Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Federal Funding Must Continue!

Here's an excellent webcast on the Senate subcommittee hearing to examine The Promise of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research. There are no sci-fi theories nor doomsday scenarios here. Just straight scientific facts. It is, to say the least, very enlightening whether you advocate or oppose human embryonic stem cell research.

Click here to go to the webcast.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Heartwarming Stem Cell Story

Here's a heartwarming story of a football player who donated his stem cells to save a man from cancer:

It's stories like this that we should be hearing about instead of the fear-inducing, doomsday scenarios that many human cloning critics want to spread.

Human cloning is about saving lives. For sure, there would be those who would try to use this biotechnology for their own selfish means. But this shouldn't be the basis for discontinuing or banning research. The boons far outweigh the banes. Read about it here.

I am quite certain we'll be seeing more inspiring stories involving stem cells and even human cloning.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cloning Education A Must

It is a fact that media plays a vital role in formulating the thinking of people. But media hardly goes to the average man on the street for what he thinks about topics that impact his life. Media usually goes to the famous or the influential. Being famous and influential doesn't necessarily mean being right.

Take human cloning as a topic for example. Religious leaders, being influential, would readily condemn human cloning for various reasons that have no scientific basis. Religious leaders would base their opinion on emotion and hellfire. Their followers, not knowing any better, will concur like mice to the Pied Piper.

World leaders, on the other hand, would condemn human cloning because they would rather not cross religious leaders, not knowing any better. Thus, people have a negative connotation about human cloning that is fostered by media.

Yet, human cloning is not the first scientific theory that has been given a bad rap. In-vitro fertilization, heart transplants, and even transfusions were first condemned. Medical science, however, has proven that these procedures save countless of human beings today.

Alongside scientific research must then be the education of the masses. It starts with pointing people to the right sources. The Internet, for example, holds many websites that are in favor of human cloning. Most, if not all, these sites base their content on current scientific studies and not speculation.

There are books out in the market advocating human cloning. These too are mostly based on current scientific research.

Again, we should not look at human cloning with mere speculation. Human cloning is not about playing God; it's not about killing babies; it's not about creating custom made human beings.

Human cloning is about valuing life.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Speculations on Human Cloning

When scientists discovered stem cells, the possibility of cloning humans arose. Yet, with this, much speculations also came up.

For example, there is the speculation that mad scientists will create hordes of mindless super soldiers. Or that a madman like Hitler will be cloned to lead another Reich. Or that cloned babies would be more susceptible to diseases. Or that cloned humans won't be able to find their place in society. There are more, but we wouldn't want to dwell on mere speculations.

The fact is, stem cells have the capacity to grow into new cells that could replace bad cells that cause cancer or other diseases. Thus, there is a need to allow science to continue its research into stem cells. If they are able to heal, then this would be good news for many people who are afflicted with terminal diseases. Even now stem cell therapy is being employed to do such although in an experimental basis.

Too many promising lives have been ended by disease because there has been no cure for the disease. Perhaps stem cell therapy may just be the answer. If you think this is also speculation, all the more research must continue.

So that speculation can turn into fact.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Let's Clone Hitler

A long time ago, a book entitled, "Boys from Brazil," was published. It was written by Ira Levin and the story revolved around the quest to clone Adolf Hitler.

It was a good, thrilling story, but the book and the concept of cloning Hitler will always remain in the annals of fiction.

Does this mean that human reproductive cloning is impossible? Definitely not! But if it were possible to clone Hitler, it would be impossible to clone the exact madman that Hitler was.

Hitler's rise to become Germany's Chancellor and his eventual hate and murder of millions of people were not a result of genes, but rather a result of various circumstances, which included the environment in which he grew. Perhaps there was a degree of insanity in him which may have been genetic, but this is hardly enough to clone an exact replica of the leader of the Third Reich.

To do this, you would have to replicate the kind of education Hitler had, the kind of parental upbringing, the classmates and friends (or even enemies) he had, the kind of Germany Hitler grew up in, plus a host of myriad effects that caused Hitler to do what he did. But, then again, these wouldn't even be a guarantee. Who knows? To produce these effects might even raise a new Hitler who would become a pacifist.

Thus, to start ringing alarm bells that human reproductive cloning will produce new Charles Mansons, Josef Stalins, Adolf Hitlers or an army of blood thirsty Mongols is baseless.

While human reproductive cloning may seem to be at the periphery of science fiction, we should not allow science fiction to be the basis for understanding this remarkable biotechnology.

Let's continue to place human cloning under the light of scientific research and science fiction under our reading lamps.