Thursday, February 22, 2007

Debating cloning legislation in Iowa

Here's an article about the cloning legislation in Iowa. Human cloning is referred as a type of stem cell research (most likely because that's how the bill describes it) even though no one has actually been able to get stem cells from human clones. A child with a diabetes is convinced by his parents that God gave humans the ability to try to clone human embryo for a reason. Mark Hunt, a professor at the University of Iowa, lies about what researchers at the University of Iowa want to do. I'm thankful the article actually explains what somatic cell nuclear transfer is.
The process creates a cloned embryo by removing the nucleus of a human egg cell and fusing the "empty" egg with the nucleus of another human cell. The cell then divides, and embryonic stem cells can be extracted to be used for research. The embryo is destroyed.
How rare is it that a newspaper actually describes what somatic cell nuclear transfer is? Unfortunately, that paragraph is the second to last paragraph.

Another article from Radio Iowa contains a dodging-the-question answer from University of Iowa researcher Amy Sparks,
University of Iowa researcher Amy Sparks answered the critics who say there have been no cures found in stem cell research using cloned human embryos. "Why haven't we seen cures today? Well, we haven't had the opportunities. We know our colleagues abroad are starting to do some work in the United Kingdom. Some of the states in the United States are now starting to support this research," she says. "Here in Iowa we have a ban. We can't do any of it yet. Hopefully, when this bill passes, we will."
But why haven't they (in places where the research is allowed and paid for with millions of tax dollars) come up with any cures, Amy? Why was Hwang Woo-suk, who was formerly one of the most highly-regarded cloning scientists, not able to get a single embryonic stem cell line from a cloned human embryo (or even create a cloned human embryo for that matter) even though his government poured tens of millions of dollars into his research and he had over 2,000 eggs at his disposal? Why hasn't anyone been able to get stem cells from cloned embryos? Do you actually think the University of Iowa would have found a cure using stem cells from cloned embryos if Iowa hadn't banned human cloning?

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