Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Without Killing Human Embryos

The New York Times, the Boston Globe, Time, the Wall Street Journal and others are reporting that two groups of researchers (one headed by Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University and the other headed by James Thomson of the University of Wisconsin) have created cells which have the same properties as embryonic stem cells by reprogramming adult cells.

Today is a day where those in favor of killing human embryos for their embryonic stem cells and those in favor of creating cloned human embryos through cloning must begin to decide what their priorities are. Do they want to cure patients or get patents? Do they want to stick to their guns and continue to claim that the insanely inefficient process of trying to create cloned human embryos is the way forward or do they have courage to admit their cloning attempts have been miserable failures? Will they continue to throw millions of dollars into failed unethical research or will they look to the new ethical alternative? Will they still throw millions of dollars at ballot initiatives focused on fooling the public or will they live in reality? Will they be excited about this new discovery or will they downplay it because overshadows their work?

Reporters also must decide where they stand. Will they continue to pass deceptive myths off as the truth or will they get with program and realize that human cloning is never going to cure anyone. For example, the Boston Globe is still clinging to the old storyline and should be ashamed of itself for this quote in today's article:
Most stem cell scientists had believed that the cloning of human embryos through a process know as somatic cell nuclear transfer represented the best bet for producing useable human embryonic stem cells in the next five- or 10 years.

"Most scientists" thought a process which has never produced human stem cells was "the best bet?" Please. If I see another newspaper or cloning advocate claim cells from cloned human embryos represent "the only hope" or "the greatest promise" or "best bet," I'll have to try hard to control my laughter. They no longer have anything left to even attempt to stand on.

The debate has ended today. There is no medical reason to even attempt to create cloned human embryos anymore. The question that remains is how long will human cloning advocates attempt to push and haul their broken down car which ran out of gas miles ago.

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