Friday, March 09, 2007

Life Links 3/9/07

Ramesh Ponnuru on prolife litmus tests.

One thing I think is often missing when talking about Giuliani's positions on life issues is his position on other life issues like the funding of embryonic stem cell research and human cloning for research and even the funding of international groups which promote abortions overseas. He promises to appoint the right kind of judges but will he promise to continue the Mexico City Policy and prevent tax dollars from being used to kill human embryos? Probably not.

Beverly Nuckols explains how embryonic stem cells need to be changed into adult stem cells before they can be used.
The answers are obvious if you think about it -- even the "embryonic proponents" are trying to make adult stem cells.

None of the treatments involved in therapy - now or in any likely future therapies - are actual embryonic stem cells, because the cells we need will only function in specific conditions and surroundings. The specific conditions and surroundings are only found in place, in the actual site of damage.

Embryonic stem cells function is to make embryonic tissues and must develop into precursors and then specific tissues. The "gold standard" test for embryonic stem cells is their ability to make tumors called teratomas in mice. And this is what they would do in any body, as long as they are "embryonic stem cells."

It's all about the patents, baby! An editorial in the journal Stem Cell says isolated stem cell lines should be patented. When researchers like the University of Michigan's Sean Morrison tell you they need to create their own embryonic stem cell lines, it's not because those stem cell lines are somehow going to work better than other embryonic stem cell lines or being able to create kill embryos is somehow going to create thousands of jobs. It's because they want the patents.

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