Monday, April 2, 2007

Stem Cells


I am going to touch on an issue that I know very little about. I have done a small amount of research into the issue of stem cells, and the furor surrounding it. It is a fact that Bush was the first President to ask for money to continue Embryonic Stem Cell research, he just limited the lines that could be used with federal dollars. There, that argument is shot, you all know the one, where Bush outlawed stem cell research. Now, other research has led me to understand that mature stem cell research is leading to great things, while embryonic research is going very slowly, or nowhere at all. It stands to reason that if something is going to be breakthrough, people would throw money at it, in the hopes of becoming rich, well, that is not happening with the embryo side, but it is on the mature side, enough money that heart valves can now be made. Notice that the article only mentions "stem cells", not mature stem cells. Then, deep in the article, after reading the words "stem cells" many times, do we find that "By using chemical and physical nudges, the scientists first coaxed stem cells extracted from bone marrow to grow into heart valve cells." And that:

"Growing a suitably-sized piece of tissue from a patient's own stem cells would take around a month but he said that most people would not need such individualised treatment. A store of ready-grown tissue made from a wide variety of stem cells could provide good matches for the majority of the population."

One almost gets the feeling that there is more to the stem cell debate than caring about cures. Could the religious right be correct that the issue is abortion? That the left wants to make stem cell research the reason for legal abortion? Interesting, something to keep in mind when thinking about this stuff for sure.

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