Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Biotech Science

Stem Cell Symposium 26

Hypharse writes "The newly created Cable Science Network(who literally strives to be C-Span, but for science) has opened with a very informative session on Stem Cells. I have had great hope for this network since stations supposedly for science like the Discovery Channel and PBS have become much more show than substance. If this symposium is an example of their future offerings I would be very happy."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Stem Cell Symposium

Comments Filter:
  • "I have had great hope for this network since stations supposedly for science like the Discovery Channel and PBS have become much more show than substance."

    Discovery Channel is trying to be politically correct so of course we are not going to see any truly uncensored scientific research results there until we overcome the "moral" outrage of uneducated people who are trying to stop us playing God for purely religious reasons. In my opinion, however, stem cell research is important, because when we are talk
    • Agreed. There is much research that goes on, and the world CAN NOT come to terms with.

      Its fun and all to talk about DNA sequencing and ordering, but nobody really talks about how each gene's properties are discovered.

      Why? Because it's a fairly gruesome process. The easiest way is to find "patients" who suffer from some genetic disorder. Then compare their DNA with DNA from a someone who does not suffer from the genetic disease. Find the difference and that's assumed to be the gene trait.

      To understan
      • To understand genes of a lesser level, say some deformation that doesn't allow the fetus to come to term - such as if the bones of the body does not develop. our best ability to do so is to "knock out" the suspected gene with "junk DNA" and grow a fetus. If the fetus shows the deformity, then it is such gene.

        Would it be possible to grow a fetus not without bones but without a brain using a similar method? If so, would it be still considered unethical to perform experiments on it or use its organs fo

        • I donm't know much about brain development.

          I know its possible to grow without bones, because i have a friend who works in a bio research lab at UCLA. Every now and then I can get him talking about the latest breakthroughs in the research industry.

          It might be possible to grow a clone without a head, I remember something about that on artbell (aka coast to coast am) a while back when dolly the sheep was still hot. but then AB has its load of wacked up stuff too.
        • In theory....yes it is possible although we do not know how to do it or how to maintain homeostasis as it grows.

          But there are several significant problems with that method:

          #1 as I mentioned, no brain means no breathing and very poor heart rate etc. THe clone would ahve to be on total life support for its entier existence.

          #2 say you lost an arm, you would not want to then make a clone and let it grow up old enough so you can transplant an adult arm onto yours. This could take decades. Therefore you wou
      • What on earth are you talking about? As someone who engages in immunological/genetic research I can assure you that you're way off the mark.

        For starters, comparing the DNA of healthy normals to sick individuals is not a gruesome process. All it takes is a few CC of blood - and the draw is usually combined with the patients' routine blood draws. All patients (and healthy normals) have be informed exactly what the blood will be used for and must give consent. The doctors and scientists involved really d

        • AMEN Brother!!

          I am currently studying embryonic stem cells...the crap both parties are throwing around about the possibilities and problems is incredible!

          They are both off the mark!
    • Hi. A couple questions:

      Why is believing that "the killing embryos in order to benefit other people is wrong" necessarily a religious position?

      Even if it were, what's wrong with having "religious reasons", as opposed to no reasons, or reasons of opportunism?

      Finally, if by ethics you mean how our actions affect other people, then you're really just begging the question. It is surely the ethics of killing these young humans that is the center of the debate.
      • The more basic question is when does life start? When Johnny thinks about shtupping Susie? When Johnny Jr. moves out of the house and get's married?

        Well, probably somewhere in between those two. I would say when the fetus can sustain life on it's own.

        As such, stopping vital resarch that could better the quality of life for humanity (and better humanity itself) b/c of some attachment to a lump of cells is wrong.

        Besides, I don't think we are aborting babies for this. Correct me if I'm wrong but we are
        • by Anonymous Coward
          The more basic question is when does life start?

          This is not a correct question, even though I completely agree with your answers. The question is not when does life start because it is quite obvious that embryo is alive. But so is a sperm and ovum even before the fertilisation! Those are living cells, human cells. It doesn't mean anything though, since the skin cells I kill scratching myself are also living cells and are also human cells. The question is when we can call it a person. No one suggests that
        • Besides, I don't think we are aborting babies for this. Correct me if I'm wrong but we are getting stems cells that are otherwise discarded in miscarriages and similar, right?

          That's the idea. Aborted fetuses are not suitable for these purposes, as I understand it. IVF embryos are much better. But since *all* new stem cell lines won't get federal funding ...
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Doesn't God insert soul into an ovum during the fertilisation? I thought that was the only reason why people consider single cells "young humans"? No one says that few cells without any neural system can be conscious, feel pain or anything. But religious people believe it has a soul which inherits the original sin and if the soul disconnects from that body before it is baptized, the original sin is not forgiven and the sould cannot go to Heaven, and that is why it is better that living people die (pregnant
        • I think the reason people consider them young humans is because they simply ARE. It's not a religious fact, it's just a matter of noting that these are humans in an early stage of development. The debate is over whether humans at this early stage are expendable (for the "good of the rest of society") or not.

          As for your description of the views of "religious people": Maybe you can find someone to advocate the position you describe, but I'm not sure many would identify with it, or even find it necessaril
  • I am in complete support of adult stem cell research, and it does have great potential. Embryonic stem cell research, though, I cannot support because a embryo is a human being with the same rights as anyone else. Killing one human to save another (Technically /more/ than one human to save another if it doesn't work well the first time) is immoral and stupid.

    I heard somewhere they are very close to being able to create stem cells without actually having conception with a sperm and an egg, if this is true I am in full support of it.
    • And what is your opinion of klling rats/mice for research? Due to their close relation to humans, much genetic research is done to mice/rats in order to get a better understanding of the human genome.

      What about insect research? The latest trend in neuro-toxins is for them to target insects specefically. The idea is that crops can be sprayed, insects eat crop and die. Humans eat crops and don't die.

      Bacterium research? Although bacteria are now 99% understood, is it approiate to exploit bacteria? Bec
    • What do you propose be done regarding all the frozen embryos held at fertility clinics?

      Clearly you can't support throwing them away. Then again, leaving them frozen forever would be no different than jailing someone for life for committing no crime (at some point the embroys will die while frozen). Given the sheer numbers (not to mention the lack of willing volunteer parents) you can't bring all these embryos to term.

      Unless a viable alternative is proposed to dealing with these embroys, it seems to me

    • Everyday I discard more human cells than exist in these embryos that are destroyed. I work in a hospital and the bronchoscopy lavage fluid that I handle contains millions of cells that are going to be cultured then destroyed.

      If you go to the doctors you will have millions and millions of cells disposed of for the purpose of preventing you from getting ill (Drawing blood).

      These cells that are bing destroyed everyday are no diffferent than the cells in an embryo. It does not hurt for these individual ce
      • Blood and skin cells are different from embryonic cells - that's why we need to engage in embryonic stem cell research.

        While we've been able to make psuedo-stem cell-like cells from adult cells, they do not act the same. Similarly, hematopoietic 'stem' cells are not the same as embryonic stem cells - not by a long shot.

        I see what you're saying, but be careful as the argument as you stated it would be used against stem cell research (if a cell is a cell is a cell, why use embryos?).

        • That is true. I should have clarified. Once a cell differentiates it is almost impossible to get back to the state it was once in.

          My analogy would be that a skin/other cell is like a car while a stem cell is a box containing the raw materials to make a car.

          It is easy to make a car out of the raw materials but its nearly impossible to create a cadillac out of an Kia.
    • I cannot support because a embryo is a human being with the same rights as anyone else.

      What makes a human being?

      What endows it with rights?

      And are you sure that all human beings have the same rights?

      In the United States, adults are indeed endowed with a plethora of rights. Foreign nationals in the country--be they Saudi Arabian, Chinese, Mexican, British, or Canadian--are subject to arbitrary detention and deportation. ("Papers, please!") Criminals have been deprived of certain rights--freedom of

  • I'm in strong support the The Science Network (TSN), however will I ever be able to watch it? How much of the general public will be able (forget about willing) to even watch the programming?

    I can get PBS without access to cable. I can watch the Discovery Channel with basic cable. Will I have to increase my cable subscription in order to see the channel? While I would love this channel, I simply can't justify increasing my cable subscription from ~$10 per month to ~$40 per month for one channel.


Did you hear that two rabbits escaped from the zoo and so far they have only recaptured 116 of them?