Friday, May 20, 2005

Stem Cell Research

The world woke up (and so did I but I'm only talking about it now) this morning to the news that British and Korean scientists have successfully cloned human embryos. The British effort comes from Newcastle University. The university has successfully cloned an embryo as part of research into a cure for diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Diabetes. The South Korean research is, as far as I can tell, more closely linked to Stem Cell Research as the cells need for cloning were taken from those with spinal cord damage.

The Guardian's leader column today came out very strongly in favour of this research (both in England and South Korea) as am I.

There are two reasons why it is a good thing. Firstly, it gives hope to suffers of the aformentioned diseases, maybe not for this generation but maybe the next. If this research were to lead to repairing spinal injuries, I may be in my 40s before it's good to go and by that stage I might not be bothered - I'll be used to adult life in a wheelchair. But the generation of disabled after me will benefit.

The second reason for this being good is a practical reason. In 10 or 20 years time, the drugs needed to hold back the effects of Alzheimer's may be in short supply (don't quote me on that) and therefore cure would be the best approach.


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7:57 am  

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