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Biotech Science

Stem Cell Bill Passes in Australia 253

nickd writes "Having recently being passed in the Senate by only 2 votes, an Australian bill to overturn the ban on 'theraputic cloning' has now been passed in the House of Representatives by 82-62. The amendment that was seeking to prevent stem cells being extracted from the eggs of aborted late term female fetuses has also been voted down. The changes will allow scientists to create and use embryos up to 14 days old for research."
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Stem Cell Bill Passes In Australia

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  • Pssshhhaw (Score:4, Funny)

    by PeeAitchPee ( 712652 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @01:08PM (#17132002)
    Everyone knows that 6,000 years ago Australia was created by God as a place where the Hebrews could send "uncooperative" members of the tribe. The fact that this stratergy wasn't follow through with until much later (by a different tribe) doesn't make it any less true. ;-)
  • by le0p ( 932717 ) * on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @01:09PM (#17132030)
    "The changes will allow scientists to create and use embryos up to 14 days old for research."

    The article failed to mention that after 14 days they will be used to create a Shaky's Pizza for each scientist!
  • by BirdDoggy ( 886894 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @01:24PM (#17132346)
    Using the term embryo conveys a level of development not present at up to 14 days of development. At 14 days, we're talking about a blastocyst. Technically, it needs to be 3 weeks old before it can be considered an embryo.
  • by Salvance ( 1014001 ) * on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @01:28PM (#17132418) Homepage Journal
    If we begin seeing stem cell harvesting/research being allowed in other industrial countries, what are the repurcussions for the U.S.? I don't think we can hold out forever, at some point I'd expect some researches to start moving to more hospitable countries, and pharmaceutical companies in those countries (such as Australia) taking a definitive lead in stem cell therapy and research. As a nation, can we afford to just let the world pass us, even if there are "moral" concerns regarding the technology by our government?
    • What, exactly, prohibits stem cell research in the United States? Is there a federal law that says "stem cell research impacts interstate commerce, and is hereby prohibited." Or is it more like "We're not going to provide any funding for groups that do stem cell research?"
    • It's allowed in most of the developed world already. The prolife / prochoice debate is almost uniquely a catholic / american thing. Its not an issue throughout most of Northern Europe or Asia.

      (In NW Europe, the only country blocking this is Ireland)
      • by gatzke ( 2977 )

        It is allowed in the US. Privately funded embryonic stem cell research is allowed.

        Federally funded is allowed, if you use existing stem cell lines.

        So technically, W was the first president to fund stem cell research... He actually came up with a compromise on the issue (that satisfies neither side, thus the compromise).
    • by mutterc ( 828335 )

      can we afford to just let the world pass us

      Don't worry about that; it's pretty much inevitable in every area.

      Big business runs the country, and they do everything to maximize short-term profit. Usually this involves "tragedy of the commons" results - like "eating your seed corn".

  • I do love it when people compare taking an embryo to killing a baby. Like saying its the same as putting a bullet to little baby Annie's head. Or something straight out of the bible, egypt first borns etc. Something like that.
    I, for one, do see a slight difference between a cell and a full life-size baby, though. And if that makes me a "terrorist, who disregards human life", so be it. I just see it as a baby-could-be, if anything other than a cell. But hey.. I women "kill" a "baby" about once a month too,
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jbarr ( 2233 )
      So where do you draw the line? Let's assume just for conversation sake that life begins at conception. At what point do you consider it a "life" such that it should not be ethically terminated? Conception? Embryo? Fetus? Partially-delivered? Delivered? 18 months after delivery? 10 years after delivery? 65 years after delivery?

      And what happens when we get to the point in science where we could develop a baby start-to-finish completely outside the mother's womb? You would fertalize the egg in a petri dish (yo
      • by cdrguru ( 88047 )
        Personhood should only be granted to an individual after they can prove that they are sentient. Failure to prove this, such as watching endless Wheel of Fortune reruns, means they are immediately eligible as an organ doner.
      • by JanneM ( 7445 )
        Sentience seems to be a pretty good line to draw. Before here's a developed, active central nervous system it is not and can not be a person.
  • by Aqua_boy17 ( 962670 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @03:10PM (#17134530)
    This may stray off topic a bit, but aren't the existing restrictions against federally fundedstem cell research in the US? Under current policy I don't believe private corporations are under any restrictions except those against cloning. One may disagree with the official government policy, but is any privately funded stem cell research going on in the US, and if so is it legal?
  • by Baba Ram Dass ( 1033456 ) on Wednesday December 06, 2006 @03:11PM (#17134546)
    Don't ban cloning, but don't pay for it with my taxes.

    Everyone wins. The fundamentalists don't have to finance something they don't agree with, yet modern science is allowed to continue promising research.
  • I, for one, welcome our new Embryonic Masters.
  • This will surely anger God. I fully expect it to begin raining frogs very soon. Well, im off to build an ark....word to yo momma
  • This is not a Christians against, rational people for type argument.

    This is 99% of the people don't understand the argument.

    Embryonic stem cell treatment needs to be genotype specific. This means that your DNA has to be used to create some stem cells so they can be used to treat you. This implies there is a way to take your DNA and make a new human even if you never let it develop.

    Therefore, the foundation of this is human cloning on a fairly reliable scale. Not one or two "experiemnts" a year but every
    • Therefore, the foundation of this is human cloning on a fairly reliable scale.

      No. You can use adult stem cells to apply the treatment that you discovered using experiments with embryonic stem cells.

Solutions are obvious if one only has the optical power to observe them over the horizon. -- K.A. Arsdall