Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Nasty Old Cells

I really don't think we can ride the fence on this anymore. You can not say you are for stem cell research but that you feel we should use the stem cells we already have without producing new stocks. As cells divide, they accumulate errors. When undergraduate, Joe Schmoe, forgets to check the incubator and lets the cells get a little anoxic, genomes are damaged. When Chatty Cathy lab tech or graduate student is working with the cells, she may accidently sneeze into them, causing havoc. Cells with genomic alterations are no longer doing the same things that our normal cells are and are thus inappropriate for studying and definitely not good for transplantation. At some point, these cells are going to be nasty-little-cancer tablets waiting to happen.

I don't believe we are going to see Parkinson's cured tomorrow with this technology, nor do I believe we will reverse Alzheimer's anytime soon. I know many people who are working with stem cells, and their data are as promising (or not) as you want them to appear--sometimes it works other times, not so much. I do believe we need to think about these issues now for when we are ready for the technology transfer to happen, though. If you are against stem cell research that's fine--just don't ride the fence like our mindless, robotic politicians.


At 1:17 PM, Blogger trisha said...

The fence-riding is the root of 'most every problem.

At 2:42 PM, Blogger she falters to rise said...

Thank you for making sure I don't have any O comments. I think I'm boring all of you lately.

At 3:38 PM, Blogger trisha said...


But, yes, I hate me some 0s.

At 6:28 PM, Blogger Edie said...

Don't you sometimes wish for someone to try to ignorantly disagree with you on a topic like this so that you could really lay it all out? Maybe I just miss the persistent assholishness my husband used to shower on me before he got bored!

At 8:04 AM, Blogger she falters to rise said...

I'm sorry about your husband Edie. I am sending him bad karma right now.

This (stem cell research) is a topic that I have a lot of mixed feelings about, so I'm not sure I would argue with anyone else's opinion--even if their opinion was what I considered ignorant. I definitely get angry at those who piddle around with forming an opinion, one way or the other, about this type of research. I really want more leaders to step up to the plate.

There are definitely times when I am ready to debate over something, yet no one bites. In the long run, I guess that's why I love all of you guys--you listen to my ramblings even if you might not necessarily like or agree with what I say. That's true blogger friendship.


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