Monday, November 26, 2007

Life Links - What you might have missed over Thanksgiving edition

James Thomson, who created the first human embryonic stem cell line, had ethical concerns about embryonic stem cell research.
"If human embryonic stem cell research does not make you at least a little bit uncomfortable, you have not thought about it enough," he said. "I thought long and hard about whether I would do it."

Stanford researchers have used adult stem cells to help replace the immune systems of mice. This could have potential benefits for individuals with arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

Mark I. at Red State wonders why presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama haven't mentioned the recent breakthrough of obtaining pluripotent stem cell by reprogramming skin cells. Both candidates voted no on legislation to promote alternative means of obtaining pluripotent stem cells which don't kill human embryos.
For Sen. Hillary!™ Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, it may be because in a crucial vote for ethical stem cell alternatives taken earlier this year, they voted no....

In other words, the HOPE Act's purpose was to support and promote the very same kind of research that resulted in the breakthrough announced yesterday. It cannot be said that the act led to the result, however, clearly those who voted no on the act cannot reasonably claim to support the result. If Clinton and Obama had their way, yesterday's research result might never have happened at all.
That could be one of the stupider votes of both of their careers if these pluripotent stem cells ever become useable for treatments.

National Review has symposium of reactions a to last week's stem cell news.

Hadley Arkes in First Things on Abortion Politics 2008.

David Freddosso discusses the problem with being opposed to embryonic stem cells because they aren't currently effective. He notes prolife opposition to embryonic stem cell research exists because, "The willful destruction of human life in a science experiment is always unethical, regardless of any good consequences it may bring."

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