Ban on creation of new human embryonic stem cell lines in U.S.A.

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Protoplast
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Ban on creation of new human embryonic stem cell lines in U.S.A.

There are a number of ways I can see it going.
Other countries will also ban embryonic stem cell technologies, Other countries will not ban technologies, and have a huge boost in their biotech industries, other countries will not ban the technology, but will flounder due to the lack of support and collaboration from the scientific community in the U.S.A. the ban will last only for a short time when the U.S.A. realises that they have made a mistake, or research in the U.S.A. will be largely modified and drawn away from medical technology.
What do you think?

Fraser Moss
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the ban wil llast as long as

the ban wil llast as long as this administration is in power, then we'll see what happens.

Braisler
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I read the transcript of Bush

I read the transcript of Bush'd speech regarding his first and only veto. What farce!

He vetoes the reversal of his poorly thought out ban on stem cell research and then has the audacity to bring up that other ridiculous bill that he signed into law - The Fetus Farming Prohibition Act! He even went so far as to say, "This good law prohibits one of the most egregious abuses in biomedical research: the trafficking in human fetuses that are created with the sole intent of aborting them to harvest their parts."

This makes it sound like this has already happened, when in fact nothing of the sort has ever happened. There are no plans to start abducting homeless women and impregnating them so we can harvest their embryos for research. This is just political pandering to the religous zealots. But this is a real and dangerous precedent. The more the government disseminates and the press capitulates this information, the deeper the mis-information penetrates into our society.

swannnyy
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Protoplast wrote:There are a

Protoplast wrote:

There are a number of ways I can see it going.
Other countries will also ban embryonic stem cell technologies, Other countries will not ban technologies, and have a huge boost in their biotech industries, other countries will not ban the technology, but will flounder due to the lack of support and collaboration from the scientific community in the U.S.A. the ban will last only for a short time when the U.S.A. realises that they have made a mistake, or research in the U.S.A. will be largely modified and drawn away from medical technology.
What do you think?

I'm sorry to rain on your parade (despite your postingbeing a list of possible outcomes), but I think that the rest of the world is quite capable of maintaining scientific research without "the support and collaboration of the scientific community in the USA". If embryonic stem cell (ESC) technologies ever take off, and if there is a buck to be made, the US government will fall in line with "the rest of the world", once a few selected words have been placed in the ears of some of your politicians. Personally, I doubt ESC will be as big as trumpeted in the media (scientific or general), because, from my seat at least, adult stem cells are much less explosive an issue and only slightly less flexible in their end uses.
It is one thing to proclaim one's freedom from moral imperatives set up by other people: it is quite another thing to treat them with contempt. We in the scientific community must realise we do not have the box seat on ethics, morality, right and wrong, or even truth.

Protoplast
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Swannny, dont worry, I don't

Swannny, dont worry, I don't have a parade, so therefore there will be no raining!
Anyway,
I agree that ESC will not be the be all and end all of stem cell research, but they are a crucial part of a large picture, which i believe it would be foolish to ignore.
in regards to box seats on ethics, morality, right and wrong, truth and contempt for other's beliefs, I honestly dont see how that comes in to the question.

Embryonic stem cells used for research are ova which have been harvested and given to an In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) clinic and which have then been fertilised in a tube with sperm. At day 4 or 5 the cells are harvested when in the blasocyst form. The harvested cells from the blasocyst are the inner cell mass (which at this time point is somewhere around 30 cells). Monash University (in Australia, within Melbourne) store their IVF embryos at day 3. For a week by week study of the first trimester of cellular development, have a look at visembryo http://www.visembryo.com/baby/index.html
At the stage where the cells are collected, they are either going to be used or destroyed. Once a couple have had their children, they often have a small number of day 3 embryo's left over, so they can either be destroyed or used for research. So the concern over the cells being potential human beings is quite negligable. If all the cells were allowed to form into fully grown human beings then there would be no one to take care of them, if people knew that it would be their obligation to look after each and every blacocyst that they produced, then I am quite convinced that most IVF users would decline the opportunity to have 14 children to look after. In addition, if loss of life is the moral objection, then surely the morning after pill, and other forms of contraception, and abortion would be just as bad if not worse. (The legal deadline for abortion is 24 weeks not 3 days). According to the Reproductive Technology council in Australia the maximum storage period for embryos is 10 years. http://www.rtc.org.au/faqs/index.html#store_embryos

The difference between religion and science.
As a scientist I have the lucky opportunity to decide my own moral stance, based on a combination of the formative parts of my life with my family, my current situation, and my observations of the world as I see it. Religion however states that whatever is dictated by a holy text of some description (which in most cases are incompatible with the contemporary way of living, refer to chapter 15 of levictus to see what i mean"When a woman has her menstrual flow, she shall be in a state of impurity for seven days. Anyone who touches her shall be unclean until evening." - the bible contains many remarks which are outdated and reflect a poor understanding of the world around the people who wrote it. Although the christian church claims that their holy book is "interpretable") is the undeniable unquestionable truth. Therefore the underlying ideals science and religion are inherently opposite. Science has no dogma, everything in science is based on proof, but religion is based entirely on dogma. If science must delay itself for each and every unfounded claim made by someone with obscure beliefs then scientists would get nowhere. Fortunately science must only contend with the views mainly of mainstream religions. In relation to viewing other people's morals and beliefs with contempt, as a scientist I do not look down on other people's beliefs, rather I listen to them, analyse them for a grain of truth, and discard those which i believe to be superstition. Unfortunately due to the necessity of religion to spread it's dogma in order to maintain it's existence, religion by definition is unabe to take such a relaxed attitude towards opposition. Therefore I would have to say, that rather than scientific people looking down upon religion with contempt, I would say that religion is agressively impeding the uncovering of truths which can fundamentally challenge their underlying principles.