Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Thanks, God

. . . literally. Finally, humans have gotten, it seems, close to figuring out how to make stem cells without killing embryos (that are already destined never to grow up into bigger humans anyway, but that's another story).

And, well, it may be inefficient to just take one cell, and those particular researchers did get rid of the embryos from which they took the single-cells, and, of course, there are those who will argue:

. . . .that the new procedure solves nothing, because even the single cell removed in the technique could theoretically grow into a full-fledged human.

I think it's weird that federal funding bans research that harms human embryos, yet the same government allows people (approx. 1,000 a year in the United States) to use fertility methods to help identify lethal/severe birth defects in embryos, when clearly, like all in-vitro fertility treatments, pre-babies are created that are not brought to term.

This procedure, known as preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) takes one cell and checks each 10- or 15-cell embryo for the defect. Likewise, stem-cell researchers also can take just one cell to grow their stem cells, rather than the more efficient way, that kills the five-day embryo outright.

So, are there just freezers and freezers full of "didn't make it" in-vitro creatures sitting around somewhere "unharmed?"

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