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The Battle over "Zygotic" (Pre-Embryotic) Stem Cell Research

May 25, 2005

(broadcast stream) (.mp3 download Right-click,”Save Target as”,”Save”)
Can embryonic stem cells save lives? Cure diseases?
If so, is it moral to destroy them for this purpose?
As the Degette/Castle bill moves through Congress this week, there is an impassioned debate on the morality and efficacy of stem cell research.
Guests: Ross Frommer, an associate Dean at Columbia University Medical Center on the Board of Directors of the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research; and
Richard Doerflinger, Deputy Director, Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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  • Gort Beranga August 12, 2005 9:33 am

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers
    And now, from a piece of my flesh
    can be created a replica of me,
    with a complete disregard of a spiritual integrity,
    that, in us, is far too lacking
    for our biological technology.
    Careful now, when trying to play God,
    remember the relationship of the Father to the Son.
    Remember whose will is supposed to be done.
    Miracles are expressions of love and are naturally mysterious.
    Scientists are clinical,
    when they should be more curious;
    fanatics genetically tinker to create a master race;
    politicians compromise trying to save face;
    and religious leaders disappear without a trace.
    Oh, brave new world, twenty years late,
    can you clone my soul and duplicate my fate?

  • GAIA August 10, 2005 12:16 am

    Playing “God” can have serious consequences. The dangers of genetic engineering has become apparent. For example, tinkering with the genes of a tomato may not stop with the tomato, but could alter the entire biosphere in ways we cannot forsee. Already there is a study that shows that when humans digest genetically modified foods, the artificially created genes transfer into and alter the characteristics of the bacteria in the intestine [Heritage 2004; Netherwood, et al, 2004]. Similarly, gene transfer among genetically engneered agricultural crops and surrounding native species has given rise to highly resistent species deemed superweeds.
    We are now beginning to see the dire consequences of playing god with genetics in a biosphere – Earth – that has been reported to have been widely destroyed at least 5 times in the past by impacts. It has survived by rebuilding itself each time with the single cell organisms that have survived. While all this research often points to great strives that may be made for mankind, it is selfish to think only of mankind. The Vatican has wisely warned to not play “God” and science is now saying that perhaps all we may well do is expedite our own extinction.

  • Vicky August 9, 2005 11:43 pm

    Adult Stem Cell Research Shows Promise for Treating Heart Disease
    Pittsburgh, PA ( — Doctors in the U.S. are doing some promising new research with stem cells that could help anyone with heart disease. They are using adult stem cells, which are found in everyone’s body, to repair damaged hearts and blood vessels. Doctors have discovered a new way the human body can repair itself. Adult stem cells, which are found in the brain, bones, muscle, skin and blood, help heal the body after an injury. Dr. Amit Patel, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, says researchers are injecting high concentrations of these cells into patients to improve arteries, even build new ones. “What we do is actually take them out and find the right amount of cells and specifically put them into targeted areas.” It is working. Three months after the injections, more than 100 patients saw significant improvement in blood flow to the heart and the heart muscle worked twice as well as before the treatment. Adult stem cells are also being used to grow arteries in the leg. Dr. Richard Burt of Northwestern Memorial Hospital is treating 27-year-old Jeremy Kotner, who had so little blood flow to his right leg, he faced amputation. Dr. Richard Burt of Northwestern Memorial Hospital points out, “You can see where the blood vessel is blocked. You can see the blood flowing and then it just stops. Now, three months later, after injection of stem cells in that area, you can see that there’s a new vessel bringing the blood down.” Jeremy Kotner is relieved. “The constant pain is gone. I can walk further and because of that I feel a lot better.”

  • Oh no, say it ain't so Joe June 2, 2005 10:52 am

    Joe–you sound like the perfect solution for embryonic life to be the only life on the planet, you forget that “you people” are really “us”

  • Joe June 2, 2005 10:43 am

    Perfect situation for the greedy “perfect” generation.Foget about it, don’t be so greedy. Die and make room for others. You people want science to have liberty. Great, more a-bombs more curses.