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Old 06-27-2007, 07:34 PM   #105
Achilles
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Ugh...so much catching up...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070607...o/stem_cells_23

No doubt this will make some breathe a little easier...
Unfortunately, the link is no longer available. Do you happen to recall the topic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Or the pro-abortion movement as "pro-choice"
I agree, hence why you'll never see me use either term without parenthesis. FWIW though, "pro-choice" is less misleading than "pro-life". "Pro-choice" implies that the opposition opposes choice which is true. "Pro-life" implies that the opposition opposes life which is a blantant misrepresentation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
It seems there's good news all round:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy...5082101180.html


So much for the necessity.
Maybe in the future, but this technique is still several years off from being a truely viable alternative. You can find a audio archive of an interview with the head researcher here where he says as much. Exciting breakthough? Certainly. But not an immediate alternative. In other words, so long as ESCR remains the gold standard, it should be the primary course for research.

...not to mention developmental research that cannot be done with ESC alternatives

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
It bears repeating that researchers have found a way to create ESCs without killing embryos.
Sure. Doesn't that then create an ethical concern for the newly created embryonic stem cell? I mean we do have a cell that has the potential to become a human life? Doesn't it have a soul? Who's going to defend that soul's right to life?

Unless, of course, you want to tell me that this is somehow different.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Achilles--I didn't say 'a lot of embryos are adopted out'. Many, if not most, are not adopted out. I just said it's available.
Then I'm afraid that I don't understand what your point is. Your argument does nothing to address my point that most frozen embryos die during the freezing process, the thawing process, remain frozen forever, or are left to "die" regardless. If you point was not to say that there is another viable alternative, then I'm not sure what it was and will need some clarification please. Thanks in advance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
A person is a person as soon as they have independent DNA in a living, independent cell.
I acknowledge that this is the definition that you choose to accept, however you've yet to produce a compelling argument for why it should be generally accepted, let alone "correct" or "true". There are other available definitions that I (and others) consider to be just as viable and perhaps a little more logical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Saying a child isn't living because it needs to be sustained in a uterus for awhile is like saying someone on a ventilator isn't alive because they need machines to breath for them. You can't have it both ways.
I'm sorry, when did I make any statement at all regarding someone on a ventalator? I don't believe that I ever did, so your argument seems very much like a strawman.

FWIW, my official stance is that lack of heartbeat and brain activity = not alive. If someone is on a ventilator, with no brain wave activity, and cannot survive without said machines, then they aren't alive. Not sure how that's having it both ways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The reason I haven't addressed the 'where would ESC research be without the restrictions' is because it's sheer speculation. We don't know where it would be at. We could divert all money from ASC in favor of ESC and still have absolutely no effective treatments derived from ESC, or we could have a lot. So that question is not very relevant--it's a crap shoot and that's it.
Good, so this means you can stop making definitive statements about the ineffectiveness of ESC research, correct? I mean, you can't say it's worthless right after admitting that you don't really know, right? Thank you for reinforcing my point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Where would adult stem cell research be at if we had diverted those research dollars to ESC research? That I do know--we would not be nearly as far ahead as we are now in effective medical treatments. With all the embryonic stem cell lines we do have in the US and all the research going on in the rest of the world, if it was going to have some kind of beneficial outcome, we should have seen _something_ by now.
Ah, but by your own point, we could be much further ahead. To quote you (quoting me), "you can't have it both ways".

We have seen lots of "somethings", however your tendency has been to dismiss them because they tend to be promising lines of research rather than FDA approved cures.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Adult stem cells are easy to harvest--it's done routinely in bone marrow transplants all the time. Other types of adult stem cells are likewise relatively easy to obtain. While 1 adult stem cell can't differentiate into every single kind of cell, the combination of different adult stem cells will differentiate into all the different cell types.
Source? ASC are currently very limited. And as I pointed out for Darth InSidious, neglecting ESCr in favor or ASCr does nothing to move developmental research forward. Another huge negative for the current course of action in the U.S.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
The point is moot anyway if they can derive ESC without killing an embryo.
Not true for the reasons provided above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I don't have an objection to ESC research itself, I have an objection to killing embryos to get those stem cells.
Sure, and are those objections based on rationale, ethical, and/or scientific reasons or are they based on your religious beliefs? If it's the former, please be so kind as to expand on what they are. If it's the latter, then we can just acknowledge that and move on if you would like.

*Skips over some back-and-forth between Jae and ED*

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL
To be completely blunt, isn't there brain waves in an embryo before the tenth week? Seems to me one could argue the embryo is alive once there is brain waves. Because signs of motor functions occur earlier than week 10, while measurable brainwaves are sometime later, one has to bear in mind that one is trying to measure brainwave activity through the mother's womb.
Quite possibly a valid point, but a little bit of apples and oranges when compared to the "every living thing has a soul at the moment of conception" argument posed by the religious right. If research shows that there is measurable brain and heart activity at conception, I would be willing to change my views on abortion because of where the evidence leads, not some arbitrary religious argument.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL
Another argument against embryo stem cell research is that it has been shown that umbilical cords from a newborn also have stem cells that can be used instead of embryonic stem cells. That means there are other ways to get stem cells without having to go out and kill embryos. So I am completely against harvesting stem cells from embryos and aborted fetuses (in many cases done after it can be done legally barring danger to mother has been discovered now occur still by abortion clinics) we're looking at the possibility of people getting pregnent and get paid to have abortions so people can harvest stem cells. So in all honesty I'm going to go for an actual complete ban of harvesting embryonic stem cells, there are other ways to get stem cells in large amounts without destroying life.
Again, an interesting point. I'm not sure it what relevance it has in the context of what to do with unused human embryos in fertility clinics. Which raises the point: If Bush and the religious right are so interested in creating a culture of life, why aren't they moving to ban the practice of embryo destruction? It seems that the policy is that human embryos can be destroyed, however they cannot be destroyed for scientific research. It would really help me to understand the arguments if there weren't so many inconsistencies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL
Before anyone accuses me of not caring about people with debilitating conditions that stem cells could be possibily used to cure, I had a grandfather with Parkinsons whom passed away a few years ago.
My sincere condolences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL
While I would have loved to see him cured, he wouldn't have wanted unborn infants to die which is arguably what an embryo is, while they can't survive on their own, a newborn can't either without someone taking care of it are we going to say next that babies aren't people? One could then argue this about toddlers, and then children under 10.
Slipper-slope fallacy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL
So I'm going to support President Bush's decision to veto this latest House bill, because quite frankly there are other ways to get stem cells like a newborn's umbilical cord that has to be cut off after birth anyways.
I would support it too, if it made sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by True_Avery
I don't have a full understanding...<snip>
For someone that claims not to have a full understanding, you seem to have a pretty firm grasp on the main issues. Kudos.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
Well, when one considers the fact that the fly as no ability to realise that it is alive - its sensory perceptions are for living, surviving, and reproducing... just as our own ones are (but that's beside the point) - it has no ability to miss being alive .
And how much time do we spend arguing for houseflies' rights to life?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
However, I do have to ask the question: what is the difference between an undifferentiated, totipotent zygote and an undifferentiated, totipotent umbilical cord cell is?
To my understanding: none. However, Federal law prohibits funding of embryonic stem cell research regarless of the source. ESC from the umbilical cord are eligible for just as much federal funding as those taken from the embryos that would have been destroyed in the fertility clinics. Exactly zero dollars and zero cents. That's the first big problem.

The second big problem is the fact that no sound argument has been presented for why embryos taken from fertility clinics should not be used. There are more, but these two are showstoppers and should be sufficient for the sake of this conversation. I personally don't care where the ESCs come from, I simply think that we should be doing the research and take offence to the fact that said research is limited in the U.S. for no logical reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
Surely, because both the cell types are non-specialised, they both have the potential to be a human being - both given the right conditions? And the business of turning normal body cells into stem cells: surely that is creating the potential for a new, human life then destroying it?
Again you are correct. It seems to me that the religous conservative argument would be much more powerful if it were consistent. The fact that it's not leads me to think that most of the people adopting said arguments don't truly understand the issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
My understanding of this area, however, is limited so feel free to strip away the illusion of knowledge and throw a book/source/site at me .
Doing fine so far

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
Pavlos--the stem cells are harvested from an embryo, but an embryonic stem cell is not the same as an embryo. The stem cells are one of a number of different types of cells that an embryo has, like nerve cells or skin cells, etc. So an umbilical stem cell may be the same as one from an embryo, but that's just a part of the embryo, not the whole embryo.
I'm unclear on many of the point here, however with that said, on the surface, you appear to be wrong. Embryonic stems cells are not techincally an embryo (they are a blastocyst), however they will eventually become an embryo much later in the development cycle. Stem cells eventually become nerve cells and skins cells, so to say that they are different is technically correct, but at the very least also somewhat misleading.

One of the important aspects of embryonic stem cell research that gets glossed over in the "theraputic benefit debate" is the fact that studying embryonic stem cells might help us to understand/prevent birth defects. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how tricking ASCs into acting like ESCs will help us in that regard. Even if we find a viable theraputic alternative, we still leave all of that scientific discovery untouched by ignoring this research.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Excuse for wandering in here with comments that may have already been addressed, but stem cells, they can help a lot of people right? We should be doing everything we can to help people shouldn't we? But there's a lot of concern over what this does over the sancity of your soul if this goes ahead? Let's talk about that, could the moral issues over stem cell research be explained to me? Isn't it something about using or killing off body parts, stem cells to encourage strong growth or something?
Hi Nancy, the big problem here is that there is no evidence that the soul exists. Trying to argue the possible affects on the soul is a little bit like debating the tooth fairies favorite flavor of ice cream. The moral issue is that there's isn't one. The only opposing arguments (that I've seen) are religious in nature and have no firm grounding in morals/ethics. I'm sorry that I don't have an answer more definitive than that. Perhaps if you had a more specific concern I could try to address your question(s) better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GarfieldJL
The thing that in my mind makes taking embryonic stem cells from embryos just an excuse to butcher human life <snip>
An interesting perspective. Why do you think scientists would be interested in "butching human life" for the sake of doing so? Wouldn't that contradict their stated position that they want to help save human lives? If the true goal is to kill for the sake of killing, wouldn't there be easier ways to satisfy that desire (pets, abortion clinics, trigger-happy cop, etc)?

*skips over a bunch of stuff I've already addressed*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Adult stem cells won't turn into another separate life.
Sorry, this statement is incorrect. Link

If any human cell can be used to generate a human being, then abortion is no more tragic than bathing or scratching an itch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Adult stem cell research has absolutely bore fruit. A _lot_ of fruit. See a previous post on that for all the results that have come out of _adult_ stem cell research--bone marrow transplants for cancer patients being one of the biggest uses right now out of the dozens of different treatments derived from adult stem cells.
It sure has. However if ASC is patently *so* much better than ESC then why isn't ESC allowed equitable access to research dollars? I've made this argument before Jae and I'm still awaiting your reply. If ASC is the real-deal and ESC has no potential, then research scientists would quickly figure this out on their own with artificial barriers being put up.

I think my point is conspicuously supported by the fact that so many researchers are trying to find ways to manufacture ESCs from ASCs and ESC's pluripotent nature is regarded as the gold standard. If ESCs were truly defunct as you seem to want for all of us to believe, then I don't understand why so much effort is being made in there arenas. Perhaps you could shed some light on this for me?

The rest of the thread seems to veer a little off-topic so I'll leave it there for now. Thanks to everyone for reading.
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