Fetal Farming

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Nienna, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. Nienna
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    Nienna Senior Member

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    Smoking Out the Truth
    What (Most) Stem-Cell Researchers Really Want
    October 7, 2005

    It was the kind of news that should have had scientists jumping for joy.

    A few weeks ago, the journal Science announced a major breakthrough in stem-cell research: A Harvard research team had found a way to create embryonic-type stem cells without the need to create and kill embryos, raising all those moral questions.

    This is tremendous news. Researchers have told us for years that embryonic stem cells are vitally important in the race to find cures for a host of diseases. And now, they have the means of creating embryonic-type stem cells that won't kill human embryos—something most Americans object to. So why aren't they breaking out the champagne? The probable reason, as Princeton Professor Robert George puts it, is "ominous."

    George, a member of the President's Council on Bioethics, explains in the Weekly Standard that up to now, embryonic stem-cell advocates have claimed that they're only interested in stem cells harvested from embryos at the blastocyst stage—that is, embryos five to six days old. They've claimed they're not interested in implanting embryos, either in a woman's uterus or in artificial wombs, in order to harvest cells, tissues, or organs at more advanced stages of development. "However," George writes, "based on the literature I have read and the answers given by spokesmen for the biotechnology industry … I fear that the long-term goal is indeed to create an industry.…"—an industry, that is, involving the harvesting of "late embryonic and fetal body parts for use in regenerative medicine and organ transplantation."

    This would, George writes, "explain why advocates of embryonic stem cell research are not cheering" over news of alternative sources of pluripotent stem cells—that is, cells that have the potential to develop into multiple types of mature cells. "If their real goal is fetus farming, then the cells produced by alternative methods will not serve their purposes," George writes.

    The dirty little secret of the stem-cell debate, you see, is that stem cells derived from embryos at the blastocyst stage are useless because they tend to generate tumors. Researchers know this. However, recent studies with animals reveal that the problem of tumor formation does not exist in cells taken when embryos have had several weeks or months to develop. This means that the real therapeutic potential lies in the practice of fetal farming. It means that "stem cells, tissues, and organs harvested from humans at, say, 16 or 18 or 21 weeks' gestation could be used in the treatment of diseases." Mind you, we're talking about fetuses almost old enough to live outside the womb. Ghastly!

    As George puts it, these developments have "smoked out the true objectives of at least some who have been leading the charge for embryonic stem cell research." The question is, will we respect human life—or will we start creating and killing fetuses in order to harvest their organs?

    I hope you'll visit our website to find out how you can help stop the drive toward fetal farming. Because if we do nothing, the brave new world will soon be upon us—one in which human beings will be treated as just another farm animal.


    Get links to further information on today's topic
    For printer-friendly version, simply visit www.breakpoint.org and click on Today's Commentary. The printer-friendly link is on the left-hand column.

    Copyright (c) 2005 Prison Fellowship

    THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

    DEADLINE: NOVEMBER 15
    BreakPoint's "Bioethics in the Twenty-First Century" CD addresses biotechnology and its ethical implications, from stem-cell research to cloning to eugenics—a great resource for pastors, students, teachers, and all other citizens.

    http://msg1svc.net/servlet/Pv?c=703d70666d26733d3230393739266d3d3134303126743d4826723d4e2664613d30
     
  2. Harmageddon
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    Harmageddon Member

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    These kinds of posts hurt.
    As a soon to be scientist, a neurobiologist to be more precise, I have actually been working with stemcells during the course of my studies. The accusation that MOST stemcell researchers would want to get insanely rich over the harvesting of embryo's in a massive breeding farm is just so utterly fabricated, so vile, I find it sad it reaches some minds and settles there.

    As is always the case, with anything, there are bad people. People that are driven by greed or hatred or some other vile engine of progress, people that stop at nothing to satisfy their own narsistic needs.

    But MOST people are not like that.
    Even if everyone has dark thoughts now and then, most people have the potential to refrain from putting those thoughts into action, because we all know they are inherintly wrong ones.

    I can understand the fear that these complex scientific issues may raise. I myself am gravely concerned about the fact that multinational corporations are running the show now - from politics to the course that science is to take - and these fears have a chance of becoming reality.

    Whereas science used to be funded by taxes from the government and could therefore boast a status of independence of the market, now there is a trend visible that governments retreat from the funding of scientific research.

    Instead, the financial situation of scientific research is becoming more and more dependent on corporate wishes. And corporatioins, when it gets down to it, are driven more by profits than anything else. Because corporations, not scientists, are driven by greed.

    Scientists are driven by a quest for knowledge, and for this article to equate that with a quest for gold, is I suppose a way of expressing contempt for science. To ascert that these highly intelligent people are scientists because they can get rich of whatever devilworshipping practices are shoved in their shoes is very wrong. These are mostly very descent people, and if they weren't, they would be smart enough to study business instead of science, for that's where the money is.

    In science nowadays, there is debate on all the ethical problems that may arise, including the fact that corporations are becoming our financial lifeline, which may have dire consequences. It is getting harder by the day.
    This burden drags some of these scientists to the brink.

    That is where the problem is, which this article shamelessly shoves it at the scientist's feet.
     
  3. Hagbard Celine
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    Hagbard Celine Senior Member

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    Harm, don't try to hide the fact that you are an evil bloodsucking fetus farmer.:rolleyes: Stop trying to play God Man!
     
  4. Harmageddon
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    Hag, I'm not learning to be a scientist to learn to play God, why would I want to do that if I am already a part of his infinite greatness, as are we all?

    Look, if I really wanna play omnipotence I'll play an RTS.

    Besides the fact whether there is a God or not, humanity is driven by a need to understand the world around us. I'm just trying to do my part.
    :dance:
     
  5. Harmageddon
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    Besides, whereas it was Einstein that postulated the famous E equals M times C square, it was not Einstein that advocated to drop the bomb.
     
  6. Hagbard Celine
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    Hagbard Celine Senior Member

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    How close are you guys to being able to clone new body parts? I'm going to need a new set of lungs in about thirty years, so speed it up! :dance:
     
  7. Harmageddon
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    Well, things are progressing but we're not anywhere near growing organs in test-tubes. I've actually been involved in some research trying to find the right medium for stem cells to grow in properly, since science is still on the track discovering the molecular clockwork behind it.

    I believe some Australians managed to induce a roll-back of differentiation (i.e. becoming adults) in cells that were deemed impossible to change. Which means that we used to think only stemcells had suffient potential to change themselves in different sorts of cells, like neurons or muscle cells, but now it seems that fully differentiated cells can be induced to roll back their program to a more childlike state. And from there on can be induced to grow to some totally different cell type.

    We're learning new stuff every day, and embryonic stem cells may be something of the ignorant past very soon.
     
  8. Hagbard Celine
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    Hagbard Celine Senior Member

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    This may be a dumb question, but wouldn't it be easy to figure out what the proper solution for growing stem cells would be? Wouldn't it be nearly the same solution as birth fluid in a woman's uterus?
     
  9. Harmageddon
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    Well Hagbard, there are no dumb questions, only dumb answers, as they say.
    Let's check if it's true, shall we?

    A stem cell is not what an unborn child is entirely composed of.
    When you're still in the egg-cell stage, this is still roughly the case. As soon as you start growing beyond that however, from a clustered sphere into what resembles a bean, you're not composed of just stem cells anymore. The cells have begun to differentiate, i.e. grow into other types of cells.

    Whereas birth fluid in a woman's uterus may be a very nice organic soup to be floating in, it is not what keeps the stem cells alive and kicking. The eggcell has quite a reserve of energy when it forms, and from this it grows into a spherical shape that is hollow on the inside save for one side where there is a cluster of cells that sticks out towards the middle.

    That bulge is what is to become a person. The outer cellular layer of cells touches down at the uterus walls, and it is there that it connects to the mother's tissue and starts leeching the essential nutrients from to sustain it's growth. The soup in the uterus becomes mainly a dump for all the waste the developing fetus produces.

    Stemcells are not just the realm of fetuses however, since adults also posess stemcells, in tissues as diverse as brain tissue, muscle and bone marrow. The stem cells from the bone marrow get into the bloodstream and these (my very own stemcells) I have used in a project to grow in a medium. However, adult stem cells have proven quite difficult to keep alive in growth medium, as opposed to embryonic stem cells that are quite easy to keep alive.

    For more information:
    http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/
    http://www.gene-watch.org/educational/stem_cells_mom.pdf
    or just google for stem cells yourself :dance:
    That may be faster than asking me,
    although if you prefer, I'll do my
    best to answer.
     
  10. no1tovote4
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    no1tovote4 VIP Member

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