Liberal Science On Parade


Jill Stanek is wondering if Bill Clinton thinks an embryo is merely an egg, and if he'd oppose embryonic stem cell research if he found out an embryo has already been fertilized.

I am going to extend to him the benefit of the doubt: that he simply had a brain freeze and repeatedly said "fertilized" when he meant "implanted." Because everyone knows that an "embryo" is called such from the moment of fertilization until the 8th week of life, after which we use the term "fetus." It is fertilization that makes the embryo an embryo. polite interpretation makes other things he says make less sense. And either way it's still shockingly ignorant: embryonic stem cells are not the best hope we have of cures. The scientists who want to study ESCR are interested in studying the progress of disease; they want embryos in which to watch a disease unfold, not for therapies at this point. Even the Formerly Gray Lady knows that.
In private, however, many researchers have projected much more modest goals for embryonic stem cells. Their chief interest is to derive embryonic stem cell lines from patients with specific diseases, and by tracking the cells in the test tube to develop basic knowledge about how the disease develops.
If that were not the case, everyone would be well satisfied with cell re-programming, which is perfect for the kind of research that involves using direct cell regeneration to heal.
For researchers, reprogramming an adult cell can be much more convenient, and there have never been any restrictions on working with adult stem cells.
So all this talk about not wanting to do human experiments or clone...that's nonsense when the action being defended is ESCR. The cures President Clinton is describing have already begun to be here through adult stem cells.

Curtsy: CMR