April 24, 2003

THE WAITING IS THE HARDEST PART

Discovery could silence debate over stem cells (Michael Bradley, April 25 2003, Sydney Morning Herald)
Scientists claim to have discovered a way of producing embryonic stem cells that could side-step the entire ethical debate surrounding such research.

Researchers from the US bio-tech company Stemron have produced embryos capable of providing stem cells, but which can never become human beings.

It is the first time scientists have used a technique called parthenogenesis on human cells.

Parthenogenesis is a form of reproduction in which the egg develops without fertilisation. The phenomenon occurs naturally in many insects, while artificial parthenogenesis has been achieved in almost all groups of animals, although it usually results in abnormal development.

Whether this turns out to be the breakthrough or whether it's days, months, or even years ahead, you know it's coming, which makes it even more repellant that so many folks--like Orrin Hatch, Nancy Reagan, Christopher Reeve and Michael Kinsley, to name a few--were willing to turn embryos into the moral equivalent of deli meat just because they were impatient. Posted by Orrin Judd at April 24, 2003 12:23 PM
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