Scientific Breakthrough on Stem Cells...

...and the Christopaths want to kill it anyway. There is a method that could be used to harvest embryonic stem cells that does not harm development of the embryo:

The new technique would be performed on a two-day-old embryo, after the fertilized egg has divided into eight cells, known as blastomeres. In fertility clinics, where the embryo is available outside the woman in the normal course of in vitro fertilization, one of these blastomeres can be removed for diagnostic tests, like for Down syndrome.

The embryo, now with seven cells, can be implanted in the woman if no defect is found. Many such embryos have grown into apparently healthy babies over the 10 years or so the diagnostic tests have been used. ...

"By growing the biopsied cell overnight," he said, "the resulting cells could be used for both P.G.D. and the generation of stem cells without affecting the subsequent chances of having a child."

And the Bushists still can't handle it. From mahablog:

There's no point trying to appease, reason, or compromise with the Fetus People. Say the words "embryonic stem cell" to them, and their warped little brains promptly go to work manufacturing new reasons why embryonic stem cells are bad. Unfortunately we're all being held hostage by their ersatz "morality."

This is going to be just like the HPV vaccine. Thousands of people will needlessly suffer or die*, and after much soul-searching the Christian Right will admit it's a good idea. What a reprehensible political ideology.

*There are plans to use stem cells to treat juvenile diabetes (it's already worked in dogs). While many scientific breakthroughs from stem cells will be either basic research or else years from now, there are more immediate consequences to this inaction.

More like this

Below is the PowerPoint I presented in the journal club this morning. It's a summary of a recent paper about laterality in the nematode worm: Poole, R. J. & Hobert, O. (2006). Early embryonic programming of neuronal left/right asymmetry in C. elegans. Curr. Biol. 16: 2279-2292. [PDF] I…
Those of you who read an earlier post here noted that I was somewhat skeptical of the technical aspects of the so-called ethical stem cells. I felt that there were several technical hurdles that had to be surmounted before this technology could be used reasonably. It turns things were even worse…
The press is all in a tizzy about so-called ethical stem cells, but this still indicates a really limited understanding of how embryonic stem (ES) cells work. (Frankly, if I had a dollar for every time I read bad reporting on ES cells, you and I would not be talking. I would be Tahiti...with…
I would be remiss if I didn't address the latest stem cell news, since it's already all over the place. An article from today's issue of published in advance online yesterday by Nature describes a technique for deriving a line of human embryonic stem cells by removing a single cell from the eight-…

Aah! Run! It's the Fetus People!