Mike Pence (R-IN) says stem cell research is “Unethical and obsolete”.
Posted: 27 June 2007 03:25 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I saw this in the local news paper last night on my lunch break, and I figured I would share it with you.

http://www.thestarpress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007706260313

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Posted: 27 June 2007 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Is it me or there is a couple of fallacies in this article?. He believes that life starts in conception. Well, if he believes it there is nothing to say: he believes it. But maybe the rest of us could have the right to not to live according to his beliefs.

On the other hand, he said ‘On the day of the stem cell vote in the U.S. House, the Washington Post and New York Times both carried front-page stories about an extraordinary breakthrough using skin cells that would make the debate surrounding embryonic stem cell research a moot point.’. Does he want us to act according to a posibility which could be useful in an uncertain future?. I see a clear ‘would make’, not ‘will make’. I think is a fallacy trying to win a discussion using uncertain future posibilities.

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Posted: 27 June 2007 10:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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The jackass is way behind the curve. Since i am post polio, and just recently finished an extensive neurological exam, including cat scans, I try to keep up on this as it holds some promise of repairing neurological damage to make my leg function again.

Its easy for him to say, not having mobility problems.

But anyway, he has not come out against PGD of zygotes for implantation. And the fact is, that zygotes shed cells, which are now examined for defective DNA markers, but which could also be used to create “stem cells”. And if the zygote meets criteria, it will be implanted. Got that? you dont havta “kill a baby” to get “stem cells”.

Another reason I am worried about the viability of the democratic process. Democracy means people stupider than you are selecting the leadership. They are the majority, are they not?

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Posted: 27 June 2007 11:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The problem is that a lot of Republicans seem to be on the side of the Religious Reich who seem to know nothing about modern science and don’t want to get their facts straight.  They also seem to not want to learn about new breakthroughs that have the potential of saving lives.  Stemcell research could also help people with diabetes too.  I don’t have diabetes, but I have friends and relatives that do.  I have also known some who died from it, even though they took their medicine and followed their diets as the dr. Rx’d.  It’s sad to see someone die from such illnesses.

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Posted: 28 June 2007 06:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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If I remember correctly I wrote a letter to the guy on (I think) the issue of stem cell research. All I got out of it was a form letter from his office that I ended up handing off to my paper shredder.

Also, I think this guy ran unopposed in the last election though it could have been someone else and I’m just misremembering. I know there was one race where I just didn’t tick off my vote because even though it doesn’t make a difference I’d rather toss my vote than give it to the Republican.

[ Edited: 28 June 2007 06:50 AM by brainlesssteel ]
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Posted: 28 June 2007 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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daybrown - 27 June 2007 10:30 PM

The jackass is way behind the curve.

A little offtopic and just for curiosity, I don’t understand this expression. Could someone explain this to me?

Its easy for him to say, not having mobility problems.

Well, sure this a point. His inner conviction that this cells are a baby (the potency is not the being) has a deep and terrible impact on ohers lives. I don’t care if he denies to receive a treatment based on stem cells because he is sure enough that he is killing a baby, but he wants to decide for the rest of us.

Another reason I am worried about the viability of the democratic process. Democracy means people stupider than you are selecting the leadership. They are the majority, are they not?

Well, I must admit I did horrible mistakes in the election in my country. Democracy could be the worst method, except for those that has been tested on the past. wink

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Posted: 28 June 2007 10:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Maybe we should look at the issue of stem cell research with a more distant perspective.

Treatments with stem cells only have a limited success so far. The positive results are not so positive as we expected, have low reproducibility and were done in only high selected patients. It is very possible that the treatment with stem cells will never be really feasible, but the by-products of this research will.

The stem cell research is about learning the keys of multiplication and differenciation of cells, and developing tools to influence this. This knowledge will lead to the treatment of many diseases, including diabetes and neurologic conditions. And the study of embrionic stem cells is fundamentally important to this.

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Posted: 28 June 2007 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Barto - 28 June 2007 10:43 AM
daybrown - 27 June 2007 10:30 PM

The jackass is way behind the curve.

A little offtopic and just for curiosity, I don’t understand this expression. Could someone explain this to me?

“Jackass” = “idiot”.

“Behind the curve” = “living in the past” ... at least as I understand it.

wink

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Posted: 28 June 2007 11:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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The jackass is way behind the curve.

A little offtopic and just for curiosity, I don’t understand this expression. Could someone explain this to me?

Well, “jackass” is of course from the animal (aka “donkey”) and typically means someone stupid and not very nice (as a perjorative description of someone, it has an intensity somewhere between “idiot” and “asshole”).

“Behind the curve” comes generally from the idea of the bell curve or normal distribution, in which the majority or average is in the middle and the ends represent data points above (in front of) or below (behind) the median. So to be “behind the curve” metaphorically means to be trailing the movement of public opinion or the progress of knowledge in a given area. Similarly, to be “ahead of the curve” means to lead the majority opinion.

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Posted: 28 June 2007 11:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I agree that the potential benefits of stem cell research are great but also unproven, and it may be that they never live up to their promise. The more important issue is why research funding should or should not be restricted for this, or any, kind of research. The only rational for restricting such funidng is the belief that it involves killing little blastocystic people, and this is an entirely religious idea. So restricting funding is essentially imposing the religious belief of many (but not necessarily even a bare majority) on everyone, which is fundamentally not how the system is supposed to work (at least theoretically and IMO) in the U.S. Same general argument applies to same sex marriage and lots of other “culture war” issues which hinge not so much on the specific issues themselves as on the conflict between secularism and the slippery slope to theocracy.

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Posted: 28 June 2007 01:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Thank you for the explanation!. I realize I love this expression… to be there where the (normal) curve joins the X axis on the zero direction grin. Funny.

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Posted: 28 June 2007 01:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I agree with you Brennen.

But as far as I know, every today succefull therapy has been, in any point in the past,  in this stage. As far as I know, more research worth the effort in this topic. Maybe we won’t achieve anything important, but we don’t know yet. It is the definition of research, right? wink

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Posted: 30 June 2007 05:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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<The only rational for restricting such funidng is the belief that it involves killing little blastocystic people, and this is an entirely religious idea. So restricting funding is essentially imposing the religious belief of many (but not necessarily even a bare majority) on everyone, which is fundamentally not how the system is supposed to work (at least theoretically and IMO) in the U.S.>

I dont expect everyone to read everything, but let me be more concise. You dont have to kill a blastocyst, baby, or whatever you want to call it to do stem cell research.

PGD, Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis routinely recovers shed cells from a zygote to make sure the DNA does not have known genetic defect markers before implantation. The cells to do that can be propagated for stem cell research.

Its just too much to expect the media and politicians to be rational.

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Posted: 30 June 2007 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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A zygote, by definition, is a single cell made up of the union of two germ cells (sperm and egg). As such, it doesn’t have any cells to shed, so I’m not sure I see how what you’re saying dayborwn makes any sense. A blastocyst is a multicellular stage a little farther along, and though I am no expert I believe this is the stage in which cells are taken for embryonic research. They are usually taken from blastocysts created in vitro, not from those fertilized in the woman’s uterus. HERE is a link to the basic steps in stem cell derivation from NIH. It is difficult to harvest pluripotent cells from a blastocyst and them have the blastocyst remain viable for implantation into a woman, so in essence the blastocyst is routinely “killed” to derive embryonic stem cells. The question is whether this has any significant ethical problems. I, of course, don’t think it does, but the religious are more likely to think it is a person in some sense at this stage and to consider this harvesting of cells to be killing it.

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Posted: 30 June 2007 03:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Look up PGD, Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis. I dont know what they call the fertilized life form in the petri dish. But they do take a cell, and from that cell replicate the DNA, and if its acceptable, implant the “egg”, or whatever you want to call it at whatever stage of development it is.

From other sources I’ve read that cells are naturally shed during development. I dunno if they have to forceably extract a cell or simply collect one from the nutrient solution. But either way, no “baby” is killed, which was the point of the whole post. I dont think the nomenclature matters that much because, in the first place, those who define any conception as a “baby” quickly learn not to read anything I post.

And, no matter how they extract the cell, it can be propagated like any other “stem cell”. Part of the problem here is that both sides of the issue pander to the bases and do not want to see a reasonable solution. I dont have a base, so I dont have the problem.

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