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New Hope for Stem Cell Research

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the something-for-everyone dept.

466

ExE122 writes "A new scientific breakthrough allows scientists to harvest stem cells without harming the embryo. From the article: ''We have shown that we can not only generate stem cells without destroying the embryo, but that the remaining embryo also has the potential to go to on create a healthy blastocyst' said Dr Lanza, whose team's research is published in Nature. Asked if he expected the advance to satisfy President Bush, Dr Lanza said: 'Well, as you know, the President objects to the fact that you would be sacrificing one life to save another, and in this instance there is no harm to the embryo.''"

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466 comments

Yay! (Sort of) (1, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965181)

Lab Tech 1: "Ok, we're going in, to harvest a few stem cells."

Right Wing Right-to-Life Zealot: "Oh no you aren't! You're going to kill an unborn life! That's murder!"

Lab Tech 2: "No, we've got a process now where we can safely remove a few stem cells and the embryo will be unharmed and develop normally."

Right Wing Right-to-Life Zealot: "What? Really?"

Lab Tech 1: "Yep, 100% safe from killing unborn babies."

Right Wing Right-to-Life Zealot: "I don't believe you!"

Lab Tech 2: "Watch." *poit* "There we go, got a stem cell out and the embryo is totally unharmed."

Right Wing Right-to-Life Zealot: "Gosh! What do you do with the embryo's when you're done?"

Lab Tech 1: "We plant them in women who wish to have a child but can't concieve or volunteers who wish to give them a chance at life."

Lab Tech 2: "Would you like to adopt one?"

Right Wing Right-to-Life Zealot: "Absolutely not!!! I insist they not be murdered, but I'm no charity, go find someone else to raise it!"

This will probably be modded -1 Troll. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965198)

It should be modded +1 Insightful.

Re:Yay! (Sort of) (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965207)

hrm... as a right-to-life-zealot. I sure appreciate the scientists' even keeled response to the President. I doubly appreciate that we have figured out a way to do this w/o harming the embryo. It is always amazing that given the incentive, science always finds a way to work through the requirements if the application is worth working on.

as an aside: I've adopted two children so some of us practice our beliefs.

Re:Yay! (Sort of) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965227)

Unless you've impregnated a women with every single sperm you've ever produced, your wasting potential life. You hypocrite.

off topic, but still... (4, Informative)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965324)

Feminists for Life of America would completely shatter the grandparent poster's parody script (which was quite funny IMO). There are a lot of pro-lifers out there who don't bomb clinics, adopt kids, and who believe strongly in societal safety nets for the working and poor class.

Pro-life liberals outnumber pro-life conservatives but they get almost no press.

Re:Yay! (Sort of) (4, Interesting)

distilledprodigy (946341) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965209)

I'll have you know that I plan on, and know many "right wing right-to-life zealot's" that plan on, or already have, adopted. We are well aware that if we say adoption is the best option we have to step up and make it possible. You insensitive clod.

Re:Yay! (Sort of) (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965421)

So you guys are stepping up and adopting all the unwanted babies? And you're working to reduce the social/societal consequences on young unwed mothers who carry children to term?

I'm pro-choice, but I do think there is a negative moral angle on abortion. I don't think any truly advanced society should have a place for abortion; education, contraception, and societal support for young mothers should completely remove the need for any such thing.

But you know what? The same right wing that preaches so hard against abortion, also preaches against practical sex ed, available contraception for minors, and social services for unwed mothers...not to mention the moral stigma they attach to young unwed mothers.

So don't talk about how you're adopting some of the babies who actually got born...That's the smallest part of what you need to be doing.

Re:Yay! (Sort of) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965444)

I hate to sound crude, but not outlawing fornication is the best option to reduce the demand abortions. I bet you'll think twice about screwing around if your could get your ass jailed for 10 years.

Re:Yay! (Sort of) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965487)

Hasn't stopped me.

--John Mark Karr

A little one-sided (5, Funny)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965222)

where's the Left Wing Say-anything-to-get-me-elected-zealot?

Re:A little one-sided (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965306)

where's the Left Wing Say-anything-to-get-me-elected-zealot?

Probably trying to figure out how to dodge Rove's strategically dropped bombshells which have nothing to do with wise leadership, but polarise the electorate into making irrational choices they may regret later.

Re:A little one-sided (3, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965327)

where's the Left Wing Say-anything-to-get-me-elected-zealot?
He's been pounded into obscurity by the Political-Hack-Jub-Swift-Boat-Veterans-for-Truthin ess.

Re:A little one-sided (0, Troll)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965343)

where's the Left Wing Say-anything-to-get-me-elected-zealot?

Up there on the stage... Right next to the New-Aged-Right Wing Say-anything-to-get-me-elected-zealot.

Re:A little one-sided (2, Funny)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965455)

they're knitting a couple of hemp socks for it.

Re:Yay! (Sort of) (1, Funny)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965226)

Right Wing Right-to-Life Zealot: "Absolutely not!!! I insist they not be murdered, but I'm no charity, go find someone else to raise it!"

Some people really do think that a microscopic clump of cells is a baby. Perhaps there exists an untapped market in teeny tiny baby supplies for these really small children. A playpen made out of a ring of hydrogen atoms and an amoeba for a pet.

Re:Yay! (Sort of) (3, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965265)


Forget where I read this but it illustrates the hypocrisy of the right-to-life kooks.

Your friend is working in an in vitro lab. The place catches fire, do you save your friend or the freezer full of frozen embryos? Most pick the friend.

Re:Yay! (Sort of) (1)

Mattintosh (758112) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965402)

Your friend is working in a daycare. The place catches fire. Do you save your friend or the cage full of screaming toddlers? Most pick the friend.

Hint: cages weigh as much as freezers, and most people can't lift them. It's not hypocrisy, it's just efficient use of resources. You don't throw away your life AND your friend's life on a mission with a 99.9% chance of failure when you can save yourself and your friend with an equal chance of success. And I doubt most people would disagree that toddlers are people too. Of course, this ignores the fact that there may be enough time to save some or all of the toddlers/embryos before the fire reaches a critical point, or that it's possible that the freezers won't be harmed by the fire and there's no sense worrying about it anyway.

In short, your illustration is very flawed.

Re:Yay! (Sort of) (1)

grub (11606) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965459)


The embryos are in a cooler, you can fit hundreds in one.

Day care? I'd save my friend and let the kids burn to a crisp, I never argued otherwise. What's your point?

Re:Yay! (Sort of) (2, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965484)

I call bullshit. You clearly have never had a kid, because the absolute first instinct is to go for the kids. Rationality never even enters into the picture.

And frankly, it's much easier to carry two kids than one adult.

Re:Yay! (Sort of) (1)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965445)

It really is an "out there" example.

Say the lab has my wife's frozen embryos stored there. Say maybe we have no chance of conceiving again. Sorry, "friend." :)

Or again, say a night club is burning down (Great White venue*). I might save my friend even over several strangers. Maybe. It just all depends on finer circumstances.

* What? Too soon?

Safety First (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965272)

"A playpen made out of a ring of hydrogen atoms and an amoeba for a pet."

You do have a "No Smoking" sign in the vicinity of that playpen, I hope?

Re:Yay! (Sort of) (1)

deKernel (65640) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965279)

So, at what point does it become a baby? When it is born? When shows similarity to a human in the womb?

Re:Yay! (Sort of) (1)

grub (11606) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965321)


When it can survive on it's out outside the womb.
If it can't, it's eligible for le Scrape.

Re:Yay! (Sort of) (1)

Hentai (165906) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965350)

When its neural structure begins to self-organize and exhibit patterned firings.

Makes sense (5, Insightful)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965229)

"Lab Tech 2: "Would you like to adopt one? Right Wing Right-to-Life Zealot: "Absolutely not!!! I insist they not be murdered, but I'm no charity, go find someone else to raise it!"

Makes sense.... as much as the idea that anyone opposed to the death penalty being should be required to take death row inmates into their homes.

Re:Makes sense (1)

MutantHamster (816782) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965293)

Uh, we're not killing death row inmates because they have nowhere else to go...

Re:Makes sense (2, Funny)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965319)

"Uh, we're not killing death row inmates because they have nowhere else to go..."

Well, we are not colonizing distant lands with convicts any more, are we?

mod parent underrated, lol (-1, Flamebait)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965232)

That was good.

On the other hand, I can imagine a whole lot of pro-choicers refusing to have these stem cells because no embryos were destroyed. They're utterly obsessed with aborting something, anything. Ok, as long as it isn't a non-human animal, that is. "I support fetal experimentation, but don't you dare club a baby seal!"

One side blames fetuses for all their problems and is obsessed with picking on the weak who can't fight back. The other side wants to save all babies and then let them fight for the remaining petty economic scraps or starve in the free market afterwards.

Hypocrites, all of them.

Re:mod parent underrated, lol (2, Insightful)

isellmacs (661604) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965352)

That makes no sense at all.

People who are "pro-life" are also "anti-choice" it's true, but the opposite end of the spectrum isn't actually true; the "pro-choice" people aren't "anti-life" at all.

Abortion isn't something women do for recreation, it's a very major life choice. One side beleives a woman doesn't have a right to make a choice, and that having an abortion is evil, while the other side beleives that no matter how evil abortion is or isn't, that taking away a womans right to make that choice is the greastest evil of them all.

Troll parent (1)

ExE122 (954104) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965378)

On the other hand, I can imagine a whole lot of pro-choicers refusing to have these stem cells because no embryos were destroyed. They're utterly obsessed with aborting something, anything
Really? You know many pro-choicers? You have accounts and statistics supporting your claim? I could've sworn they were fighting for the right to choose, not a systematic requirement that all pregnant women must abort. Obsessed with aborting? I've never met anyone, no matter how pro-choice, that I would ever sat that about. And I've also never met anyone who has had an abortion who says it was an easy thing to do.

One side blames fetuses for all their problems and is obsessed with picking on the weak who can't fight back. The other side wants to save all babies and then let them fight for the remaining petty economic scraps or starve in the free market afterwards.
Neither side does any of that. One side believes we have a right to choose wether or not you should be forced to bring a child into the world when you can't take care of them. The other believes that its not an ethical choice and you are supposed to spend your life doing the best you can to take care of your child. These aren't a bunch of evil people arguing over which one can outdo the other... they are expressing the views that they believe are the right thing to do. Both sides have legitimate arguments, and to dismiss them all as hypocrites is to be just as bad as any extremist.

That's what makes this stem cell find so amazing... it offers a solution that can satisfy both sides. How often can a news headline say something like that?

--
"A man is asked if he is wise or not. He replies that he is otherwise" ~Mao Zedong

Re:mod parent underrated, lol (1)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965401)

I hope I caught sarcism as your post reads very well. While there are extremists on both sides, being pro-choice is not pro-get-laid-and-go-kill-all-the-unborned as the extremists of the pro-life side would like people to believe. It means letting the women have the right to choose and one of those choices is to have the baby(ies). Regardless "Hypocrites, all of them." applies across the board.

Re:Yay! (Sort of) (1)

Pebble (99243) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965244)

Nearly right..

RWZ: It's unethicle to detroy an embryo to harvest stem cells.
Lab Tech: We have addressed you concerns No embryo is destroyd using our new method.
RWZ: Realy? That's good news. What do you do with the embryos afterwards.
Lab Tech: We Destroy them, but it's a compleatly different process it was going to be destroyed anyway.
RWZ: Ha! Then it's unethical to harvest stem cells from them!
Lab Tech: What?? Right! I'm off to Europe. Bye!
RWZ: Yay for us! Yay for America.

Adopt an Embryo (2, Insightful)

CustomDesigned (250089) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965353)

Adopt an Embryo [nightlight.org]

Also, while the objection of President Bush and other moderates is killing the embryo, the Catholic Church and real "right wing zealot" Protestants have another deeper objection: the separation of sex and procreation. The idea is that it is fundamentally disordered to separate the two, as we have done since the 1930s. There is an analogous separation of eating and nutrition - also enabled by modern technology. While the Catholic Church has not said anything (that I know of) about the food angle, it is less emotionally charged and may help understand the reasoning concerning sex and procreation (described in full jargon laden glory in The Theology of the Body [amazon.com] and various attempts to explain it to laymen).

Technology enables us to separate eating and nutrition. You can eat without nourishment thanks to Olestra, Aspartame, Sucralose, and friends. You can nourish without eating thanks to IVs, vitamin pills (get your necessary nutrients while eating junk food), feeding tubes, and friends. You can justify the nourishment without eating in various special circumstances - but the attempt to repeat the pleasure of eating beyond the requirements of nourishment is gluttonly and has generally bad results.

Similarly, the attempt to repeat the pleasure of sex beyond the needs of procreation (birth control, gay lifestyle, etc) has generally bad results - physical, emotional, and spiritual.

Future plans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965202)

Well, as you know, the President objects to the fact that you would be sacrificing one life to save another, and in this instance there is no harm to the embryo.

Come on, you're talking as though Bush is going to still be around after 2008. Hm... maybe I should start looking for somewhere to move just in case...

Re:Future plans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965221)

Come on, you're talking as though Bush is going to still be around after 2008

Must the world wait that long? Shouldn't he be in jail already?

Re:Future plans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965238)

Heres' a though for you...

JEB Bush

We'll see... (0, Redundant)

geekmansworld (950281) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965204)

The President objects to things he doesn't understand.

Re:We'll see... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965245)

The President objects to things he doesn't understand.

That's not true. The President does not object to a great many things that he doesn't understand.

Perhaps you meant that he objects to things that he is aware he doesn't understand.

Re:We'll see... (5, Funny)

Lux (49200) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965264)

> The President objects to things he doesn't understand.

Clearly untrue! The President has always been an avid supporter of the war in Iraq.

Re:We'll see... (1)

skorch (906936) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965399)

and improving National Security

Re:We'll see... (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965436)

> The President objects to things he doesn't understand.
Clearly untrue! The President has always been an avid supporter of the war in Iraq


I love it how lazy couch potato video game addicted Americans claim they understand stuff like the War on Terror better than the President and other government officials who are right in the thick of things. I mean clearly these lazy Americans are not at all biased by the slanted media. They also have absolutely no tendancy to become impatient and start to just look at where they can point their fingers. Oh no, I can't afford to go to the movies! I must blame the President, the War, Gas Prices, and every other item out of my control. It by no means has anything to do with the fact that I throw all my money away on dvd's, alcohol, video games, and whatever else. It also has nothing to do with the fact that I can't hold a job because I get bored easily and claim to have several disorders that make it hard for me to concentrate. Everybody is just looking for handouts and a place to point their finger if they don't get them.

Re:We'll see... (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965403)

Neither do you. Although I am not religious myself, I can understand well enough not using goverment funds on something controversial. Fortunatly we all agree that making weapons to kill hundreds of thousands is agreeable.

Got it?

Re:We'll see... (2, Insightful)

amabbi (570009) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965465)

The President objects to things he doesn't understand.

Look, I'm not going to go around and pretend like our current US President is doing a great job. But it's tiring to see a supposedly intelligent, educated base like Slashdot fall for the Democrat propaganda machine.

Under Clinton, you couldn't do any research on ESC using federal funds-- at all. This is a bill that Clinton signed into law in 1995. In fact, Bush's rules are less stringent than Clinton's, and yet all we do is demonize Bush for his stance on stem cells. Why is that?

Irrelevant (4, Insightful)

LunaticTippy (872397) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965205)

Pro-life people are generally against cloning. I don't understand the objection if no embryo is destroyed, but it does bring up some difficult issues regarding souls.

This is similar enough to cloning to trigger the same hostility. I don't really see the difference it will make.

Not to mention the problem of what to do with the excess embryos after the desired number of offspring has been reached. I don't understand how pro-life POV can accept fertility treatments that generate extra embryos.

Re:Irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965252)

"and in this instance there is no harm to the embryo."

umm except for the harm of taking out a few cells at the very earliest stages of development- hopefully there won't be any trouble down the road from THAT when a person gets older.

Re:Irrelevant (2, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965412)

Yes like the harm that is caused when HALF of the cells are removed to create a twin? Early development is just a process of creating as many cells as possible to use as building blocks. In this stage no cells have any destined use in the final body.

Totally relevant (1)

common middle name (657525) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965260)

IVF is already legal in the United States. If this process does no harm to the embryo, what complaint could the right to life movement possibly have? It's not like the embryos are being cloned. Even this administration would have an impossible time passing a law based on the idea that a "soul" might be damaged.

Re:Irrelevant (1)

wiggles (30088) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965284)

Strict Pro-life people are against IVF as well, because embryos are created and destroyed in the process. They're also against most forms of birth control, cloning, and the death penalty, FYI.

The interesting thing is that they have set up 'embryo adoption' organizations where willing couples can adopt embryos from IVF couples who are through having kids, but have embryos left over.

The reason you don't see as much hostility toward birth control and IVF is that they generally place a higher priority on fighting abortion. Not only that, but some pro-lifers are stricter than others, just as some pro-choicers are stricter than others.

War Protests (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965335)

hey're also against most forms of birth control, cloning, and the death penalty,..

I find it funny that, aside from he occasional Catholic Priest, most of those folks don't protest against wars and have no problem sending our young folks off to a dubious war.

Where's their outrage over those lives?

Re:War Protests (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965363)

most of those folks don't protest against wars and have no problem sending our young folks off to a dubious war.
Where's their outrage over those lives?


They have a voice? They can choose to be part of the military or not. Last I checked, there was no draft.

Re:War Protests (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965435)

They can choose to be part of the military or not

So, that's an excuse to send them off to be killed?

"Oh well, they volunteered so their lives mean nothing."

If anything, we should value their lives even more since they actually volunteered to serve their country and possibly die for it - even if they're doing it to pay for school. So, we should be very very careful how we use the gift that those folks have given this society.

Oh yeah, how about coming up with your own opinions. I've heard that opinion you've expressed many times on AM radio talk shows. You have a brain, a sharp one, please use it. ;-) We need everyone to think for themselves these days.

Re:War Protests (2, Informative)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965467)

There are a lot of us crazy Christian conservatives who are against:
1) abortion
2) IVF
3) death penalty
4) war
5) George W. Bush
6) the Republican Party, which has gone off the deep end

There just don't seem to be enough of us to rival the rest of the voting population.

Re:Irrelevant (5, Insightful)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965290)

I'm pro-life and voted for GW (a minority on /. from the sounds of it), but I for one would be very pleased and happy to vote for this new stem cell research. As long as it is confirmed that the embryos are not being harmed, I am all for this. I don't have an ethical issue with cloning (although I see it as a major problem if the technology was abused ... just take for example several of the movies that have been released about cloning). I would hope that GW would come out supporting this new stem cell research that does not harm the embryo.

Irrelevant-Organ donors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965345)

Well setting the religious issues aside (It'll just start another flamewar anyway). The thing one has to worry about with some of these "treatments" is that peole will be having embryos not because they want kids, but because they want an organ donor. Cheapening life even more than our society already cheapens it.

Re:Irrelevant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965294)

I don't understand the objection if no embryo is destroyed, but it does bring up some difficult issues regarding souls.

Yes, it's the dreaded Evil Twins Problem(TM) all over again!!! Simply put, how do you know for sure which twin got the soul (the "good twin"), and which one didn't (the "evil twin")?

And, since cloning makes time delayed twins (or worse, quadruplets, quintuplets, or more!), do the all those souls have to wait in line extra long before they get to go through the Heavenly Gates?!?

The religious ramifications on this issue are simply dizzying! ( Then again, the religious ramifications on most issues make my dizzy...)

Re:Irrelevant (0, Flamebait)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965323)

Pro-life people are generally against cloning. I don't understand the objection if no embryo is destroyed, but it does bring up some difficult issues regarding souls.

Souls are a made up concept. They were created by people as a kind of adult pacifier, to stop people fretting that once they die they will entierely cease to exist. Utterly. The thought is so unsettling that people latch onto a complete fantasy to comfort and reassure themselves. Namely and intangible, unobservable, immaterial "thing" that is your "life essence", and it will go on after you die.

It's the same kind of denial as people who believe that all parallel lines never intersect of that the universe is "fair". Delve deep enough and only your own doublethink can convince you that either of these facts is absolute. Emotion is physical, memory is physical, thought is physical. There is no magic force, and if there was, eternity means floating around as an unthinking blob with no memory forever.

Oh wait! Silly me. I can't prove souls "don't" exist. Just ignore all the above and return to your regular viewing.

Re:Irrelevant (1)

oyenstikker (536040) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965481)

Really? I'd think most people would be content to cease to exist. The idea of having a soul is lot scarier: there may be long term - even eternal - consequences to your actions.

Re:Irrelevant (0, Troll)

Threni (635302) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965344)

> This is similar enough to cloning to trigger the same hostility. I don't really see the difference
> it will make.

Pro-life people are driven by dogma rather than science and logic. It's a close enough call that it's possibly possible to choose which position they'll take by phoning radio shows, posting to net forums, writing to church leaders etc and putting your side of the argument. Once it's been decided upon it'll probably have enough enertia behind it to become hard to change back without a humiliating u-turn. So probably a good idea to push a pro-cloning (with regard to "soul copying/duplicating") argument now!

Re:Irrelevant (5, Informative)

ILikeRed (141848) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965415)

You don't understand the goal. (Most) Scientists do not want to create a clone of an entire person - rather the idea is to clone parts (e.g. organs such as the liver, heart, and lungs) so that people who need a transplant can get a clone of their own heart rather than trying to match something from a dead donor.

For an interesting perspective on the impact of life and culture in the future without the benefit of cloned organs - try reading some of Larry Nivens works. (I think Limits is the collection with the stories of a detective who goes after black market organ harvesters.)

Re:Irrelevant (2, Informative)

ILikeRed (141848) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965458)

No - Niven's book on organ harvesting is The Long Arm of Gil Hamilton

What's the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965208)

I flush viable human genetic material away all the time.

This is good news... (1)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965215)

Hopefully, this will take the controversy out of this issue.

As a pro-lifer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965283)

I have to agree. If it's the real deal (I didn't RTFA), I see no reason not to get behind it.

Re:This is good news... (0, Troll)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965292)

Using logic.....what a peculiar idea when one has a psychopath for president.

[When an individual kills a person, he is called a murderer. When an individual kills, maims or tortures over one hundred thousand people, he is called George W. Bush.]

hooray! (3, Insightful)

aleksiel (678251) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965223)

now all those banks that have unused, stored embryos can keep them alive until they throw them in the garbage instead of killing them!
/obvious

What the banks really do with them. (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965303)

"now all those banks that have unused, stored embryos can keep them alive until they throw them in the garbage instead of killing them!"

You think the banks throw the embryo's AWAY? I bet you also think that those ATM machines are controlled by microprocessors and electronics. If it makes you feel better to believe these things, go right ahead.

good news, let us see it twisted someday (3, Insightful)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965225)

'Well, as you know, the President objects to the fact that you would be sacrificing one life to save another, and in this instance there is no harm to the embryo.'

I can just see it now. Bush will claim something like, "By sticking to our upstanding morals, we have driven science further than any other generation ever."

Bush is like a broken path in the Internet. Science will route around him.

Re:good news, let us see it twisted someday (1)

Technomonics (970384) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965269)

Your comment reminds me of a line from "The Andromeda Strain". When the presidential representative is told to stop the nuclear bomb from being detonated, the representative said "I am sure the President will be happy to know he originally made the right decision." One of the scientists responds with "Please Thank the President for his Scientific Insight."

Re:good news, let us see it twisted someday (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965305)

Bush is like a broken path in the Internet. Science will route around him.
Except here in the US, we're quickly becoming like an island in the Pacific -- only one trunk comes in or out.

Re:good news, let us see it twisted someday (1)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965325)

Bush will claim something like, "By sticking to our upstanding morals, we have driven science further than any other generation ever."

I was thinking the exact same thing you were, but not as sarcastic. If this article is true, then I see this as a victory for both parties ... one side gets their science with morals, the other side still gets their science. If this is accepted, what's the problem here?

Re:good news, let us see it twisted someday (1)

Gogo0 (877020) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965496)

There doesnt have to be a problem, some people just like to complain about nothing.
I agree with your thought completely. The science has progressed further because of the "limitation" (that stops no one from doing their own privately-funded research) placed on it, not despite it.

Another possibility (1)

amigabill (146897) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965233)

I've read about other methods, such as harvesting a person's own stem cells from his or her bone marrow. Some medication is able to encourage the marrow to produce and release stem cells that can be collected from blood samples or something like that. (it's been long enough to forget some details) Why dont' we get a few of them that way for research?

And I still think it's an awful waste to toss everything into a biohazard disposal or incinerator or something when someone has an abortion. I'd rather see some benefit come from that kind of thing, rather than take that life and simply throw it in the trash. How is that better than learnign new ways to save lives?

Re:Another possibility (2, Informative)

bunions (970377) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965281)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cord_blood [wikipedia.org]

Thanks to the embargo on stem cell research, someone is making a fortune off nervous new parents by storing this stuff just in case something awful happens. Graaarrr.

thank god (0, Redundant)

DohnJoe (900898) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965235)

this is good news, I was getting sick of the current method: sucking the brain out of aborted fetuses...
Hmmm, but will this still give me superpowers?

Re:thank god (1)

Technomonics (970384) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965331)

Nope, only Promicin (http://www.the4400.com/ [the4400.com] ) will do that.

Re:thank god (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965346)

Apparently, but your only weakness will be equestrian events. Oh, and I'll take a window seat, thanks.

This won't change his mind (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965239)

The President could give two shits about whether or not harvesting stem cells hurts the embryo. It's been a convenient rallying point that gets people voting Republican. If the party can continue to make it a rallying point by talking about "tampering with life"*, they'll do it.

* talking point phrase coming soon from a think tank near you.

Re:This won't change his mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965461)

I never really got this ambiguity. Is the President an idiot or an evil genius? You can't have it both ways. Either Bush honestly has "misguided" beliefs or Bush is a genius who is a master at manipulating the public. Which is it? You can't choose the one that's more convenient when it suits your purpose.

The word "harvest". (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965240)

The US team, led by Dr Robert Lanza, have now shown that a single cell harvested in this way can also be grown in culture to create stem-cell lines.

I wish folks would stop using that word and find another one. "Harvest" gets a lot of folks riled up and gives them the impression that people are going to be farmed (or whatever) for their parts.

Yeah, yeah, I know that's not the case, but in this day and age of bumper sticker sound bites, that's all people hear and they don't want to investigate further. They'll just jump to the first two-bit opinion that fits or the opinion that was given to them by a pundit and to hell with the facts.

Re:The word "harvest". (2, Funny)

SlowMovingTarget (550823) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965489)

How about "disenfranchised"?

Allow me to use the newly redefined word in a sentence: "We disenfranchised a single cell from the embryo to create a stem cell line that will allow us to grow extra nose tissue for Michael Jackson."

Finally something to make everyone happy (1)

LotsOfPhil (982823) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965251)

the remaining embryo also has the potential to go to on create a healthy blastocyst
As long as the blastocyst is healthy, no one should have any objections.

Re:Finally something to make everyone happy (1)

chrisb33 (964639) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965355)

A possible argument could be - how safe is this? If there is a 1% chance that the blastocyst won't survive, is it still okay (according to those who believe killing embryos is murder)? If there's a 30% chance, is it okay?

I'm not sure if I understand TFA on this point: "The team used embryos created for in vitro fertilisation, allowing them to multiply to eight or ten cells, or blastomeres, before removing one or two.
Most of these blastomeres, divided at least once more in the laboratory, and about half produced outgrowths of 50 to 100 cells including some identified as stem cells."

"Most" of the blastomeres survived? Sounds like it's still an issue. Also, half of <i>what</i> produced outgrowths - the blastomeres? That doesn't seem to make sense.

That being said, having "a set of immortal stem cells" unique to a person would be incredible, not to mention the help this would be to stem-cell research in general.

Fantastic! (1)

alouts (446764) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965254)

This is great news!

Now we can do our research and all the "pre-babies" that would have been destroyed in the process of creating stem cells can instead be thrown in the trash, just as God intended.

not the first time I've heard that.... (3, Insightful)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965312)

I often run across the assertion that many viable embryos, suitable for harvesting stem cells, would actually have been "medical waste" otherwise. Can somebody confirm or deny this? and back it up with references?

If true, it kinda makes the extreme right a bit hypocritical, doesn't it? Kinda like saying you refuse to sacrifice one life for the sake of another while maintaining a war in the mid-east....but I digress.

Re:not the first time I've heard that.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965356)

Yep, it's true. Bush has vetoed the use of embyros that were otherwise going to be discarded anyway. NO REFS FOR YUO though because I can't be bothered finding them.

Re:not the first time I've heard that.... (4, Insightful)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965374)

Hmmm, confirmed by an AC on /.
That's reliable.

Re:not the first time I've heard that.... (3, Informative)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965392)

Well thats EXACTLY what the most recent veto was about. During fertilization treatments often extra embryos are created. Sometimes these are donated, often they are destroyed. There was a bill passed (with many republican supporters) that stated that these embroyes marked for destruction could be used in stemcell research. GW vetoed it.
 
/I voted for GW though I don't support everything he does I don't mindlessly bash the guy...
//I definatly don't understand this one though.

Well, what now, Karl? (1, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965276)

ME: Shit, Karl, what do we do now? Abortion is a dead horse, and now we've lost yet another wedge issue to drive 'moral' Christians into the Party who would otherwise realize that we're bending them over at every possible moment.

KARL: Look, over there! A terrorist plot! Here's a chip for your More Secure[1] passport!
And here's some FAA guidelines to prevent people from bringing liquids onto planes, which will prevent[2] terrorists from hijacking or destroying a plane in flight!
And here's some legislation that will stop[3] terrorists from eating our babies by allowing us to monitor their email and telephone calls without a warrant!
And here's some statements by the Prez that say he can legally[4] ignore any law he wants in the name of NatSec.

[1] Not really.
[2] Not really.
[3] Not really.
[4] Not really.

Ok, I'm done ranting for the day. But seriously, the Fundies are going to have to find a different wedge issue now, especially as we gear up for the Nov elections.

On the down side, what I see coming from this promising research is a "See, if we forbid it, they'll find another, permissible, way to do it" reaction which may or may not be true with the next contentious research issue we face.

Re:Well, what now, Karl? (2, Interesting)

wiggles (30088) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965341)

And here's some FAA guidelines to prevent people from bringing liquids onto planes, which will prevent[2] terrorists from hijacking or destroying a plane in flight!

The funny thing is that Ann Coulter actually agrees with you [anncoulter.com] .

Re:Well, what now, Karl? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965376)

The funny thing is that Ann Coulter actually agrees with you.
That manhanded bag of antlers is welcome to agree with me on that point. But her main point there is not a logical dependency on my point here.

Re:Well, what now, Karl? (2, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965471)

First of all, you're unnecessarily limited in thinking that killing humans is a "fundie" issue. Most non-materialists have a problem with it.

Second, you should distinguish between the set of issues that Dr. Evil, I mean, Karl, use to whip up support, and the set of issues that religious / non-materialist persons care about. For example, Christian's care[d] about killing humans before, while, and after the Republicans use it to get people to go vote.

Not doing evil things is a religious (or as you say, "fundies") / non-materialist issue. Getting people to vote Republican is a Karl Rove issue. If you think they're the same, you're exactly the kind of chump that Karl tries to manipulate to the voting booth.

Raises a new problem (4, Insightful)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965288)

So you extract stem cells from an embryo, and allow the embryo to come to term, so now you have a baby and a stem cell line. The baby grows up. What rights does this person have over the stem cell line? Can they demand (e.g.) that the cells be used only thereputically, not for research? Can they charge a licensing fee to use them?

Congratulations, Darl McBride! (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965340)

"The baby grows up. What rights does this person have over the stem cell line? Can they demand (e.g.) that the cells be used only thereputically, not for research? Can they charge a licensing fee to use them?"

Looks like Darl McBride's a daddy again!

Isn't each part of the embryo a separate person? (1)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965411)

From the article:

Now a team at Advanced Cell Technology - a private company - has found that it is possible to create human stem cells using one or two cells from an early embryo, without doing any damage to the embryo.

If you split cells off of an early embryo, aren't they also viable embryos in their own right? Isn't this what creates identical twins?

I expect the Bush administration to object to this technique on the basis that each separate cell bundle from the embryo is an "individual".

Re:Isn't each part of the embryo a separate person (1)

Loc_Dawg (862613) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965504)

No, it's more like pulling the tail off a lizard. The embryo will correct itself by growing back the missing cells.

Once again! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15965429)

Once again Slashdot has posted an article that they know will bring about little or no scientific discussion and just be a bashfest. Good job guys, losing too many users to Digg?

Whatever happened to the science around here?

Bush won't change his mind (1)

emil10001 (985596) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965437)

There are other methods of Stem Cell research that are not destructive or do not involve embryos which the president does not support. He does not support any form of Stem Cell research regaurdless of the method, even though some of his right-wing constituants are warming up to the idea. Unfortunatly, I don't think this will do anything to change his mind.

Also, what is so wrong with doing Stem Cell research on discarded embryos anyways? The research would be putting them to good use instead of letting them go to waste.

Brilliant! (1)

Zenaku (821866) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965469)

This is great news! At last, we can get stem cells from embryos without harming them, allowing them to remain healthy and viable right up to the moment they hit the medical waste incinerator that they were destined for anyway!

Seriously, as it stands today these leftover embryos are being discarded and destroyed, and the President's policy says, hey, I'm not going to get in the way of that, but for the love of God, don't try to get any medical benefit from them first! Because it's wrong to destroy an embryo for medical research, but just fine to destroy one for no benefit whatsoever.

So now we've been reduced to investing our research dollars in finding a way to make sure that they aren't harmed until after we take the cells, just to appease people who can't grasp basic logic?

I am pro-life, here what I have to say (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965475)

First of all I do object to embryonic stem cell research when an embryo is destroyed. I know the first argument to such a position and in fact it is quoted in the article.
"I am also unconvinced by the ethical arguments. Spare IVF embryos used to derive stem cell lines would have been destroyed anyway."
The problem that people do not understand derives itself from the form of IVF used and has existed as a moral and ethical dilemna way before stem cell research was popular. Since IVF is a relatively new procedure (in the last 20-30 years) there is not much experience or knowledge about what works and what doesn't. In the beginning stage of clinics offering IVF they had to fertalize many embryos and try to implant all of the "healthy looking" ones. Most of the time this resulted in pregnancy but sometimes it did not. Nowadays the procedure is more refined and more embryos take hold. This means sometimes twins or triplets will be born. When IVF worked, the remaining embryos were discarded or sold to private research companies. Now the state of California also uses these embryos.

But these embryos were alive and their lives were taken because of inefficient IVF procedures. That is, they were murdered for the sake of efficiency of resource usage and science. So how can IVF be changed to be acceptable? One method is to fertalize one embryo and implant one embryo at a time. Another method would be to adopt out any remaining embryos that were not used in the implantation part of the IVF procedure. That would mean each life would get a chance to live

So does the this new breakthrough solve anything?
Well that all depends on the facts.
Now a team at Advanced Cell Technology - a private company - has found that it is possible to create human stem cells using one or two cells from an early embryo, without doing any damage to the embryo.
If this is true then it is a great breakthrough. There are some more ethical questions but generally I would feel comfortable if the government sponsored this kind of research.
"We have shown that we can not only generate stem cells without destroying the embryo, but that the remaining embryo also has the potential to go to on create a healthy blastocyst" said Dr Lanza, whose team's research is published in Nature.
This last quote makes it seem like it is possible that the procedure could cause harm to the embryo. If that is the case then this is going to face a lot more scrutiny in the court of public opinion.

Oh come on... (1)

VitrosChemistryAnaly (616952) | more than 7 years ago | (#15965479)

Harming the Embryo is half the fun of Stem Cell Research!
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