticket!)))

The surprising thing to me is that a lot of the GM things we're hearing about are done on adult mice by switching already existing genes on or off. Fantastic. Promising. Lucrative! The really scary stuff though, will come with gene replacement done at the egg stage. How would you like the immune system of a vulture or monitor lizard? The strength of a gorilla? Extra hands instead of feet!?! Who the h___ can guess!!! And then there's the mistakes and defects.

And what about our faith in the system of splitting up the goodies? Won't we react to genetic enhancements with a sense of unfairness. Won't we be correct in that? May the new gods be benevolent and pitying. May we not have to chase them underground, though I expect most will be real quiet. At least for a while.

Stem cell research isn't like that AFAIK. Separate the ten or twelve cells of an embryo in growth medium, add some of the magic elixir from the tissue you want to repair and hope they decide to turn into that tissue. Simple. Patchin' a tire. No monsters. Why all the fuss? What am I missing here?

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Re: Here Be Monsters!

In reply to: Here Be Monsters!

http://www.genome.gov/10004765

This is the fuss. They are already considering legislation to allow creating embryos to harvest stem-cells. Still using the "they are gonna be flushed anyway" argument to slip this one by the unknowing. So Bob, I've asked Dave and never gotten a direct response. So I wonder if I can get one from you. One of the problems with embryonic stem cells is that they are unstable when differentiated and/or form tumors. Right now I think the limit is 14 days to kill the embryo. If it is found that cells obtained form a three week old embryo, four weeks, longer are requrired to produce stem cells with sufficient stability for those miraculous therapeutic purposes we are all promised to be at our fingertips? Where is your line?

Here is a link to human embryo development: http://www.visembryo.com/baby/index.html
At 14 days, it would already be implanted in the uterus. I think by 4 weeks (end stage 12) most would agree that this resembles a "being" not a mass of cells. Check out Stage 19, then go click on the photo gallery bottom of page here[.

Bob, if science can find a way to activate MY stem cells to extend my life, I'm not even sure that should be done. Creating stem cells in another human embryo raises all sorts of ethical issues. I'm less troubled by turning on a gene that may be present from birth than I am by replacing a gene or cells that develop to organs.

As life expectency increases so too does the incidence of these heartbreaking diseases we all -- being tugged by just the heart strings -- would love to see cured. I have honest misgivings about proceding without restraint and in the absence of proper caution.

Evie Happy
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You've made a brave statement (and I agree)

In reply to: Re: Here Be Monsters!

if science can find a way to activate MY stem cells to extend my life, I'm not even sure that should be done

I hope I can still feel this way if I find myself lying face up and staring into the reality that my time to exit is imminent. At some point, it seems to me, it's time to move on and give up my seat to someone else so they can see the show.
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Re: You've made a brave statement (and I agree)

In reply to: You've made a brave statement (and I agree)

Hi Steve,

I hope so too. I happen to believe that God (or Nature, or Darwinian survival of the fittest perpetuating a species) never intended us to live forever. I think it is fair to say that scientific advances have greatly extended our lifespans -- a benefit to the individual and their loved ones, but not without negative impacts on society.

Now what I'm about to say will surely elicit groans from those that believe in Utopia, but it is simply cold hard truth. The elderly and the infirm are a drain on society. The "women and children" first response to any threat to society was born of the reality that there need not be that many adult men around for the society to reconstitute so long as there were enough child bearers and children to grow into adults. It was never about protecting the weak or chivalry or anything more than survival of the society.

As we extend our lifespans by treating one weakness that develops with age, but unable to reverse/prevent all the weaknesses, we create a burden to society. Consider that if we were able to regenerate the heart forever, but make no progress on debilitating arthritis and dementia. So then the body lives to be 100 when the heart is "repaired and regenerated" when the person is 75 and showing no signs of the debilitative disease. By 80, those diseases take their toll.

It's really hard to think in these terms, and I'm not suggesting that we stop all life-extending treatments, only that we have to start to think of this in a less self-centered way. Surprisingly, it seems to be the collectivists when it comes to social/political structure that seem to abandon those concepts when it comes to this issue. Will we have to pass "ability to work" tests in the future before we retire and get government benefits including Medicare. Does anyone honestly think that Medicare is going to be able to cover these new age treatments?

This is the issue with the PUBLIC funding of stem cell research. I have other reservations regarding the research techniques, but the current situation is dishonestly represented as that rather than whether federal funds should be used. Cut and dried, is this the best investment of public funds even if we only weigh it against other areas of scientific research? I don't think so.

Evie Happy

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Exactly right, and to add..when you really think about it

In reply to: Re: You've made a brave statement (and I agree)

If one really believes in God and that He is offering an afterlife of pure "heaven", what right or reason would we have to ask Him for even one more day on earth than what has been alloted to us? Might we be insulting Him by doing so?

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Re: Exactly right, and to add..when you really think about i

In reply to: Exactly right, and to add..when you really think about it

That raises a host of questions regarding even the most basic medical practices, don't you think?

Dan

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Re: Exactly right, and to add..when you really think about i

Nope, not basic medical practices at all IMO. Certainly it raises ethics concerns that are causes for debate. Medicine is an inexact science that seems to strive to do good things. Modern medicine has developed through both success and failure. I suspect that failure to a scientist may become unacceptable to the point that achievement of a goal becomes an obsession. When this occurs, "ethics" can become a barrier. So now, we get to debate. If nothing more, it's not so bad to pause and think once in while is it? Thinking often allows us to look one more step beyond what brought us to a certain conclusion. Sometimes that next step brings a round of doubt into our minds and we find we are not so resolved in our thinking. It's good exercise...my two cents.

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Re: Exactly right, and to add..when you really think about i

In reply to: Re: Exactly right, and to add..when you really think about i

The point of yours that I was replying to was that by extending our live through medical means we are insulting god by outliving the time he has alloted to us. This could be extended beyond the discussion of 'advanced' medicine, as we are discussing today, to the question of basic medical practices. They do the same thing, extend life, just with a greatly different level of technology. If we postulate that using one method is an affront to god, we must consider that all are.

Dan

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My words were..
Might we be insulting Him by doing so?

Thus, posed as a question, I was not making a point or stating an opinion just adding a possible question that could come up in debate. I don't see general medicine as necessarily being life extending so we just have different definitions and either could have merit. I see general medicine as being one that assists normal processes and not one that seeks to alter the outcome. Relief from pain during healing is another example. Yes, medical science has found ways to arrest some diseases and prevent them from spreading. This might be considered "life extending" medicine. Personally, I must think that, to God, one day of human life or a hundred years of it is still a flash in the pan. Science can do great and wonderful things and, just when we think we have learned all there is, a breakthrough occurs. We are often amazed at what we can do and that amazement can serve to blind us as to the reprocussions that might come from it. It's been written that Alfred Nobel's scientific success story brought him great anguish by how his "invention" was used. Such could be our rue if not thoughtful. One of my favorite quotes (and I can only paraphrase) states that 'For something to become clean, something must get dirty'.
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It is saddening to me ...

In reply to: My words were..

... that religious or not, so few people REALLY want to think about these things. It's the "if it can save one life" ideology that puts all other considerations out of one's mind.

This frontier of stem cells is revolutionary as are gene therapies above and beyond the status of medical science to this point. I'm personally not sure such would be more or less an affront to God, but just because we have come to this point in medicine in extending life, doesn't mean we ought cross this threshold without thinking. Stem cells will -- if their potential is reached -- allow adults to regenerate tissues formerly non-regenerative. If this is accomplished through embryonic stem cells, it is irrefutable that it will be harvested cells from a cloned human embryo. The value of that "life" is a matter for debate but most don't want to "go there". The 14-day limit being debated in the Senate is rather arbitrary. Nobody seems to want to answer the question as to where they would draw the line on such. If we can create artificial wombs, up to what point should we grow these embryos before destroying them? I mean if stem cells that can help regenerate an organ are so great, why not take "therapeutic" cloning out to the point where the actual tissues can be harvested.

I think most people are being honest in saying they don't know where to draw the line. All I know, is that the more I think about these issues the further "in" I draw my line. Nothing scares me more than those that have no problem moving that line as far out as science will take us and have a "hear/speak/see no evil" mentality about the possible negatives so long as there is a positive to be achieved.

Evie Happy

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The fuss.

In reply to: Re: Here Be Monsters!

"This is the fuss. They are already considering legislation to allow creating embryos to harvest stem-cells. Still using the "they are gonna be flushed anyway" argument to slip this one by the unknowing." . I saw both things said at your first link, but about different things in different scenarios. So I don't know. Dishonesty bites. Your first link is interesting and clear and I recommend it.

But stem-cell research is not reproductive cloning. The shortcomings and ethics problems don't apply. Evie, I respect your honest misgivings. I know that they ARE honest. To me, a 14 day old embryo has absolutely yet to have had a single thought or collated sensory perception. The physical structure for thought just isn't there so I feel no great problem. I understand that others do. Where is my line? I don't know. It IS there, I have a line but 4 weeks isn't it. Not compared to the good that will surely come from this.

If the entire accelerating field is taken as a whole, and all the dangers and all the potential abuses-for-advantage and all the suffering from mistakes are all lumped together, then I can see the impulse to want to slow things down a bit. I've just been trying to shine my imperfect little light</modesty> on where the real dangers and horrors lie and where they don't. Hey, I could be wrong. Replacing genes scares me for the reasons I've given. Using cells that develop into tissues doesn't. And to be able to relieve a debilitating condition that can only get worse and worse until you die... Man-o-man. We gott'a go for it.
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Re: The fuss.

In reply to: The fuss.

But stem-cell research is not reproductive cloning.

The goal is not the same, the technique to produce the embryonic stem cells or a cloned human embryo are EXACTLY THE SAME.

ABCs of SCNT (Cloning)
New science leads to new ethical issues


Cloning is the term used to describe the transfer of genetic material from one type of cell to another. An egg cell or an adult stem cell is emptied of its genetic material, and new genetic material from a body cell (like a skin cell, for example) is put into the "empty" cell. Scientists then stimulate this new cloned cell to grow and develop. There are two types of cloning: therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning.

Therapeutic cloning means using cloning to develop stem cells for research. If a cloned egg cell is used, the egg cell grows and develops into an embryo. The embryo is then destroyed, and the special cells inside it, called embryonic stem cells, are removed and used for research. Researchers believe adult stem cells (not from embryos) could also be used.

Reproductive cloning means creating a whole new individual using a cloned egg cell. The cloned egg cell grows and develops into an embryo. The embryo is implanted inside a woman's womb to grow. The baby would, in theory, be exactly like the adult whose genetic material was used for cloning. However, scientists do not have the knowledge of how to do this in human beings (despite Clonaid's claims of success).


S.303 is the legislation in the Senate to ban reproductive cloning but allow SCNT for the purposes of harvesting stem cells. In reality Bob, there is NO DIFFERENCE between the cloning events between therapeutic or reproductive cloning. The difference lies ONLY in what becomes of the embryo created. Kill it by 14 days or allow it to be implanted. So now we have politicians determining the length of time such an embryo must be terminated by. Again I ask where the line is. You want to talk dishonesty, I was among, despite being a Bio major, the young women that bought into the "it's just a ball of cells" theory when I was a NOW feminist. Well, that's just not true:

1 Month

Start there and proceed and read all that happens between then and

~ 2 months

End of first trimester

But heck, what's a little misinformation if it advances the goals of some. The only thing keeping the embryo created for stem cell harvest from becoming a human is that it hasn't been implanted in the womb. Now with current technology, we don't know if a genetic duplicate can be born, but it HAS been done with other animals. What prevents this experimentation is that there were so many "mistakes" along the way. But in a culture where leading ethicists support very late term abortions for birth defects and even infanticide within a small window for severly deformed born babies, is it really so far fetched to assume that embryos created under the auspices of "therapeutic use" might not be experimented on further? How about keeping the embryo alive past the 14 days. If an in vitro womb is required to allow further development and is created, would that be OK?

With the advent of ultrasound, the opinions of Americans have swung widely in the pro-life direction. IMO, if more Americans knew the cold hard facts of what is involved in this type of research, they too would at least support putting the brakes on while the ethics is sorted out.

Compared to the good? So how about we harvest the organs of deathrow convicts without requiring their consent. Surely the benefit to society outweighs any ethical considerations there right??

Consider this Bob, many of the diseases that are now becoming more frequent are due to scientific advances that have extended our human lifespan. So what do you think. Let's say tomorrow there is a therapy to regenerate the heart indefinitely, but we haven't even scratched the surface of curing Alzheimers. Sounds like medical utopia. Not!

Evie Happy
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Welpers...

In reply to: Re: The fuss.

I've put my argument out there at least twice for each point. My endurance is fading. I guess there's just this one more thing to say: I don't expect ever to benefit from any of these new medical developments however hard they're pushed. Not one of my peers can realistically expect to either, except maybe on a guinea pig basis. They're going to be very very expensive. And thanks to the current ******_t trend of logic that refuses to tax wealth derived INCOME equally against labor derived income, I don't expect that fact to change in the foreseeable future. So you go ahead on and suffer the wealthy if you want to.

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Re: Welpers...

In reply to: Welpers...

I see it is pointless to even have a discussion with you. You have stated several times that cloning and stem cells are two different things, your latest statement, to which I replied was: But stem-cell research is not reproductive cloning. The shortcomings and ethics problems don't apply. I proviced further information as to why they most definitely DO. You come back with switching the subject to who and how to tax to pay for this and add the jibe that I should suffer the wealthy if I wish.

Take heart, there are adult stem cell therapies NOW in clinical trials that may yet be available to your peers. Maybe we won't even need to have kids anymore. Imagine all the education funding we will save with a society of people that already know everything Happy

Hey if you can do it I can too Happy

Evie Happy

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Re: Welpers...

In reply to: Re: Welpers...

Hi Evie,

"You have stated several times that cloning and stem cells are two different things," . People were blending the nightmares of reproductive cloning into the stem cell debate. Trying to separate that out. Didn't mean to sound short with you, just felt like I'd pretty much used up my two cents trying to provoke comments and thought, you know? (Yes, and a scab pick.) Always appreciate your input. Sorry if I lost some style points with you.

I don't know what to make of, or whether to concede your point about cloning being used to get stem cells. I'm not denying it either, just hadn't read that. I'd kind'a though that stem cells divided and reproduced in the petri dish without having to go to that much trouble. Makes me wonder if W's restriction to the existing lines makes it necessary. I'm also wondering how patent law applies to public vs. private funding. Didn't Celera get a bunch of patents because it was just slightly ahead of the publicly funded genome project? Might these new therapies be a bit cheaper if they were developed with public money? It's not what you know - it's who you know. Huh, Martha!?

Your photos are amazing and compelling. Politics of religion? They do focus the heart and demand a 'line' from each of us. About the little souls, I don't know. I have to stick with some sort of awareness, or at least a structure capable of thought. And yes I do have to balance my line, even challenge it a bit, against relieving, what has been up till now, hopeless suffering.

On the other branch of this thread: Given the potential for good, might not God be ashamed of us if we turn our backs on the tools he has given us? And all the more so when we call it His will?

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Re: Here Be Monsters! -- Science Fiction!

In reply to: Here Be Monsters!

Hi, Bob.

>>How would you like the immune system of a vulture or monitor lizard? The strength of a gorilla? Extra hands instead of feet!?! Who the h___ can guess!!! <<
Well, we humans have the most advanced immune systems known already, so I wouldn't want to swap mine for the much more primitive systems of a vulture or monitor lizard. Strength is the only one of these that's even remotely feasibl anytime soon -- we know what genes are involved in pattern formation (leading to number of digits, arms/legs, etc.) but really only know how to foul them up, not alter them to order.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Time is long and things are speeding up.

In reply to: Re: Here Be Monsters! -- Science Fiction!

I was going into broken record mode on this subject and thought I'd spice it up. Anyway, who can say. They're putting whole cross-species genes and chromosomes into plants right now. Foul up a million and get one keeper.

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Re: Stem cells vs. monsters

In reply to: Re: Opps!

Evie, the goal of stem cell research is simple and uncomplicated. You have an organ (be it the brain, spinal chord, pancreas, or whatever) that isn't working properly and doesn't normally self-renew. You simply inject toti-potent stem cells into the organ and allow the extracellular signals to direct them down the correct developmental path. There's really no "manipulation" involved -- you're simply providing the raw materials to allow the body to heal itself. Obviously there are bugs to be worked out (rejection being the main one), but it really is much less scary than genetic manipulation for enhancement, except to those convince that nonsentient, undifferentiated cells are somehow fully "human." BTW, where do you stand on "artificial" birth control? The "embryos" you're so concerned about have fewer cells and are even less developed than the pre-implantation embryos whose implantation is blocked by the pill, the patch, and the IUD. That's why I claim that if abortion is ever outlawed, non-barrier birth control methods (other than "Vatican roulette") are doomed.

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Re: Stem cells vs. monsters

In reply to: Re: Stem cells vs. monsters

Dave, the goal is simple and uncomplicated. The method is anything but, and SCNT is SCNT whether the "cloning" is reproductive vs. therapeutic rests solely on how long the embryo is allowed to last and whether or not it is implanted.

My ethical line at this point has to do with INTENTIONALLY creating an embryo and then killing it. Maybe if more people understood how the pill works, they might change their support for it. I know the more I think about this, the more my line shifts, and this is NOT a religious opinion.

Curious how you have the utmost trust in the good old condom when it comes to stopping life threatening STD's 100% of the time, but poo poo such barrier methods when preventing pregnancy is the goal. A cynical feminist might wonder why all the ethical quandries must be shouldered by the woman. How about oral birth control pill for men rendering their sperm inert. There would be no problem with that now would there? Prevent fertilization. No ethical concerns about an embryo dying. Same goes for IVF. Why not only create embryos that are to be implanted at that time? We can now freeze eggs (which is why they froze the embryos in the first place because they couldn't freeze unfert eggs when this technology was developing) so why are we freezing embryos at all? Then we don't have to have this "they will be flushed anyway if we don't experiment with them" absurdity. Cost? That is not a valid argument IMO.

Evie Happy

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Re: This is all we need.... Super Mice!!

In reply to: This is all we need.... Super Mice!!

Hmmmmmmm.........., I will definitely need to make sure that our 3 pet mice (Miss Mousie Whiskers, Runt and Leviathan) do not have access to this information.

Who knows what the ramifications could be!

These 3 pampered and spoiled white lab mice could unleash horrors upon this world as we have never known!!

Godzilla wouldn't even stand a chance against them!

Must destroy all traces of this information!!


Well, maybe not.
But ya' never know Wink

--Marcia

.

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Re: This is all we need.... Super Mice!!

In reply to: This is all we need.... Super Mice!!

Wonder what would happen if they were bred with normal mice.

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Re: This is all we need.... Super Mice!!

In reply to: This is all we need.... Super Mice!!

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