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This is quite a controversial subject in the United States. I have been to many genetic conferences at several colleges, and stem cells were discussed in depth. I find it all very interesting, and I was just wondering what others thought of this matter. Most people believe human embryonic stem cell research/harvesting to be immoral, and I do agree that it has not produced the kinds of results that adult stem cells have so far. But, it appears as if we are discovering more about embryonic stem cells: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19067616/

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Last Post by christina>you
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I don't see any reason it's immoral to do things with non-thinking cells, as long as they're yours to do things with. Of course, government subsidization of this research is immoral.

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I picked other, because I haven't researched this particular topic and I don't know much about it.

I have heard that it is considered wrong from various different people in my religion, but I'm not familiar with the whole process.

Can someone briefly explain this to me?

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This is my first attempt at posting a reply so I hope it works out. First of all, I am no expert but I perhaps a layman's perception might be a good starting point for you.
Probably the important thing about stem cells is that they can be grown into a variety of specialised tissues to help repair or even replace damaged tissue (perhpas even spinal nerve cells one day).
The controversy is over the source over the type of stem cell: adult or embryonic (there is another but I can't recall what it is). There has been a great deal of success with trials using adult stem cells and because this is less controversial, more funding is generally available. Adult stem cells cannot provide unlimied expansion though and this is where in theory embryonic stems cells should have an advantage. The big problem is that these cells can only be harvested by destroying the embryo or by providing a good supply through cloning.
I am sure you can see how this falls foul within a number of religions.
Just my two cents worth...

Votes + Comments
Good post :)
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This is my first attempt at posting a reply so I hope it works out. First of all, I am no expert but I perhaps a layman's perception might be a good starting point for you.
Probably the important thing about stem cells is that they can be grown into a variety of specialised tissues to help repair or even replace damaged tissue (perhpas even spinal nerve cells one day).
The controversy is over the source over the type of stem cell: adult or embryonic (there is another but I can't recall what it is). There has been a great deal of success with trials using adult stem cells and because this is less controversial, more funding is generally available. Adult stem cells cannot provide unlimied expansion though and this is where in theory embryonic stems cells should have an advantage. The big problem is that these cells can only be harvested by destroying the embryo or by providing a good supply through cloning.
I am sure you can see how this falls foul within a number of religions.
Just my two cents worth...

Good first post :) I was just thinking of how I should explain it, but you generalized it pretty well. There are a limited amount of embryonic stem cells that exist only in the blastocyst, and only a few weeks after conception.. These cells possess telomease-they are biologically immortal. These cells become specialized cells soon after, and are usually considered pluripotent, b/c they can become any of the 220 cells in the body. They become cells such as cardiac muscle brain cells, wbc's. spinal cord, rods and cones, etc.. And as you can imagine, they are wanted for this remarkable ability of becoming ANY cell in the human body. Adult cells are already specialized cells, and they are usually a lot older... Further stem cell research may be able to cure many diseases of today.. but, embryonic stem cell research is not backed by the U.S. government b/c it is considered 'immoral' since it involves the creation and destruction of a human embryo. Some people agree, others disagree. Personally, I think embryonic stem cell research should be legal, and funded just like everything else..

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Ahh... so the biggest problem is, people tend to think of it as abortion?

I personally think that embryonic stem cell research is a good idea if it can save lives... but only if it doesn't involve destroying other lives at the same time.

I thought I heard something about the introduction of new experiments that allows the embryo to not be harmed through the process... I don't know if that's true though.

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hmm.. I don't know how the embryo wouldn't be harmed. Its embryonic cells are harvested, which is completely detrimental to its life.

Also, the embryo is usually created in a lab, and Christians are upset b/c scientists are basically creating life, harvesting a few cells, and then destroying the embryo. Some people argue that the embryo is not yet 'alive' at the time the cells are harvested, but most people believe that the second it becomes a zygote, it is considered a living human being.

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hmm.. I don't know how the embryo wouldn't be harmed. Its embryonic cells are harvested, which is completely detrimental to its life.

Oh, then I was wrong lol.

Also, the embryo is usually created in a lab, and Christians are upset b/c scientists are basically creating life, harvesting a few cells, and then destroying the embryo. Some people argue that the embryo is not yet 'alive' at the time the cells are harvested, but most people believe that the second it becomes a zygote, it is considered a living human being.

Well I tend to lean towards that idea too.

The zygote is considered a living organism, it is the beginning of a human life. A human could not develop without this stage. I'm aggressively against abortion unless it is under the right circumstances [like rape]. And I didn't develop this kind of mindset while being a Christian... I've just always felt like it was wrong.

Embryonic stem cell research is a different story though, and I think I should start reading some information on it. Although I'm already starting to not like it, I'm kind of in between as of now.

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Well - another way to look at it is that the embryos likely to be the source for stem cells are going to be destroyed anyway. They tend to be "left over" embryos from externally fertilised eggs after the mum has successfuly given birth or has given up.

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Well - another way to look at it is that the embryos likely to be the source for stem cells are going to be destroyed anyway. They tend to be "left over" embryos from externally fertilised eggs after the mum has successfuly given birth or has given up.

Hmm... I didn't know that.

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Well, I think abortion should always be legal (stepping away from the conservatives a bit, here), but I think women should be able to choice what to do.. as it is their life that is ultimately affected. Our adoption clinics would overflood with children if abortion was made illegal.. b/c Americans (mostly the younger people) will have sex no matter what..

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Well, I think abortion should always be legal (stepping away from the conservatives a bit, here), but I think women should be able to choice what to do.. as it is their life that is ultimately affected. Our adoption clinics would overflood with children if abortion was made illegal.. b/c Americans (mostly the younger people) will have sex no matter what..

This is very true. And you make an interesting point...

But one thing I've always wondered is why the man doesn't have a say in whether or not the woman gets an abortion. It's his child too.

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I am totally with you on this. The problem I generall hear with people who oppose abortion is that we have deprived a human being the right to life. I beg to differ. The fact is that the unborn child has no awareness of life.
Here is a thought - my first born died at birth - something that remains acutely painful to me 17 years later. We went on to have two more children without problems but neither would have existed had our first survived. Who has the greater right to be here?

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But one thing I've always wondered is why the man doesn't have a say in whether or not the woman gets an abortion. It's his child too.

True.. I suppose it is due to the fact that it's the woman's body, not the man's. The man doesn't have to suffer for 9 months.. Most guys would probably just want the girl to get an abortion anyway (if the two are young, and not married). But I see your point.. I don't know how they could integrate the guy's decision to what the girl wants. What if they view the situation differently? I'm not sure how the law would determine the correct course of action..

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I am all for stem cell research but only if the stem cells can be cloned.

I never realised that a blastocyst has to be destroyed in the case of embryonic stem cell research.

My biggest reason for supporting it has always been because it increases the human race's pool of knowledge but I most certainly dont want that knowledge at the expence of potential babies. Not even if those babies are created in a test tube.

The Nazi did similar experiments round about world war two. They tried to figure out how long humans can survive in frozen water by simply throwing a living human into it and recording how long it takes for him to die. Although the information so obtained has saved lives and will probably continue to do so it is wrong and destroying a blastocyst for its stem cell is no better I believe.

I am however all for splicing and otherwise altering human DNA. Even cloning. For example diseases like AIDS can be taken down a notch if we can splice our Inducer-T4 cells( cells which activates the res of the imune system and the only target of the HI virus).

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I am however all for splicing and otherwise altering human DNA. Even cloning. For example diseases like AIDS can be taken down a notch if we can splice our Inducer-T4 cells( cells which activates the res of the imune system and the only target of the HI virus).

DNA splicing is a wonderful gene therapy technique that will probably be used to cure genetic diseases such as Huntington, Alzheimer's, etc.

Back to stem cell research, I think it is necessary to harvest the embryonic stem cells in order to save other people. Embryonic stem cells may be able to help us create organs from a patient such as hearts, which would be perfectly compatible with the patient.. Many many people can be saved from such scientific advancements.. Basically, either a young embryo is destroyed or an older human being, who actually has a developed brain and can think, dies..

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I am afraid that I dont know much about stem cells harvesting. How do they harvest it in adults? And does the adult actully have to die?

And why can't stem cells be cloned? Is there a scientific limit there akin to the speed of light or is it just beyond current human knowledge? Because if stem cells can be cloned then humans can create an unlimited supply without harming blastocysts or adults.

Dont get me wrong. I am all for stem cell research and I know all about how the immune system rejects what it does not consider its own. Not to mention the severe shortage of donnors. But like I said. Killing in order to save life? Many pilots and sailors in world war two had also been saved by the data from the Nazi icy cold water research...

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I'd have to say that I'm against the idea of funding for embryonic cells, mostly because of the death requirements to it, but also partially due to RoE weakness.

The claims laden out for 'eventually, the e-cells will do all of this!' are always couched as 'eventually'. The actual results for e-cells so far seem to stem more towards teratoma and neurological disfunction, whereas A-cells are already producing numerous useful results. True, A-cells can't produce the same range of types, but they also appear unable to produce the same risks, which I would consider a good thing.

Key: For those to whom it wasn't completely obvious, 'e-cell' is embryonic cells, and 'A-cell' is adult cells.

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Hey, Josh: here's another article you won't read:
http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=PD02D5

Why wouldn't I read that?

Haha... why is that?

Yep... I felt like it needed a change.

It's good.

b/c from your religious affiliation, you most surely believe that human cloning is immoral.

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b/c from your religious affiliation, you most surely believe that human cloning is immoral.

Well yeah.

But the main reason is because it disgusts me. It's not only immoral, but completely inhuman.

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