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Old 01-30-2009, 06:26 PM   #1
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Embryonic Stem Cells Get a Boost

Its been 10 years since embryonic stem cells were first isolated and the Bush administration subsequently relented to superstitious agenda and all but shelved the research that explores their potential to save lives.

Embryonic stem cells were a dime a dozen thanks to in vitro fertilization, which produces more embryos than needed. The Bush administration did what it could to block advancement in the research and technology surrounding stem cells, citing superstition and fallacious logic -they argued that surplus embryonic stem cells were better suited for the garbage disposal than saving lives (the fallacy), ostensibly because each blastocyst had its own soul (the superstition).

Now, however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave Geron in Menlo Park, California, permission to conduct a safety test in a handful of patients with a recent spinal cord injury.

The treatment will likely not "allow patients to jump out of wheelchairs and play soccer," but it is certainly an advancement in the research necessary to work out the potential to save lives, improve quality of lives, and correct serious injuries and illnesses that would otherwise leave patients paralyzed and disabled.

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Geron will be testing oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, precursors to some nervous system cells the company developed from one of the original human embryonic stem cell lines [...] Eight to 10 patients will receive the cells a week or two after a serious spinal cord injury. The goal is not to create new nerve fibers but to support those still intact by making the nerve insulator myelin. To prevent rejection, patients will take immune-suppressing drugs for about 60 days. Although the primary goal is to assess safety, Geron will be looking for hints that the cells had an effect--for example, improving bladder and bowel function, sensation, or mobility.
There are some concerns among the scientific and medical community, but about the timeliness of the clinical trial and the worry that this test might not be a good first trial of stem cell therapy since there are some potential risks of tumors developing that are already part of some hypotheses in this type of therapy. However, most scientists agree that this is an important milestone in stem cell research and that the first "cure" demonstrated will likely demolish most opposition and superstitious-based skepticism regarding the use of stem cells.


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Old 02-02-2009, 03:46 PM   #2
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Great Post Skinwalker. Welcome back!


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Old 02-02-2009, 06:42 PM   #3
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There were also advancements as to how one can get stem cells so you don't have the moral issue.

Specifically ways to get stem cells without destroying embryos. Bush's objections had to do with the type of stem cell research that raises serious ethical issues.

So the argument of Bush's objections being nothing more than superstitious nonsense isn't remotely accurate.
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:59 PM   #4
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Actually, Bush's (and those of others) objections being largely superstitious is very accurate.

This is because of the nature of the stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are more flexible since adult stem cells are already somewhat specialized -though there is the added advantage of low risk of rejection if the donor is also the recipient. But, more importantly to this point, embryonic stem cells are very plentiful since they can be harvested from the embryos (which are clearly not sentient since there is no formed brain or nervous system) of clinics which perform in vitro fertilization. These embryos, if not harvested for their stem cells are simply destroyed.

So not utilizing them for a good purpose is completely based on the superstition that, somehow, these embryos (often just blastocysts of a few hundred cells) are equivalent to fully formed humans or even a more advanced fetus. They aren't. There is no brain. There is no nervous system. They're cells and it is no more unethical to harvest their stem cells than it is to take a series of antibiotics which obliterate the bacteria in one's body.


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Old 02-02-2009, 08:18 PM   #5
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Define when something becomes a person, and the argument that Embryos don't have a nervous system is also misleading, because brainwaves are detected very early in the stages of development.
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:23 PM   #6
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The cells are human. That, of course is undeniable. But so, then, is my gall bladder and appendix. I'm not opposed to having them removed or discarded when necessary.

What is your source that "brainwaves are detected very early in stages of development?" I'm confident that if you go to these sources, you'll find that brainwaves are detected when there is a brain. This, of course, isn't until far beyond the stage at which embryonic stem cells are harvested.

Moreover, you, like many others who are opposed to embryonic stem cells, have yet to address why there is an objection to using blastocysts destined for disposal (i.e. never to become a people) aren't put to good use. The answer, as I've demonstrated, is superstition. Pure, unadulterated superstition.


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Old 02-02-2009, 08:26 PM   #7
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Look I'm not superstitious, I'm religious and a baby is not the equivalent of an appendix. I value human life, and because I'm against abortion, I'd also be against this as well, because embryonic stem cells are created via abortions and there are other means to obtain these cells without destroying an embryo including from the umbilical cord.

There is an ethical issue here, it has nothing to do with superstition.
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
Look I'm not superstitious, I'm religious
I could easily make the argument that these are equivalent terms, but this is, perhaps, for a different thread, so I'll take you at your word

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and a baby is not the equivalent of an appendix.
Nor have I said so. Nor is an embryo the equivalent of a baby. A "baby" is a infant human. An embryo is a collection of cells -a blastocyst of a few hundred cells even, which has the potential to become a fetus which, in turn, has the potential to become a baby.

An embryo is not a person by any definition of the word. It is every bit as human as an appendix or a clump of hair pulled out at the root in my comb as it has the DNA of a human. But it is not a person.

The only way to define it as a person is to invoke superstition.

Quote:
There is an ethical issue here, it has nothing to do with superstition.
It has everything to do with superstition since the only way to come to the conclusion that an embryo equivocates to a person is to invoke superstition.


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Old 02-02-2009, 09:05 PM   #9
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And in my opinion, the instant you see brainwaves, it is a human life. Cause when do you have a soul, I'm going to go with the opinion that it is very early in human development because I'd rather be wrong on that then be wrong the other way and be responsible for the consequences of that.
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:19 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
And in my opinion, the instant you see brainwaves, it is a human life. Cause when do you have a soul, I'm going to go with the opinion that it is very early in human development because I'd rather be wrong on that then be wrong the other way and be responsible for the consequences of that.
This could lead into a massive debate surrounding surrounding the beginning of sentience, and eventually, the metaphysical, which can be left entirely up to philosophical and religious beliefs.

Strictly speaking, an embryo has a brain, yet whether it is actually used in a sentient way can be debated.
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:28 PM   #11
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Strictly speaking, an embryo has a brain, yet whether it is actually used in a sentient way can be debated.
And I prefer to play it safe and consider it to be immoral at that point, because I'd rather be too cautious that be responsible for killing sentient beings that are human.
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Old 02-02-2009, 09:30 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
Define when something becomes a person, and the argument that Embryos don't have a nervous system is also misleading, because brainwaves are detected very early in the stages of development.
Very good logical fallacy here. Nice try though.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuum_fallacy

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Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
And in my opinion, the instant you see brainwaves, it is a human life.
Good thing there's no brain in embryos, then.

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Originally Posted by Garfy
Cause when do you have a soul, I'm going to go with the opinion that it is very early in human development because I'd rather be wrong on that then be wrong the other way and be responsible for the consequences of that.
Again, a nice little fallacy of the beard.



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Last edited by SkinWalker; 02-02-2009 at 11:31 PM. Reason: Removed Misquoting/insult
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Old 02-02-2009, 10:39 PM   #13
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Good thing there's no brain in embryos, then.
Actually they have a brain, as PastramiX also stated. You can't have brainwave signals without a brain, and embryos do give off brainwave signals.
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Old 02-02-2009, 11:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL View Post
And I prefer to play it safe and consider it to be immoral at that point, because I'd rather be too cautious that be responsible for killing sentient beings that are human.
Not me, I'll cancel your vote any day.

The lives of those who incur spinal cord injuries and those in need of organ transplants, their families, and the health care costs are worth far more than a curette-full of cells in my book. That's real pain and suffering by real humans and they're the ones deserving of compassion. Do you mourn for the laboratory animals that are used to develop cancer treatments? Because they are far more evolved and conscious of pain than any embryo.

Edit: sorry I should've said blastocyst instead of embryo to emphasize the fact that these are undifferentiated cells ... in other words: no brain has developed



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Old 02-02-2009, 11:16 PM   #15
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Problem with your argument is that they can use a person's own skin cells to rebuild organs and spinal cords. So if you can do these things without using embryonic stem cells why use embryonic stem cells when you can use something else without the moral issue.
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Old 02-02-2009, 11:30 PM   #16
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Actually they have a brain, as PastramiX also stated. You can't have brainwave signals without a brain, and embryos do give off brainwave signals.
The main problem with your statement here is that it is completely uninformed and wrong.

Brain development doesn't occur to anything functional until about 4-5 weeks and doesn't present gyri and sulci until about 7 months (Kolb & Whishaw 2008: 657). Embryonic stem cells are harvested at the blastocyst stage while their at there most pluripotent potential (Reubinoff et al 2000).

There is are no brainwaves for the embryos being harvested at the blastocyst stage.

References:

Kolb, Brian and Ian Whishaw (2008). Fundamentals of Human Neuropsychology. Macmillan: New York

Reubinoff, Benjamin E.; et al (2000). Embryonic stem cell lines from human blastocysts: somatic differentiation in vitro. Nature Biotechnology, 18, 399-404.


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Old 02-03-2009, 12:18 AM   #17
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Problem with your argument is that they can use a person's own skin cells to rebuild organs and spinal cords. So if you can do these things without using embryonic stem cells why use embryonic stem cells when you can use something else without the moral issue.
The problem with this is that a person's own adult stem cells are multipotent and not pluripotent, meaning the latter can develop into any kind of cell. In addition, the ability to "rebuild organs and spinal chords" is an example of the type of research that has essentially been obstructed to the point that lives that could be saved are not -what's needed are the more pluripotent embryonic stem cells over the multipotent adult stem cells.

Admittedly, stem cells harvested from the recipient have the distinct advantage of being less prone to rejection, however, they're also less likely to develop into the specific cells you need, making research more costly, difficult, and restricted.

Again, there are embryos that will be destroyed -dropped, literally, in the garbage, which can be used for good purposes. These are blastocysts of a few hundred cells at most with no brain, no nervous system, and, thus, no brainwaves. They're less intelligent than the bacteria growing in my intestine.


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Old 02-03-2009, 09:42 AM   #18
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The problem with this is that a person's own adult stem cells are multipotent and not pluripotent, meaning the latter can develop into any kind of cell. In addition, the ability to "rebuild organs and spinal chords" is an example of the type of research that has essentially been obstructed to the point that lives that could be saved are not -what's needed are the more pluripotent embryonic stem cells over the multipotent adult stem cells.
A problem with that argument is that they have developed a way to use the stem cells found on the umbilical cord from birth, they have the same properties as those found in an embryo, but you are not terminating life.

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Originally Posted by SkinWalker
Admittedly, stem cells harvested from the recipient have the distinct advantage of being less prone to rejection, however, they're also less likely to develop into the specific cells you need, making research more costly, difficult, and restricted.
Again that depends, there have been significant advances in using adult stem cells, there are also other sources of stem cells with similar properties as embryonic stem cells as I mentioned.

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Originally Posted by SkinWalker
Again, there are embryos that will be destroyed -dropped, literally, in the garbage, which can be used for good purposes. These are blastocysts of a few hundred cells at most with no brain, no nervous system, and, thus, no brainwaves. They're less intelligent than the bacteria growing in my intestine.
Am against abortions, fertility clinics, and embryonic stem cell research, if we didn't have the first two in play this ethical mess wouldn't be there in the first place.

Question is how are you getting these embryos, are you creating them only to destroy them?
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:50 AM   #19
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Question is how are you getting these embryos, are you creating them only to destroy them?
You get them from fertility clinics, and they are the embyros that aren't chosen to become children. Usually they are discarded, at least when they are used for research, they serve a purpose.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:54 AM   #20
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I just stated I'm against fertility clinics as well, there are a lot of children that aren't wanted that need homes.
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:23 AM   #21
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A problem with that argument is that they have developed a way to use the stem cells found on the umbilical cord from birth, they have the same properties as those found in an embryo, but you are not terminating life.
Please, cite a citation to a primary source that not only explains this but shows how its more effective than simply using the embryonic stem cells found in blastocysts that aren't even fetal yet (and thus not people), which are destined to be disposed of.

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Again that depends, there have been significant advances in using adult stem cells, there are also other sources of stem cells with similar properties as embryonic stem cells as I mentioned.
The latter point is uninformed and incorrect. The former point is true, which I've already indicated. However, these advances are limited and not significant enough when it comes to the pluripotency of embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cells are multipotent and not pluripotent to the degree that embryonic are.

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Am against abortions, fertility clinics, and embryonic stem cell research, if we didn't have the first two in play this ethical mess wouldn't be there in the first place.
Then I suggest you not use their services. Many individuals, couples and families enjoy a better quality of life because abortions are possible, fertility clinics available, and stem cell research viable. If it violates you personal opinion, don't utilize their services. Imposing your opinion on others must, necessarily invoke superstitious arguments which are completely irrational as I've demonstrated quite successfully here.

Quote:
Question is how are you getting these embryos, are you creating them only to destroy them?
No. Embryonic stem cell lines are obtained from various sources which are creating embryos for other purposes, primarily in vitro fertilization where a couple unable for various reasons to create viable embryos through copulation can have the fertilization process done in the controlled setting of a laboratory and the egg then implanted in the woman's uterus. The process of fertilization creates more embryos than needed and, rather than destroy the unused embryos (blastocysts of only a few dozen to a few hundred cells), the idea is to use them for their stem cells.

Its important to note that this fertilization process, while it is in a laboratory setting, is almost the same as what occurs in the human body. Through sex, a woman can often have multiple eggs fertilized at the same time, but only one survives. Sometimes none survive. There is no brain development at the blastocyst level. There is no nerve function. The human blastocyst from which stem cells are derived is no more intelligent than the bacteria between your toes thriving in your colon. Sentience is not possible without a brain.

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I just stated I'm against fertility clinics as well, there are a lot of children that aren't wanted that need homes.
This is an argument from ignorance. Fertility clinics provide a service to couples that would like to have their own children. Children which have 23 chromosomes from dad; 23 from mom. Not 46 from strangers. Surely you can see the benefit. If not, again, there is a simple solution: don't use the services of a fertility clinic.


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Old 02-03-2009, 11:34 AM   #22
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And in my opinion, the instant you see brainwaves, it is a human life. Cause when do you have a soul, I'm going to go with the opinion that it is very early in human development because I'd rather be wrong on that then be wrong the other way and be responsible for the consequences of that.
Other than the "soul" comment (there is, apparently, no such thing. If so, please cite the scientific literature and the Nobel prize winner that reveals it), this is something I can agree with.

Since there are no brainwaves in a blastocyst, then we can agree that embryonic stem cell research is not only appropriate but ethical.

This, by the way, is a blastocyst.



The green cells in the middle are the pluripotent stem cells and necessarily have the potential to divide and become any cell in the body. This is at a stage of perhaps 24-30 hours of development. Not the many weeks required to even notice the first hints of brain development.

These tiny, tiny balls of cells have less intelligence and sentience than bacteria.


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Old 02-03-2009, 11:57 AM   #23
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Oh really, cause a Bacterium doesn't have a nucleus, human cells do, and a nucleus is the central processing unit for a cell. Less intelligent than bacterium my foot.
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:03 PM   #24
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When I say "intelligent" I'm referring to their behavior and evolved characteristics, which when compared to the blastocyst are significant. The blastocyst, however, has far more potential than any bacterium or entire culture of bacteria ever will, but this is a matter of DNA nothing else.

Still, it appears that my off-the-cuff remark has given you an easy way to avoid the other problems with your argument.


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Old 02-03-2009, 12:07 PM   #25
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When I say "intelligent" I'm referring to their behavior and evolved characteristics, which when compared to the blastocyst are significant. The blastocyst, however, has far more potential than any bacterium or entire culture of bacteria ever will, but this is a matter of DNA nothing else.

Still, it appears that my off-the-cuff remark has given you an easy way to avoid the other problems with your argument.
By your argument should we kill people that are unable to move their limbs due to a spinal injury. At the stage we're talking about there is an enormous amount cellular growth taking place, all the energy taken in, is being used. That hardly means that a bacterium has more "intelligence" it's just the energy usage is such that there is none left over.
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:16 PM   #26
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By your argument should we kill people that are unable to move their limbs due to a spinal injury.
I highly doubt that anyone would agree by looking at my words in this thread that this is actually my argument. Please quote the statement I've made saying this.

Please also acknowledge that we agree that it is both ethical and appropriate to utilize embryonic stem cells for research and, ultimately, medicine (which saves the lives of the very people injured above you fallaciously and inappropriately accuse me of arguing the murder for). This is because:
  • We both agree that brainwaves are a sign of personhood.
  • Embryonic stem cells come from blastocysts.
  • Blastocysts have no brains.
  • The lack of a brain is indicative of no brainwaves.
  • Brainwaves have never been reported as detected in a blastocyst (again -no brain).
  • Thus, the use of embryonic stem cells for research and medicine is appropriate and ethical.

That, my friend, is how to construct a logical argument where the premises end in a conclusion.


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Old 02-03-2009, 08:14 PM   #27
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I highly doubt that anyone would agree by looking at my words in this thread that this is actually my argument. Please quote the statement I've made saying this.
Nerve development begins extremely early in development, unless you're saying they are creating these whatever want to call them in a test tube which makes it even more unethical. We're talking about stages in development that there are brain waves, and that is extremely early in development.

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Originally Posted by SkinWalker
Please also acknowledge that we agree that it is both ethical and appropriate to utilize embryonic stem cells for research and, ultimately, medicine (which saves the lives of the very people injured above you fallaciously and inappropriately accuse me of arguing the murder for). This is because:
  • We both agree that brainwaves are a sign of personhood.
  • Embryonic stem cells come from blastocysts.
  • Blastocysts have no brains.
  • The lack of a brain is indicative of no brainwaves.
  • Brainwaves have never been reported as detected in a blastocyst (again -no brain).
  • Thus, the use of embryonic stem cells for research and medicine is appropriate and ethical.
And again I'm going to say I don't think it is remotely ethical to create life in order to destroy it in such a fashion. It is devaluing human life and making it a commodity, it isn't needed because you can get cells with the same properties without messing with Embryonic Stem Cells which are called Embryonic for a reason.

That's something the Catholic Church has gotten right, because if we didn't allow fertility clinics, abortions, etc. we wouldn't be having this ethical argument.
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:53 PM   #28
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Nerve development begins extremely early in development, unless you're saying they are creating these whatever want to call them in a test tube which makes it even more unethical. We're talking about stages in development that there are brain waves, and that is extremely early in development.
You're wrong. Again. We're not talking about stages in development where brain waves are present. We're talking about the first few hours of development where the embryo is just a blastocyst. See the illustration and citations above.


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Old 02-04-2009, 07:20 PM   #29
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You're wrong. Again. We're not talking about stages in development where brain waves are present. We're talking about the first few hours of development where the embryo is just a blastocyst. See the illustration and citations above.
Again I'm asking where did they make these blastocysts as you called them, if they are making them in a test tube only to destroy them it is highly unethical. You're creating life only to kill it.
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:34 PM   #30
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Again I'm asking where did they make these blastocysts as you called them, if they are making them in a test tube only to destroy them it is highly unethical. You're creating life only to kill it.
They're not creating them to destroy them or creating them for the sole purpose of experimenting on them and then destroying them, they're going to be destroyed anyway, and it's both illogical and immoral to simply destroy them if experimentation upon them could save or improve lives. As mentioned in the OP, the cells were part of embryos that were to be used for in vitro fertilization, where many embryos are created in case some do not develop properly once implanted.



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Old 02-04-2009, 08:29 PM   #31
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Again I'm asking where did they make these blastocysts as you called them, if they are making them in a test tube only to destroy them it is highly unethical. You're creating life only to kill it.
They're creating them with the purpose of providing couples with a means of reproducing with their own DNA. The woman's eggs are hyperfertilized using the man's sperm, thus producing more embryos than needed. These additional embryos are then stored in case the first are unsuccessful so the fertilization process need not be done again. Once the couple has a viable fetus, I believe they decide whether to continue storing the embryos or to turn them over to the fertility clinic.

Scientists wish to use these embryos, which are destined for destruction (they're typically pitched with medical waste like gauzes, syringes, etc.), for stem cell research and, possibly, to harvest stem cells for therapeutic uses. The potential for these stem cells is far better than adult stem cells based on their pluriopotency.


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Old 02-04-2009, 09:53 PM   #32
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They're creating them with the purpose of providing couples with a means of reproducing with their own DNA. The woman's eggs are hyperfertilized using the man's sperm, thus producing more embryos than needed. These additional embryos are then stored in case the first are unsuccessful so the fertilization process need not be done again. Once the couple has a viable fetus, I believe they decide whether to continue storing the embryos or to turn them over to the fertility clinic.

Scientists wish to use these embryos, which are destined for destruction (they're typically pitched with medical waste like gauzes, syringes, etc.), for stem cell research and, possibly, to harvest stem cells for therapeutic uses. The potential for these stem cells is far better than adult stem cells based on their pluriopotency.
And this is why I'm against fertility clinics and invitro fertilization. If they want a kid so badly they can adopt.

Question, what exactly are you saying Stem Cells can fix, some may actually work, but they would be capable of using skin cells from the individual instead. What things would Embryonic Stem-Cells be able to do that altered skin cells can't.
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Old 02-04-2009, 10:37 PM   #33
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And this is why I'm against fertility clinics and invitro fertilization. If they want a kid so badly they can adopt.
To each their own. Lots of people are against lots of things. My wife is against chicken fried steak -I like it though.

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Question, what exactly are you saying Stem Cells can fix, some may actually work, but they would be capable of using skin cells from the individual instead. What things would Embryonic Stem-Cells be able to do that altered skin cells can't.
Cures are possible for leukemia, Krabbe’s Leukodystrophy, Parkinson's, spinal chord injuries, damaged organs, etc., etc. The possibilities are perhaps greater than can currently be imagined given the irrational restrictions on the research. Adult stem cells, particularly those from the person receiving the treatment have shown some successes in these areas, but embryonic stem cells have many advantages over them: they divide more rapidly; they're more pluripotent (they can become more different kinds of cells); they potentially more abundant (adult stem cells are more rare -perhaps 1 in 1,000 cells of bone marrow); an embryonic stem cell line is practically immortal -adult stem cells have a limited shelf life; and so on and so one.

In the end, the objections to the use of embryonic stem cells for research and therapy are irrational and illogical. These objections are based on the superstitions of various religions and not on scientific fact. To support this claim, one can merely read through this thread and see how over and over the fact that a blastocyst isn't a person has been made abundantly clear, yet the irrational objection remains. Over and over the fact that an abundance of embryos that are destined to be destroyed has been shown to exist, yet the response is "I'm against that too."

These are irrational and unreasoned responses based on preconceived conclusions originating in religious doctrine. Religious doctrine is based on supernatural claims. Supernatural beliefs are held in spite of a lack of empirical evidence and in spite of evidence to the contrary. Beliefs such as this are, therefore, superstitious.


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Old 02-04-2009, 11:03 PM   #34
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To each their own. Lots of people are against lots of things. My wife is against chicken fried steak -I like it though.
I wasn't aware that Human life is equivalent to a piece of poultry on the dinner table?


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Cures are possible for leukemia, Krabbe’s Leukodystrophy, Parkinson's, spinal chord injuries, damaged organs, etc., etc. The possibilities are perhaps greater than can currently be imagined given the irrational restrictions on the research. Adult stem cells, particularly those from the person receiving the treatment have shown some successes in these areas, but embryonic stem cells have many advantages over them: they divide more rapidly; they're more pluripotent (they can become more different kinds of cells); they potentially more abundant (adult stem cells are more rare -perhaps 1 in 1,000 cells of bone marrow); an embryonic stem cell line is practically immortal -adult stem cells have a limited shelf life; and so on and so one.
No, that isn't very likely for some of those, anything that is genetic in nature, stem cells won't do squat, particularly Leukemia. Stem cells are not a cure all, they can do some organ regeneration, however there are some organs in the body that can regenerate on their own, such as your skin and the liver.

Furthermore adult stem cells can be created from altered skin cells.

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Originally Posted by SkinWalker
In the end, the objections to the use of embryonic stem cells for research and therapy are irrational and illogical. These objections are based on the superstitions of various religions and not on scientific fact. To support this claim, one can merely read through this thread and see how over and over the fact that a blastocyst isn't a person has been made abundantly clear, yet the irrational objection remains. Over and over the fact that an abundance of embryos that are destined to be destroyed has been shown to exist, yet the response is "I'm against that too."
I'ts still playing God, the reason I'm against the other stuff is because if I was for the other stuff I'd be a hypocrit.

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These are irrational and unreasoned responses based on preconceived conclusions originating in religious doctrine. Religious doctrine is based on supernatural claims. Supernatural beliefs are held in spite of a lack of empirical evidence and in spite of evidence to the contrary. Beliefs such as this are, therefore, superstitious.
That is your opinion, that is not necessarily fact.
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Old 02-04-2009, 11:49 PM   #35
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I wasn't aware that Human life is equivalent to a piece of poultry on the dinner table?
Chicken-fried steak is not poultry. Nor is it paltry. It has more value than a discarded human embryo if it isn't being used for research or medicine.

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No, that isn't very likely for some of those, anything that is genetic in nature, stem cells won't do squat, particularly Leukemia.
You're completely and utterly wrong. There are data to show it. Indeed Burt et al (2004) demonstrated the value of stem cell therapy in leukemia years ago.

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Stem cells are not a cure all, they can do some organ regeneration, however there are some organs in the body that can regenerate on their own, such as your skin and the liver.
Only with minor -very minor- injury or disease. This is why both skin and liver are among the more frequent organs to receive transplants.

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I'ts still playing God,
Lets leave superstition and the supernatural out of rational discourse. If the objection isn't rational and logical it should be discarded.

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That is your opinion, that is not necessarily fact.
Oh, it is completely factual. I challenge you to provide empirical data to support religious doctrines of transubstantiation, virgin birth, zombie messiahs, sudden cessation of planetary rotation followed by sudden resumption, etc. These are myths and fables based on the myths and fables of prior civilizations -there is evidence to support that. Religious adherents conveniently ignore and overlook such evidence, compartmentalizing their beliefs from reality to avoid the dilemmas created, but the data are there.

Reference(s):

Burt, Richard K; et al (2004). Embryonic Stem Cells As an Alternate Marrow Donor Source: Engraftment without Graft-Versus-Host Disease. Journal of Experimental Medicine. 199(7): 895–904.


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Old 02-09-2009, 09:28 AM   #36
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I knew stem cell research was important and useful, but it never really occurred to me that they were using embryos that'd otherwise be lost. Further strengthens my stance that the opposition to these procedures is ridiculous.

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And again I'm going to say I don't think it is remotely ethical to create life in order to destroy it in such a fashion.
Let's try to be realistic for a second here. Embryos are sometimes, just like in the human body, created and then destroyed. Given that this happens, doesn't it make more sense to use them to save lives than to throw them in the trash?

You can't say that you're against this stance because you'd rather in-vitro fertilization didn't happen, because in reality it does. It's just as with golf, really, you gotta play the ball as it lies.

I'm against donor children myself as it raises a whole lot of ethical issues, even more so than adoption... but it happens, and as long as it does, I'm for using embryos to save real, living human lives.

This sounds like one of those debates on abortion and contraception in which certain religious people cling to the notion that abstinence-only sex ed and abortion bans are the best way to reduce teen sex - even though all objective studies have found that this is approach has a disastrous track record.

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I'ts still playing God
Define 'playing God'. I'm asking because this is an expression I really do not understand. Is the rest of medical science 'playing God', too? After all, we've lengthened life expectancy from the 'natural' 30 or so years (or was it even shorter than that before the Egyptians?) to a good 80+. We fly without wings. We make 'dead' people come to life with defibrillators.

Why aren't any of these things 'playing God', and what's wrong with 'playing God' in the first place?


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Old 02-09-2009, 04:07 PM   #37
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There are some things that I don't think humans should meddle with...yet. Stem Cell research was one of them. I have mixed feelings about it though. If the cells are there, they aren't being used and could possibly go to waste, do it.

Sometimes you have to make sacrifices. This will probably sound horrible to you Garfield(and I don't mean it to), but you could think of the cells as little martyrs.




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Old 03-09-2009, 11:50 PM   #38
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7929690.stm

Finally, science can continue.


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Old 03-10-2009, 12:53 AM   #39
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Least those cells will finally go somewhere else other than the trashcan.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:07 PM   #40
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I'm glad there are people out there who want to protect our science and advancement from organized ignorance.


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