Saturday, August 26, 2006

On StemCells, GWB Should Be Cautious

During the week, it was announced that researchers had developed a method by which they could remove a couple of cells from a blastocyst (early embryo) without harming the embryo; thus, ESCR is "do-able" without the moral concerns.

Well, sort of, maybe, kinda...

The actual study proves that obtaining ES cells from a single blastomere might be able to be done. It has not, in fact, been done.

Why would ACT issue a press release in variance from the actual paper published in Nature? To garner a mountain free, positive publicity, to be sure. But to what end? Follow the money. Here is a potential answer. In the wake of this mass media stampede, ACT's stock has risen about 400%. Investors should do their due diligence more carefully. ACT has a history of money problems temporarily remedied by hyped stories about their supposed breakthroughs that later turn out to have been less than meets the eye.

But money's not necessarily the issue.

USCC weighed in:

Critics, however, have a range of objections to the research. Catholic bishops, in particular, oppose both in-vitro fertilization and [such] testing, and therefore still object to the research, even though the cells would be derived from an embryo that is brought to term.Richard Doerflinger, deputy director for pro-life activities at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the church opposed in-vitro fertilization because of the high death rate of embryos in fertility clinics and because separating procreation from the act of love made the embryo seem "more a product of manufacture than a gift."

Let us recall that to some scientists, 'if it CAN be done, it SHOULD be done.' And you thought Mary Shelley was just some jilted wife who wrote a horror story? Wrong. Another analysis of Frankenstein makes that story the archetypical story of illicit sex; it was the first "horror movie" (without the silver screen, of course) and the scripts have been the same ever since: if you're a bad girl, you suffer serious results--usually death. Or somebody dies, in the case at hand. The point is that mal- or mis-use of the faculty of procreation has grave implications, and they are usually significant.

It would seem that Charlie Sykes wants Mark Green to step off the curb here, while GWB is holding up a "Don't Walk" sign.

In the meantime, Xoff (who claims to be Catholic) is hoisting the flag of the "Know-Nothing" party:

The Catholic Bishops, who pull Green's strings, are still opposed.

Based on the analysis presented by both Wesley Smith (a genuine scientist), the apparent conflict between the article in Nature and the press release from ACT, and the VERY good questions they both raise, it's not time to 'declare victory' on ESCR.


Anonymous said...

Victory will occur on January 21, 2009, when the next President, of either party, repeals the idiotic restrictions imposed by George W.Bush in 2001.

Dad29 said...

In your perverse mind that may be "victory."

Others disagree.