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U.N. Delays Debate on Cloning

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the tabling-it dept.

Biotech 746

hedpe2003 writes "'The General Assembly on Tuesday ducked for a year a polarizing debate over human cloning that has set the Bush administration against some allies like Britain and much of the world's scientific community. All 191 United Nations members agree on a treaty to prohibit cloning human beings, but they are divided over whether to extend such a ban to stem cell and other research known as therapeutic cloning. Opponents say total prohibition would block research on cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, spinal cord injuries and other conditions. The White House says that enough stem cells from human embryos exist for research and that cloning an embryo for any reason is unethical. United States was happy to go along with the one-year consensus but would not alter its stance. 'We will continue to work for a total ban,' he said.' I was just wondering what everyone thought about this. To tell the truth, I didn't know that the US was pushing so hard to ban stem cell research all together."

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If only (1, Funny)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 10 years ago | (#7698951)

If only those embryos had even a couple synaptic responses that it could use to tap out in Morse code whether it agreed to be used in such research.

Re:If only ground control to YODA DOLL tsarkon (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7698982)

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v 4.02.0
$YodaBSD: src/release/doc/en_US.ISO8859-1/yodanotes/9steppro cess.sgml,v 4.02.0 2003/12/05 14:15:45 tsarkon Exp $
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Re:If only (3, Insightful)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699069)

Even that statement implies it exists in some sense where it can want or not want something. It's a few cells. How is that different than taking a sample of cells from the inside of someone's cheek and asking if it minds being scraped off?

What if they clone stem cells in a way that doesn't prevent the fetus from developing, store it for 10 years while the person grows up, and then ask them if they mind their cells being used that way. If it had been done to me, I sure wouldn't mind.

Jason
ProfQuotes [profquotes.com]

Evil /. Gestapo 1984 Spy on "Anonymous" Tsarkon (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7698952)

WARNING, SLASHDOT NOW TIES AC COMMENTS WITH USER
(Use a disposable account from a disposable IP before moderating this up. Editors generally watch and see who moderates controversial things like this up.)

When you are logged in, /. ties your user account to any Anonymous Coward postings you make... Thus they know who posted it. To demonstrate this:
  1. Get mod points.
  2. Post an AC comment while logged in
  3. Change your dynamic ip, clear all cookies
  4. Log back in and try to moderate your AC comment... you can't!!!

Please *log out* AND use another browser before making your AC comments.
Your UID is being tracked, it's not Anonymous. Lots of people post lots of things to Slashdot as AC only because they believe it is really anonymous - it isn't. They hunt "trolls" (non-karma whores and non-group thinking bots) down.

This is true. I used to be a bit more freestyle and witty AC and be a nice guy logged in [basically a karma whore]. After a short while, I could no longer moderate. Slashdot does brand AC posts with IP and then map them back to users. They lie about AC, AC doesn't exist if you re-use ip addresses.

Big brother is watching. So while I might be a "troll" a lot of the AC things I said were to protect myself from Slash-bot groupthink. They punished me for voicing my opinion freestyle.

They also revoke moderation FOREVER - $rtbl it is called, for any moderations of any post that have been secretly flagged annoying [Slashcode has hidden flags viewable by editors]. If you *EVER* mod up something an editor secretly marked annoying you NEVER moderate again, ever - ever even if your karma is capped.

Also, Slashdot uses the friends system to track "trolls." Mark a troll you find funny as a friend *bang* $rtbl never to moderate ever again. My real account had many many good friends who had good karma, and a few funny trolls later, no more moderation for that account. Again, Slashdot is spying on its users to make the people who find certain things funny uneligible to moderate. You will never moderate again if you are a friend of a "foe or freak" of an editor.

FACT: This is in Slashcode CVS

Revision 1.7.2.5 / (download) - annotate - [select for diffs] , Thu Feb 8 13:12:32 2001 UTC (2 years, 9 months ago) by pudge
Branch: bender
CVS Tags: v1_1_3_0
Changes since 1.7.2.4: +18 -7 lines
Diff to previous 1.7.2.4 to branchpoint 1.7

log more AC info


So AC is a scam here. Hitler-Malda screws AC posts in the caboose. So now all you can do is go 100% AC, or , as they expect you to, KARMA WHORE. And it is so lame and unfair and probably illegal as they lie about anonymity.

Also, sometimes when certain information becomes an active thread, they bitchslap the thread much later so that people think its "safe" to participate and the whole thing gets slapped.

There is a presumption anonymous means something. They lie like rugs to the posting public by using the word anonymous. It is not. They brazenly lie though and the un-assuming poster is having everything he says correlated with him and stored in a computer just waiting to be subpoenaed by the people that Slashdot claims to hate but works for. They work for the fascist forces and components of the US government. I like the US and other Western governments but they have good and bad components - there are things you need to do to protect yourself from the bad components. Basically "covering your ass" so to speak. At Slashdot, in lying about AC, un-protects its posting public (seeding a de-anonymizing privacy stripping pandemic in their own "little" way). This makes Slashdot a very dangerous target for you the posters to have your "anonymous" information subpoenaed and you to be chased down and persecuted for speaking your mind. I think that it is a joke Slashdot editors post about SCO, MSFT, RIAA, MPAA, TIA, FBI, etc. They do the same fascist big-brotherly things that those companies do the public at large as they do to the Slashdot posting public.

Protect yourself. Try and use proxies or a super good second browser with proxies that you never log into such as Opera (which makes it very easy to delete all private data). Thank you.

heh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7698955)

Lets just grow us some new organs and be done with it.

Re:heh (0)

}}mons{{ (97347) | more than 10 years ago | (#7698978)

why not clone the whole linus torvalds alan cox etc. plus a thousand darl mcbrides for replacement organs if theres a malfunction in the cloned linus...

hell, its even better to clone thousand mcbrides for organ harvesting except for the brain... ...

wait wait wait... (4, Insightful)

Clever Pun (729719) | more than 10 years ago | (#7698957)

The White House says that enough stem cells from human embryos exist for research...

Which stem cells? The ones that are gathered at the abortion clinics? The abortion clinics that preform the abortions that YOU'RE TOTALLY OPPOSED TO AND WANT TO SEE MADE ILLEGAL? Those abortion clinics?

Stupid fucking government.

In the defense of our idiot-in-chief president, he is Texan, so some leeway must be given.

Re:wait wait wait... (3, Interesting)

strike2867 (658030) | more than 10 years ago | (#7698987)

He may be an idiot but he supposedly has a pretty good team of advisers. But in many cases he overrules them based on his chrishtian beliefs. "Even the ones that contradict each other" --- Simpsons. So we can all see what probably happened here.

Re:wait wait wait... (1)

Richard M. Nixon (697603) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699046)

Which stem cells? The ones that are gathered at the abortion clinics? The abortion clinics that preform the abortions that YOU'RE TOTALLY OPPOSED TO AND WANT TO SEE MADE ILLEGAL? Those abortion clinics?

Think about what you are saying. This is the government, and the federal government at that, that we are talking about. It is not supposed to make any sense. Texas has nothing to do with it.

Re:wait wait wait... (3, Informative)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699148)

Never could figure out why such a fuss. Maybe people are just badly misinformed; at any rate, our own bone marrow continues to produce stem cells all our lives. Just at a reduced rate.

Re:wait wait wait... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7699061)

This is the most insightful remark I have heard anyone make in this discussion.

Someone should tell the Texan in the Oval Office that he cannot have it both ways. There are 3 possible scenarios for him:
1) allow abortion -> harvest fresh stem cells
2) ban abortion -> clone old stem cells
3) claim that cancer is the wrath of god and a cure should not be found.

If think even George W is stupid enough to claim #3 in public, so that logic kinda limits his options. However, he has already proved that logic is not one of his stronger points.

Re:wait wait wait... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7699072)

I take offense at that. Just because he is from Texas means crap. Not every Texan is a jeebus lovin conservative hick. If you wander outside any major city your stereotype will be verified. But our joke for a president owns a ranch in Crawford, a small town which is why the stereotype at least partially holds for him :) As long as you only stay/visit Houston, Dallas, and Austin aside from the heat it is very normal. Keep in mind Houston is the 4th largest city in the country

Re:wait wait wait... (5, Informative)

Thomas Miconi (85282) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699088)

Which stem cells? The ones that are gathered at the abortion clinics? The abortion clinics that preform the abortions that YOU'RE TOTALLY OPPOSED TO AND WANT TO SEE MADE ILLEGAL? Stupid fucking government.

Congratulations. You just managed to be even more stupid than them. No small feat, I reckon.

Embryos are not gathered at abortion clinics (Hell not !). They come from in-vitro fertilization, mostly. When you fertilize eggs in a tube, you end up with more embryos than needed. Excess eggs are often stored in liquid nitrogen. Sometimes these eggs are simply abandoned (because the parents part, or one of them dies, or they simply don't want any more children). These eggs are stem cells (indeed a "real" stem cell is equivalent to an egg). Bush & Co. say that they should be the only source for stem cells.

Their opposition to human cloning, including for stem cell research, has the same origin as their opposition to abortion: they consider eggs and embryos as living, human beings.

Thomas Miconi

Re:wait wait wait... (2, Insightful)

Terov (79502) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699130)

Well the real idiocy of the matter is that Roe v. Wade is not going to be overturned. Consequently, abortions continue, providing a viable source of stem cells that remains untapped so long as imbeciles in power are tied inextricably to the Christian Right.

While I'm pro-abortion, conservatives need to realize that two "wrongs" don't make a right. If abortion is so evil, we should at least gain as much good from it as we possibly can. To do otherwise is downright criminal to the medical community and everyone who could benefit from this research.

OPEN LETTER FROM MY DICK TO YOUR MOUTH (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7698960)

Suck it bitch. Suck it now. Suck it down.

Re:OPEN LETTER FROM MY DICK TO YOUR MOUTH (-1, Offtopic)

Clever Pun (729719) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699005)

i must say, i resent my post being marked down as flame bait while this one just kinda sits there happily. i mean, i can understand WHY mine was modded down, but the point remains.

i noticed that too (-1, Offtopic)

polished look 2 (662705) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699048)

seems kind of lame no one noticed this vile garbage but took offense at your missive.

My 2 cents. (2, Interesting)

cgranade (702534) | more than 10 years ago | (#7698963)

My own personal opposition to cloning comes not from moral reasons, but because we have a population problem, and the last thing we need to do is make it worse.

Re:My 2 cents. (1, Funny)

kj0rn (731521) | more than 10 years ago | (#7698973)

I think America has a Christian problem. They rule your country, not some impartial, like, say, the scientists.

kjorn

Re:My 2 cents. (3, Insightful)

X (1235) | more than 10 years ago | (#7698994)

Surely you jest?

It's pretty tough to find any group that is impartial (theoretically the closest would be judges, but I doubt that would be reflected in reality).

Re:My 2 cents. (1)

kj0rn (731521) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699043)

More of a comparison, who is more bigotted, the scientist or the Christian zelot? kjorn

Re:My 2 cents. (4, Insightful)

X (1235) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699081)

who is more bigotted, the scientist or the Christian zelot?

who is more bigotted, the Christian or the scientific zealot?

You are phrasing your questions, and your thinking in a very bigotted fashion. Kind of an existence proof of my point. ;-)

Re:My 2 cents. (4, Interesting)

koekepeer (197127) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699085)

well i am a scientist, and although i try to stay a neutral observer, it is quite difficult at times.

i have seen many debates in scientific meetings. i can assure you that many scientists are *huge* bigots, religiously debating their point of view, whether it is based on fact or not. many people do not like to be told they are wrong ;)

i'm lucky enough: i don't care. and good scientists should be like that, leave an idea when it's inviable and don't try to prove something because you believe it is true.

Re:My 2 cents. (5, Insightful)

X (1235) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699144)

Exactly. Good Christians can also be neutral observers. They just have to avoid letting the facts threaten their faith (and therefore their judgement). Sadly, many scientists feel (correctly or otherwise) their careers can be threatened if word gets out their ideas are inviable. Something that is far less likely a risk for a Christian.

The real problem is that frequently the leaders of any given "interest group" having a stake in maintaining the party line. Ultimately, you need a disinterested third party to make a call after hearing the arguments from both sides. In theory, that's where politicians and judges come in. In practice....

Re:My 2 cents. (5, Insightful)

MooCows (718367) | more than 10 years ago | (#7698975)

Why would the population problem matter?
What reason would there be for mass-cloning?

As I see it, cloning/stem cell/whatever research is a way to learn more about how we work.
And the more we know about how we work, the better we can work on small things like medicine. (genetic research seems very promising for a cure for cancer)

Re:My 2 cents. (1)

X (1235) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699013)

You're assuming mass-cloning is the problem he's concerned with. Assuming you are right, and we make significant progress in the field of medecine. The mortality rate goes down, and suddenly we have even more of a population problem than we started with.

Re:My 2 cents. (1)

MooCows (718367) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699029)

Of course, I missed that.

But then what do we do, let people die?
We've always been researching medicine to allow people to live longer, this is merely a significant new direction.

Re:My 2 cents. (1)

X (1235) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699099)

But then what do we do, let people die?

Depending on your view of Malthus' theories, you absolutely do. Much as we do today. Better to let the weak and sick die, then have the herd consume all resources and wipe itself out. Any advance that skews things one way or the other (resources vs. population) can be an item of concern.

I don't support the notion, but it is perhaps the most rational reason to limit stem cell research.

Re:My 2 cents. (1)

MooCows (718367) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699124)

Of course, but you can't turn back time like that.
We've long since passed our natural equilibrium.

The only way out as I see it is some kind of birth control.
Something like that is bound to be government-controlled though, and subject to all the nasty consequences of it.

Of course, some kind of massive plague would solve our problem too.
But that would either wipe us out completely or leave us in a kind of post-apocalyptic world.

I'd rather have a lenghtened lifespan and birth control :)

Re:My 2 cents. (1)

Muggins the Mad (27719) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699134)

> The mortality rate goes down, and suddenly we have even more of a population problem than we started with.

Or alternatively while the mortality rate goes down, the number of people sick enough that society has to support them also goes down...

- Muggins the Mad

Re:My 2 cents. (1)

koekepeer (197127) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699022)

exactly! no-one would be helped by mass-cloning. there's this thing called genetic diversity, and it's the key to survival of a population in a changing, challenging environment.

for example, if a population is very homogeneous (many clones), one virus that normaly only effective in a smaller part of a population, will now be able to effectively wipe out complete cloned populations.

in analogy to the windows ubiquity/virus problem. if you are a big homogeneous target, you are becoming vulnerable to attacks. maybe M$ can learn from nature ;)

Re:My 2 cents. (1, Funny)

Richard M. Nixon (697603) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699026)

What reason would there be for mass-cloning?

A mad scientist wanting to create an evil army of Richard Nixon clones?

There might be someone out there crazy enough to do it just because they think the idea of a real-life Clone Wars would be cool.

But probably not clones of myself. There can be only one Nixon.

Re:My 2 cents. (1)

cloricus (691063) | more than 10 years ago | (#7698993)

Why would you want to clone people when you can just have sex? I think you've been watching to many Sci-Fi shows as no one is (afaik) even thinking about mass cloning while on the other hand the benefits to the medical community could be massive.

Re:My 2 cents. (4, Insightful)

pesc (147035) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699052)

My own personal opposition to cloning comes not from moral reasons, but because we have a population problem

That's a strange argument. Cloning is not about creating a large number of individuals. You have been watching too much Star Wars. Creating individuals is far more cheaper if done the old-fashioned way, and I don't think cloning will ever be able to compete with that.

It might be able to help parents get a child if they are otherwise infertile, but I don't think that is a threat against population control.

Unless your argument is that we can control the population by not curing people with Alzheimers, parkinsson, etc. But I don't think you ment that.

One Clone we need... (1)

Doc Squidly (720087) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699079)

What if they were to clone CowboyNeal? [cowboyneal.org]

Re:My 2 cents. (3, Interesting)

penguin7of9 (697383) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699132)

The US hangup is about non-reproductive cloning; none of those clones will ever contribute to population growth. The US could probably easily get a ban on reproductive cloning through the UN. But even reproductive cloning is so complex compared to the "natural" way that it just won't make any difference for population growth.

If reproductive cloning ever became widely available it would, if anything, probably lead to a reduction in growth rates: technologies that give people more reproductive freedom and choice tend to do that.

Re:My 2 cents. (1)

Busheus (727934) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699145)

Whence comes this premise of "a population problem" supporting a view which seems to see the current human population as too great? Any explanation and evidence would be welcome.

Would a vote mean much? (4, Insightful)

Number Ten Ox (535401) | more than 10 years ago | (#7698968)

A UN vote would not make any difference. It would only affect countries who sign up to the resolution. I do not think the UK would, the government is very keen on getting the biotech industry up and running.

Re:Would a vote mean much? (1)

toesate (652111) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699032)

Exactly..

Those fears of cloning is quite irrelevant at macro(UN) level.

What is dear to research, is the potential in medical advancement.

Clone will still be an individual, equally valued or... unvalued. Like you or me..

Cloning and diversity, 1999 [bbsrc.ac.uk]

Re:Would a vote mean much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7699073)

A UN vote would not make any difference. It would only affect countries who sign up to the resolution. I do not think the UK would, the government is very keen on getting the biotech industry up and running.

You're confusing a UN General Assembly resolution with a treaty. A treaty only binds countries that sign up to it. A UN General Assembly resolution, if passed, is not technically binding to everybody, but does make it more difficult diplomatically for any government to go ahead and do whatever it wants.

What's the big deal? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7698970)

There are a TON of anti-cloning supporters out there, but seriously, what is the big deal? If there is a path of technology that might allow us to grow spare body parts, rid the world of cancer, and anything else, then I'm all for it. I think a large percentage of people object to cloning because of the moral (read religious) ideas of a soul and other such nonsense. I wish people would just grow up already.

Re:What's the big deal? (5, Insightful)

xyvimur (268026) | more than 10 years ago | (#7698981)

And besides it is unstoppable. Even if prohibited the kind of ``black-market'' shall develop, where some groups will make huge amount of money... Because there are people willing to pay that money for extending there life, replacing organs etc... And that is not strange. Prohibitting cloning may look ``nice'' but for sure it will not stop the cloning.
That were my 3 cents...

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

MooCows (718367) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699010)

It doesn't seem that easy to research outside of the well-connected scientific community.

Although eventually it will be done somewhere, if it would be completely banned.

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

xyvimur (268026) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699020)

As usual - every banned product/technology gives greatest amount of money to some criminal sindicates. Prohibition is a very good way to earn money..

And when the money comes in, I think the place would not be so important. My opinion is that we cannot stop the process and we really shouldn't.

Re:What's the big deal? (0)

strike2867 (658030) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699011)

They will. Remember the quote It takes 10 years for a liberal to turn into a conservative without changing any beliefs (from memory, but should be pretty close). The problem is that the current conservative president is passing laws which would prohibit these actions. And these laws will create more damage by prohibiting research.

cloning a human being is unethical (-1, Funny)

polished look 2 (662705) | more than 10 years ago | (#7698974)

It seems to me that the United States is against the cloning of embryos for stem cell research and as such I applaud them; this helps maintain the sacredness of human life - life is re-created by an act of God through the union of man and woman, and not by a scientist in a lab.

Re:cloning a human being is unethical (3, Insightful)

xyvimur (268026) | more than 10 years ago | (#7698996)

As for me more important are possible benefits - that is finding cures for some diseases.

But we could discuss forever and neither of us would convince himself to change his mind. The future shall show which path was correct...

if we hold life sacred, God will bless us (0, Flamebait)

polished look 2 (662705) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699016)

and then we will not need to worry as much about diseases, etc. If God is pleased to do so, He can give us cures for any diseases from whatever pleases Him.

Re:cloning a human being is unethical (1)

cgranade (702534) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699024)

The future shall show which path was correct...
Maybe, but history is written by the victors, no? It is fully likely that history shall not show who was correct, but who it acceptable to believe was correct.

Re:cloning a human being is unethical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7699002)

I hope you are kidding... Creationists like you would be the cause of the evential downfall of the USA, given more power than they already have. your medieval views are pathetic. scientists are NOT playing God, they are trying to understand. You undoubtedly don't, have all your views cast in concrete, till kingdom come. Dream on.

Re:cloning a human being is unethical (3, Informative)

cgranade (702534) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699003)

That's great. If you believe in God, that is. The rest of us, meanwhile, need a solution based on that which we can observe, measure and prove. Don't forget that the God-fearing portion of the population is not the entireity, and that the rest of us don't typically like having Christianity shoved down our throats. Belive what you want. That's fine, but don't make us follow your morals.

Re:cloning a human being is unethical (2, Interesting)

koekepeer (197127) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699066)

i agree completely with you. period.

funny thing is that religion does have a *huge* influence on the way things are decided in the usa (and they are not the only government, let me add, but by far the biggest).

in a true democracy there should be an absolute separation between church and state. in real life, true democracy doesn't exist, unfortunately. like any political ideology, we will never find out if it is the 'best way'. just because the implementation of democracy (or any political system) is miles away from what the original idea was. just like communism as it is and was applied was not communism, but just a dictatorship.

i know this rant is slightly OT, but i think it matters in this discussion. it is essentially about ethics, moral, religion and not about facts. which is a shame in my opinion.

Re:cloning a human being is unethical (1)

Richard M. Nixon (697603) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699009)

life is re-created by an act of God through the union of man and woman, and not by a scientist in a lab.

Does this mean you are against In-Vitro Fertilization and surrogate mothers?

Re:cloning a human being is unethical (5, Insightful)

fuzzybunny (112938) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699015)


Nice troll, let me countertroll; so you condone murder?

Tell that to Superman, or my grandma who died of Alzheimers.

If I had a disease which could potentially be cured through some kind of research, but someone else wants to prohibit that research on religious grounds, they are as guilty of murder as "christian" "scientist" "parents" who withhold treatment from their sick children (won't someone please think of the children?) for religious reasons.

This is something I feel pretty strongly about--I find any religious argument against the reduction of suffering or extension of life to be anti-humanist, ignorant and intolerant. Live how you will, but don't deny me and others the fundamental right to live what we see as better lives through the advancement of medical science.

Now flame away.

science has a place but God is greater (-1, Troll)

polished look 2 (662705) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699028)

Science is an okay thing when used properly in the knowledge of God but if we place science above our Creator then the results shall be futile.

Re:science has a place but God is greater (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7699053)

If you believe what is writen in the bible we ARE Gods.

And the Lord God said, "Now that the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil, he must not be allowed to stretch out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."

Re:science has a place but God is greater (2, Funny)

juhaz (110830) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699057)

How about we let this hypothetical God decide about what he is willing to let us do.

Not pseuso-christian religious fanatics like you who so much like to spout nonsense in His name.

Personally talked to God about biotechnology, recently, have you? I'm sure Creator's just taking a little nap and forgot to throw fire and brimstone upon those EEEEEEEVIL scientists trying to stole His rightful place. He'll probably be back in few billion years or something.

Re:science has a place but God is greater (1)

fuzzybunny (112938) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699068)


Cool, let me write that down and get back to you on it when you're lying in a hospital bed in agonizing pain, unable to move, hooked up to a catheter and colostomy bag and dribbling uncontrollably.

I'd love to see some statistics on the number of "god-fearing" people currently insisting on receiving treatment they opposed for others on religious reasons at some point in time.

I don't believe in your god; I believe in Man. I don't tell you how not to spend your sunday mornings, and you, bub, don't tell me what my doctor can or cannot do.

Man, I knew leaving the US was a good thing.

Re:cloning a human being is unethical (1)

sonamchauhan (587356) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699116)

Bah 2 U!

If I had a disease which could potentially be cured through some kind of research, but someone else wants to prohibit that research on religious grounds, they are as guilty of murder as "christian" "scientist" "parents" who withhold treatment from their sick children (won't someone please think of the children?) for religious reasons.Bah

What research? As another stupid poster bluntly pointed out, "research on stem cells gathered from aborted fetuses" - that research .

Your granny, or superman, or anyone else is a valued human being. They should be helped through research. But gee, the knowing destruction of unborn babies is wrong - then using those body parts, fresh from the slaugter... that's just a bit too far.

If superman, or your grandparent are to be helped without regard to human life killed while doing so, that is far worse than not helping at all.

One last thing - like your grandmother, my paternal grandma died of Alzhimers. This fact does not make either of us any more virtuous, or our arguments any stronger. And yes, in the afterlife, I am prepared to tell both grannies what I just wrote.

Re:cloning a human being is unethical (1)

fuzzybunny (112938) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699133)


If it's a choice between your survival or mine, take a wild guess where you rank.

Now imagine that it's a choice between me and some dead unthinking pile of cells scraped out of some woman's uterus...? (Hint: if my girlfriend ever wanted/needed an abortion, I sure as hell wouldn't let a law stand in the way of it.)

Now try again.

Re:cloning a human being is unethical (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7699018)

Hello, 1978 called, they want their religous zealots back.

You HAVE heard of "test tube babies" or "in vitro fertilization" or "taking a sperm and then injecting that bad boy inside an egg and then putting that fetilized egg in a womb"...right? You're just pulling our leg with this bit about not knowing about this stuff huh? We've been doin this stuff for 25 years now! [cnn.com]

Re:cloning a human being is unethical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7699033)

In most civilized countries there is something called the seperation of church and state. The U.S., apparently, is not that civilized and therefor allows religious arguments to stand in the way of a cure for some of the most horrible deceases we know.
There is nothing sacred about about a human life being consuming by bone cancer. Please go to a hospital and take a look at 10 year old leukemia sufferers and tell me again how great this God of yours is.

No matter how much of a religious zealot you are, you cannot claim that these little kids don't deserve a cure.

Re:cloning a human being is unethical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7699039)

Y'know, abortion completely diviided America, unbelievebly divisive,

I've never seen anything like it. Even my friends, all very intelligent, totally divided on abortion.

Some of my friends think these pro-life people are annoying idiots. Other of my friends think these pro-life people are evil fucks.

How are we gonna come to a consensus? I mean I'm torn. I think of them as evil annoying idiot fucks"

-Bill Hicks 1962-1994

God-based arguments are in favor of cloning (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7699040)

God designed the world so that cloning humans is possible. God knows what He's doing. Therefore God wants us to clone humans.

Re:cloning a human being is unethical (1)

Jonas the Bold (701271) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699047)

life is re-created by an act of God through the union of man and woman, and not by a scientist in a lab.

Oh no, the invisible man in the sky said no. Listen, the portion of the population that isn't completely insane is trying to solve real problems that praying wont fix. So stop using superstition as a reason to halt progress.

Re:cloning a human being is unethical (-1)

Sonnenschein (701061) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699092)

I've got news for you.

Not anymore.

Ahh shit, parent was modded funny, and appropriately I might add.

Bullcrap. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7699112)

...life is re-created by an act of God through the union of man and woman, and not by a scientist in a lab.

Guess what? You're about to be proven wrong. When? Well, as soon as life *is* recreated in a lab. In other words, any time now [usatoday.com] . You can just file your "act of god..union of man and woman" nonsense in the same folder as "the universe was created in seven days", "the sun rotates around the earth," and the countless other religious canards that have been disproven in the past few centuries.

Sustaining the misguided fiction of your 2,000-year-old cult is not the responsibility of science, and no matter how far deep you bury your head in the sand, reality will catch up with you.

In the meanwhile, enjoy your fantasy.

Re:cloning a human being is unethical (1)

fuzzybunny (112938) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699119)


Awesome.

One moderator with a +1 'Funny' managed to do what several eloquent, educated individuals (plus me) couldn't--that is, put this sort of statement in the right light.

I am awed.

DNA and cloning (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7698977)

of oneself for the health benifit of that one person alone is good.

I for one welcome my own DNA and body being used to treat myself.

Clone my own cells to help myself, i would rather have my own than some Pig's cells anyway, money talks, not them. Just pay any doctor enough and you will get what you want.

White House, or one man? (1)

cloricus (691063) | more than 10 years ago | (#7698979)

As far as I know this is a result of not what the White House thinks but Mr Bush's personal (and possibly religiously grounded) opinion on the subject which from what I've read is extremely strong. (For the against.) I have no problem with this for medical advancement but I agree with controls and the idea that the system (if put in place) could change often to reflect social and technological achievements.

The homsexual agenda (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7698991)

Homosexuals and women who have abortions performed have brought terroristic judgement on New York, New York and its might towers.

We must stop humane cloning!

This is what hppanes when moderater of Slashodt lives in San FranSisco where men wear thongs.

my opinion (4, Interesting)

koekepeer (197127) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699000)

so don't flame me

i think one shouldn't prohibit cloning of humans. progress cannot be stopped, even though it is sometimes questionable whether progress in knowledge helps humans a step forward.

i personally think the the ethics are too human-centric in this debate. as if we are a more special breed of mammals or something. factors enter this debate that should be separate from science IMHO, and definetely from governmental decisions (religious arguments for example - don't mess with God's creation...).

the benefits can be many, and cloned humans will be a rare phenomenon, even if it happens. just like genetic engineering in general, cloning human cells or tissues can be a good thing if applied under very strong restricions. think of the (now very sci-fi) idea of growing new organs, or tissues from a patient. no more rejection of transplanted organs by the patient's immune system because they (the organs) are made up by his/her own cells.

regulations should be strict though, to prevent some mad scientist from running ahead of the facts and doing things that have unpredictable effects. although i doubt that regulations will stop a mad man anyway, but that's a different discussion alltogether, so i will not touch that subject :\

the UN agrees on something? Impossible (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7699001)

All 191 United Nations members agree on a treaty

You mean the Arab and Muslim states voted with Israel? Amazing. Maybe there is hope in the world.

Re:the UN agrees on something? Impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7699021)

Maybe there is hope in the world.

Not while Bush is president there isn't.

silly UN decisions... (1)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699007)

In a dark lab somewhere...
it is already happening.
so much for "policies"
-Grump

Bush (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7699012)

Well, that's what you get when you have a Christian Fundamentalist in the White House.

science and politics don't mix (5, Insightful)

datamaxx (656158) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699025)

bushy needs the religious right to keep the power and to hell with consequences. Just to keep the research alive for a cure for juvenile diabetes, the society had to fund their own research for 17 new stem cell lines of which none could be used in the US, the researcher has two kids with diabetes of his own and for the "SIN" of trying to keep his kids alives, has been hounded, threatened and abused. The research is moving overseas rapidly which is to be expected and in the end won't slow it down much. What doesn't get mentioned much, is that most of the approved stem cells are locked up in patents and too flawed for meanful research.

Cloning Other Species First (1, Insightful)

Tukon (254516) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699031)

While I am morally opposed to cloning human beings, I see no real problem with experimenting with other sorts of animals. Even the Bible gives man the rights over the animals (Genesis 1:26). So, if it is limited to animals, then we can in essence "practice" on them and then use some of the benefits from the research.

Interesting to note also that Bush is pushing for complete ban, while the rest of the world seems to not care. Seems like the US isn't a bunch of heathens after all.

-Tukon

I am for it but... (2, Insightful)

Jonathan Platt (670802) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699036)

I think there would be allot to be learned from experimenting with cloning. We could even put it to good use with cloning organs and skin cells.

But I think this kind of thing should have the most stringent monitoring available, this is also the kind of thing which could do allot of damage to this world.

Imagine the repercussions if a world leader were cloned. Or worse yet what if we could speed up the process and steal other people's identities.

Re:I am for it but... (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699126)

"Imagine the repercussions if a world leader were cloned."

I'm trying to imagine that... would it be somewhat like the world leader getting a child? Perhaps a child that looks a lot like the leader? Or maybe a world leader that has a lookalike?

The reprecussions dont seem that horrific, really.

"Or worse yet what if we could speed up the process and steal other people's identities."

Even if, in fact, it would be possible to speed up biological aging, how are you going to explain that 'This is Joe. He may seem like a retarded 2 yearold (as he, in fact, is my identity stealing 9 month old evil clone twin), but it really _is_ Joe!'.

China (1)

Questioning (163996) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699054)

All Nations?

Last I recall, China was trying this shit.

I saved Stanley's stem cells (5, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699055)

When Stanley [perens.com] was born, we banked his umbilical cord blood. Cord blood contains a form of fetal stem cell. The cells are in storage in a cryogenic facility at the University of Arizona. They can be used if he (or a sibling, if he had one) needs a stem cell donor for medical reasons later in life. I do not believe there is any ethical issue regarding healing Stanley with his own cells, provided that anything grown from the cells does not include a conscious brain of its own. And we need research so that we can use those cells.

Too much of the objection over stem cell use is concerned with the origin of some stem cell cultures in aborted fetuses.

Bruce

Re:I saved Stanley's stem cells (1)

nuffle (540687) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699128)

Bruce, a great idea. Perhaps Dr Spock will need to add a chapter.

Is this a special deal you have with Univ. of Arizona, though? Are there resources for us everyday joes to freeze our kiddies' giblets?

Unethical? (5, Insightful)

venicebeach (702856) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699056)

The White House says that enough stem cells from human embryos exist for research and that cloning an embryo for any reason is unethical.

Ah yes, I forgot that the Bush administration is a world reknowned authority on ethics.

MOD PARENT UP WOOO (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7699104)

Do it. Damn Bushes.

What a waste (5, Insightful)

Dark Bard (627623) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699063)

We have a chance to end some of the most horrible debilitating deseases know and it largely comes down to semantics. When life starts. The attitude is better to flush the tissue down the toliet than find a cure to these deseases. It shouldn't come down to a religious issue of when life starts. People should be given the option of donating the unused tissue. I have major reservations about genetically modifying plants and animals but have no issue with stem cell research. Few of the same people show the same enthusiasm about banning nuclear weapons that can kill millions but become irrational when it cames to a line of research that can save millions. Cloning itself simply produces a twin. Deal with it. I oppose cloning of humans strictly because of the crude nature of the current techniques. Few it any would survive and any survivors would have severe genetic problems. There's enough genetic desease without creating more. Until there is a more reliable technique it's irresponsible to clone humans. Reproducing stem cell tissue is a completely different issue. A three or four day old cluster of cells lacks conciousness. There are no brainwaves. In fact no brain. Stem cells by definition lack defining characteristics. They are a blank slate waiting to be told what to become. It's why they are such a promising option for replacing damaged tissue.

Cloning is not Duplication (5, Insightful)

mulhall (301406) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699064)

/RANT For the last time cloning will not replicate people! No duplication of people is possible.

No more than identical twins are the same person!

Doh! /RANT

Re:Cloning is not Duplication (1)

sanschag (679339) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699115)

This is something that greatly need to be emphasized. Cloning is not replication. Cloning yourself would be like creating the identical twin brother/sister you never had (or, I suppose, another identical sibling). Also, if the cloned embryo is brought to term, you'd still end up with a newborn baby. Is there anyone out there that really believes that (effectively) identical twins reared years (perhaps 30+) apart would grow up anything alike? (Actually, I think using such techniques with other animals, espcially higher social animals like apes, could lead to lots of new ideas about the old nature vs. nurture argument.)

As to the ban, my personal belief is that cloning for "baby production" should be banned while other forms (i.e., for stem-cell production) should be allowed. Bringing the research into the labs of responsible scientists is the best way to minimize the negative uses while maximizing the positive aspects. Believe it or not, the vast majority of scientists in the world are actually responsible, moral people. Another thing that allowing mainstream labs to work on this does is to reduce the motive to get right to cloning for baby production to make enough money to maintain the research.

Re:Cloning is not Duplication (1)

koekepeer (197127) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699120)

well, let's not get into the nature vs nurture debate shall we? how do you know this for sure?

let's assume you are correct. still, their genetic makeup will be virtually indentical. much more so than the average human population. and since you now about these things obviously, you also know that this makes a population vulnerable to any selective pressure, say, a disease. bingo. all your (not looking very much alike but very much the same under the hood) clones will die because of a virus infection.

so one more time (last time i promise cause i said it before)

RANT
genetic homogeneity is a bad thing
/RANT

More delays? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7699071)

This isn't very considerate to the Raeliens. I mean when you put the white jumpsuit on with shouderpads and tennis shoes, you expect respect.

It's all economics, stupid! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7699076)

The US wants to ban stem cell research internationally to ban competition for its pharma companies. They will do this research whether it is illegal or not, and the administration does not want to know about it, and it knows the competition won't break that rule.

When was the last time the US abided by a UN resolution it did not support, even if it was achieved by a 'vote'?

Bush administration has been up to this for years (5, Informative)

exratio (548823) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699086)

The present US administration has been attempting to bury stem cell research and therapeutic cloning - both fundamental technologies in regenerative medicine - since it came to power. Therapeutic cloning is essential to many stem cell therapies and much related research. Immense damage has been done. Christopher Reeve and many stem cell scientists (including the founders of the field) believe that the actions of this administration alone have set the field back by 5 years.

Some nasty math works out from here. There is currently an 80% effective stem cell therapy for heart disease that has been demonstrated in the US, Germany and Japan in human trials. It saves lives. 2000 people die EVERY DAY in the US from heart disease, yet the FDA is currently blocking any application of this working therapy. For more, see:

http://www.longevitymeme.org/projects/protest_fda_ interference.cfm [longevitymeme.org]

A stem cell/therapeutic cloning cure for Parkinson's has been demonstrated in mice, as have stem cell cures for nerve damage, diabetes, cancer (yes, a cure for cancer based on stem cells has been demonstrated in mice:

http://www.betterhumans.com/News/news.aspx?article ID=2003-12-10-3 [betterhumans.com]

) and many other conditions. This isn't pie in the sky science! Real, working cures based on stem cell medicine are in the labs, only 5-10 years from being available for us. This is the science that the US administration is trying to drown. It's sickening that any group of human beings would try to enforce so much suffering...

The US house of representatives passed a therapeutic cloning ban last year, but the US senate has been sitting on it. More on that here:

http://www.longevitymeme.org/projects/oppose_the_t herapeutic_cloning_ban.cfm [longevitymeme.org]

The Bush administration basically went over their heads to try and get what they wanted now from the UN, and damn near succeeded. You can read more about that here:

http://www.longevitymeme.org/projects/oppose_globa l_therapeutic_cloning_ban.cfm [longevitymeme.org]

This stopped being about human reproductive cloning a long time ago - there is a large, influential group of organizations, politicians and factions who stand opposed to any medical progress that will lead to longer, healthier lives. If cures for cancer, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, diabetes and other things get thrown away as well...well, too bad. You can see these views in their raw, ugly forms in the pronouncements of Leon Kass and the President's Council on Bioethics:

http://www.bioethics.gov [bioethics.gov]

In their view, living healthily for longer is bad. Working to cure suffering is bad. Medical progress is bad.

Time to kick these people out of power - if we don't stand up for our right to develop and use better medicine, we're all going to be paying for it in years to come. See more at:

http://www.longevitymeme.org/projects/ [longevitymeme.org]

Speak out!

Reason

Senator Tom Harkin wants a clone (2, Interesting)

nuffle (540687) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699091)

Senator Tom Harkin (D - Iowa) is a proponent of human cloning (not just stem cell research, mind you, but human cloning). He was in a public discussion a while ago with Doctor Ian Wilmut (the guy in charge of the Dolly sheep-cloning experiment). Wilmut said "it would be quite inhumane" to clone people. Harkin blasted him:

"Human cloning will take place and it will take place within my lifetime. I think it is right and proper. ... It holds untold benefits for humankind in the future."

Article about it [umich.edu]

One word... (-1)

TheSonicVince (591769) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699098)

BIGOTRY!

US has denied nanotech funding too (4, Informative)

Morgaine (4316) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699101)

The US blocking of clone research is pretty consistent with US denial of nanotechnology research funding.

A few weeks ago, the US effectively denied government funding of nanotechnology despite its public position of wishing to support it. The funding initiative (NNI) which was set up expressly to fund US research into nanotechnology was hijacked by US big business interests through a hilarious or appalling (depends on your point of view) technicality which resulted in nil dollars going to molecular nanotechnology. Yes, nil.

This sleight of hand was performed by first defining nanotechnology as being the application of nanoscience, and then positioning the huge US presence in chemical, biotech and materials sciences as already operating in nanoscience. As a result, 100% of NNI funds were allocated to those megacorps, and zero dollars to the small and powerless sector that currently does the real research into molecular nanotechnology.

It makes you wonder what the hell is happening in the US when such key research areas are blocked through government being concerned entirely with the protection of big business's current interests instead of being allowed to plan for the country's future.

Episode 2... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7699103)

Obviously George Warlord Bush isn't watching Star Wars, otherwise the Pentagon would be working closely with people like Chuck Norris or Sly Stallone to build a new Freedom Army...

The 'yuck' factor. (4, Insightful)

dnnrly (120163) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699107)

For all the people that don't take a religious stand on the issue I wouldn't be surprised if many of the people who object most of all don't know anything about stem cell research and cloning technology. I bet most of them have never had to take care of someone with Parkinsons or Alzeimers.
Most of these people just take 1 look at the idea and speak up about how abhorant this idea is, basically because their first instinct is to screw up their faces and say 'yuck'. It's the 'yuck' factor that stops people from looking further into an issue and understand the real issues.
This is just another example of people talking loudly without putting in any effort into understanding more.

As for people with religious objections, while have have respect for their views, there are a significant number who are making the debate very polarised. They will not allow any answers other than yes or no, leaving out all the important details in between. I don't like that style of argument, it generally sets my alarm bells ringing!

sleazy political games (2, Interesting)

penguin7of9 (697383) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699110)

The current US administration acts as if they believe that the UN is an organization somewhere between the Three Stooges and the Devil Incarnate, and they usually ignore the UN's resolutions and dismiss its statements.

So, why are they taking this issue to the UN? Because they have been unable to get the Senate to agree to this ban. They hope that by using the UN, they can force through something that wouldn't be palatable to even US politicians.

Clone the voters? (0)

pikkumyy (445891) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699123)

Can't we just clone the ones that voted 'yes'?

Please get not angry.. (1)

Busheus (727934) | more than 10 years ago | (#7699136)

but why not just fix both the unreferenced "he" and the errant apostrophe after "said?" (in, "We will continue to work for a total ban,' he said.' I was just wondering what everyone thought about this.") Many /. posts require but half a moment to make readable. Why not do so?
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