Saturday, January 12, 2008

Haroun Childeric Eggeberth

For all of my bitching and moaning, I generally take reassurance from science, which still seems to be an accumulation of human knowledge, unlike most other areas of human endeavor.

Stem cell research is exciting, especially as I meet more and more people who have been helped through these experimental procedures. One of my father's island-mates had his legs saved last summer, which was thought impossible, through regular injections of embryonic stem cells. And I think our friend Brendon might have recieved stem cells to replace the cells lost during his chemo.

More good news- recently, scientists have figured out ways to derive stem cells from adults instead of fetuses. And researchers at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine have now plucked embryonic stem cells from cells removed from two-day old embryos without hurting the embryos.

I've never personally been opposed to deriving stem cells from aborted fetuses. However, I recognize that many people have legitimate ethical objections to this procedure. It is good news that scientists will soon find a way to avoid the ethical complications through better science, and that more people will come around to supporting really revolutionary research. If the 20th century was the century of physics, I think this century will be the century of biology.

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