Empty Days

Thursday, February 12, 2004



Habits

As I am on AOL these days I am getting three news-stories right in my face at connection time. More often than not not it's pure drivel but if there were another WTC I would know. On 9/11 I didn't have internet - my mother called and said something awful was happening: *after* the second plane hit. Apparently my folks turned on the tv that morning and saw the two towers burning. My father first thought it was some hollywood special effects program, very realistic. But I am digressing...

Today I got this in my face and it's Associated Press, without any links:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Researchers in South Korea have become the first to successfully clone a human embryo, and then cull from it master stem cells that many doctors consider key to one day creating customized cures for diabetes, Parkinson's and other diseases.

This is not cloning to make babies, but to create medicine.

It's sure to revive international controversy over whether to ban all human cloning, as the Bush administration wants, or to allow this "therapeutic cloning'' that might eventually let patients grow their own replacement tissue.

Embryonic stem cells are the body's building blocks, cells from which all other tissue types spring. They're present in an embryo only days after conception and are ethically sensitive because culling stem cells destroys the embryo.
....
U.S. scientists almost universally want a ban on cloning for reproduction, because the high rate of birth defects in cloned animals shows the technique is too dangerous.
....
Internationally, the United Nations recently postponed a decision on what kinds of human cloning to ban. The United States is pushing for a total ban; Britain is leading the call for cloning for medical experiments to be left unhindered.
....
But Jaenisch lamented that many U.S. scientists couldn't work with the new cell line. Bush administration policy forbids any federally funded research on stem cells from embryos destroyed after Aug. 9, 2001.
Stems cells - ethically sensitive? That's an odd way of speaking. The reason everybody frets so much about what Bush thinks is because USA is the richest country in the world with an incredible array of R&D facilities and human talent, and if research is banned in that one country, scientific efforts in other countries will be significally hindered because of slimmer funds and lack of technology.

Hindered but not extinct. So in a sense, whatever Bush decides might be reversed later, when the White House is ruled by somebody less narrow-minded (will there be a second term for that president? Who knows, but I wouldn't bet on it). One good thing about US of America is that in case of a stupid president there is always a chance of seeing "something completely different" pop-up in his place to reverse the trend. But I am being optimistic here.

I've been trying hard to see something good in Bush, understand why some people like him so much (my father would be an example). All I remember about Clinton (apart from the sex-scandal idiocies) is that he was a "sly guy". I don't call that intelligence but it's probably enough of a talent to rule a big country. Bush has no talents I can think of. The only thing I can see is his honesty. Yup - strange as this may sound to some, Bush is one darn honest guy. The problem, of course, is that this personal honesty is rooted in a very small mind.

This is a serious allegation because it's one thing to be stupid and honest when you're "just a guy", and it's quite another when you're basically in charge of one half of the world. For instance: I am a nice honest person myself but it would be a grave and dangerous mistake to put me in charge of anything beyond a vegetables stand. Remember that comedy flick with Richard Pryor, the bum, ending up in a millionaire's boots? Yup - that's what we have in the White House right now. With sinister gray cardinals like Dick Cheney et al doing whatever they want in the shadow of a clown.

Stem cells having ethical issues... Right.





/ 10/19/2003 - 10/26/2003 / / 10/26/2003 - 11/02/2003 / / 11/02/2003 - 11/09/2003 / / 11/09/2003 - 11/16/2003 / / 11/16/2003 - 11/23/2003 / / 11/23/2003 - 11/30/2003 / / 11/30/2003 - 12/07/2003 / / 12/07/2003 - 12/14/2003 / / 12/14/2003 - 12/21/2003 / / 12/21/2003 - 12/28/2003 / / 12/28/2003 - 01/04/2004 / / 01/04/2004 - 01/11/2004 / / 01/11/2004 - 01/18/2004 / / 01/18/2004 - 01/25/2004 / / 01/25/2004 - 02/01/2004 / / 02/01/2004 - 02/08/2004 / / 02/08/2004 - 02/15/2004 / / 02/15/2004 - 02/22/2004 / / 02/22/2004 - 02/29/2004 / / 02/29/2004 - 03/07/2004 / / 03/07/2004 - 03/14/2004 / / 03/14/2004 - 03/21/2004 / / 03/21/2004 - 03/28/2004 / / 03/28/2004 - 04/04/2004 / / 04/04/2004 - 04/11/2004 / / 04/11/2004 - 04/18/2004 / / 04/18/2004 - 04/25/2004 / / 04/25/2004 - 05/02/2004 / / 05/02/2004 - 05/09/2004 / / 05/09/2004 - 05/16/2004 / / 05/16/2004 - 05/23/2004 / / 05/23/2004 - 05/30/2004 / / 05/30/2004 - 06/06/2004 / / 06/06/2004 - 06/13/2004 / / 06/13/2004 - 06/20/2004 / / 06/20/2004 - 06/27/2004 / / 06/27/2004 - 07/04/2004 / / 07/04/2004 - 07/11/2004 / / 07/11/2004 - 07/18/2004 / / 07/18/2004 - 07/25/2004 / / 07/25/2004 - 08/01/2004 / / 08/01/2004 - 08/08/2004 / / 08/08/2004 - 08/15/2004 / / 08/15/2004 - 08/22/2004 / / 08/22/2004 - 08/29/2004 / / 08/29/2004 - 09/05/2004 / / 09/05/2004 - 09/12/2004 / / 09/12/2004 - 09/19/2004 / / 09/19/2004 - 09/26/2004 / / 09/26/2004 - 10/03/2004 / / 10/03/2004 - 10/10/2004 / / 10/10/2004 - 10/17/2004 / / 10/17/2004 - 10/24/2004 / / 10/24/2004 - 10/31/2004 / / 10/31/2004 - 11/07/2004 / / 02/20/2005 - 02/27/2005 / / 02/27/2005 - 03/06/2005 / / 03/13/2005 - 03/20/2005 / / 03/20/2005 - 03/27/2005 / / 03/27/2005 - 04/03/2005 / / 04/03/2005 - 04/10/2005 / / 04/10/2005 - 04/17/2005 / / 04/17/2005 - 04/24/2005 / / 04/24/2005 - 05/01/2005 / / 05/01/2005 - 05/08/2005 / / 05/08/2005 - 05/15/2005 / / 05/15/2005 - 05/22/2005 / / 05/22/2005 - 05/29/2005 / / 05/29/2005 - 06/05/2005 / / 06/05/2005 - 06/12/2005 / / 06/12/2005 - 06/19/2005 / / 07/03/2005 - 07/10/2005 / / 09/04/2005 - 09/11/2005 / / 09/11/2005 - 09/18/2005 / / 09/18/2005 - 09/25/2005 / / 09/25/2005 - 10/02/2005 / / 10/02/2005 - 10/09/2005 / / 10/16/2005 - 10/23/2005 / / 11/13/2005 - 11/20/2005 / / 11/27/2005 - 12/04/2005 /