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Discovery could silence debate over stem cells
The Age ^ | April 25 2003 | Michael Bradley

Posted on 04/24/2003 8:59:56 AM PDT by RJCogburn

Scientists claim to have discovered a way of producing embryonic stem cells that could side-step the entire ethical debate surrounding such research.

Researchers from the US bio-tech company Stemron have produced embryos capable of providing stem cells, but which can never become human beings.

It is the first time scientists have used a technique called parthenogenesis on human cells.

Parthenogenesis is a form of reproduction in which the egg develops without fertilisation. The phenomenon occurs naturally in many insects, while artificial parthenogenesis has been achieved in almost all groups of animals, although it usually results in abnormal development.

No successful experiments with human parthenogenesis have previously been reported. But researchers from Stemron report in the journal Stem Cells that they have successfully used artificial parthenogenesis in humans and that the cells taken from one of the embryos survived for a number of days.

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Associate Professor Martin Pera, from the Monash Institute of Reproduction and Development, described the findings as an "interesting advancement" in the study of stem cells. But he said the advancement was not totally unexpected as parthenogenesis had already been used in non-human primates.

He said the most intriguing aspect of the work would be in determining whether the cells were "normal".


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: stemcells
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1 posted on 04/24/2003 8:59:56 AM PDT by RJCogburn
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To: RJCogburn
Interesting...
2 posted on 04/24/2003 9:41:40 AM PDT by Bigg Red (Beware the Fedayeen Rodham!)
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To: RJCogburn
Just use adult stem cells and avoid any moral questions.
3 posted on 04/24/2003 9:45:18 AM PDT by jimkress
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To: RJCogburn
"The phenomenon occurs naturally in many insects..."

Sure - a dog is a rat is a boy is an insect....
....and it all depends on what your definition of "is" is.....

4 posted on 04/24/2003 9:49:01 AM PDT by Psalm 73 ("Gentlemen, you can't fight in here - this is a war room".)
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To: RJCogburn
Be patient. Alan Keyes will be along momentarily to tell us why we're all going to Hell for this.
5 posted on 04/24/2003 9:49:50 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty ( 2003, Ravin' Lunatic since 4/98)
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To: jimkress
From what I understand the value of stem cells research is that they are using undifferentiated stem cells. Adults ones are pretty much useless.
6 posted on 04/24/2003 9:51:26 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (For an Evil Super Genius, you aren't too bright are you?)
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To: Dead Corpse
Adults ones are pretty much useless.

Absolutely not true.

Search FR and you'll find many articles concerning the highly effective application of adult stem cells in the cure of existing medical problems. Adult stems cells are current, effective medical technology.

You can also follw this link:

http://www.kressworks.com/Politics/issue_query.php?Issue=stem+cells&issues=Submit+Query

to get more info.

7 posted on 04/24/2003 9:55:42 AM PDT by jimkress
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To: jimkress
Just use adult stem cells and avoid any moral questions.

Seems to me that this also avoids moral questions by using unfertilized eggs to produce stem cells. If life begins at conception, then no conception = no life, right?

8 posted on 04/24/2003 10:03:50 AM PDT by general_re (You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me....)
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To: Britton J Wingfield
ping :)
9 posted on 04/24/2003 10:04:08 AM PDT by cateizgr8
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To: Coleus; Salvation
Hmmm ping.
10 posted on 04/24/2003 10:21:43 AM PDT by Black Agnes
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To: RJCogburn; 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; ...
There are plenty of stem cells in adults and umbilical cords which do fine.

http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3b3fd0b84dba.htm

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/759469/posts
11 posted on 04/24/2003 10:32:41 AM PDT by Coleus (RU-486 Kills Babies)
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To: general_re
Except for the moral question of using women as farm animals, by hyperstimulating their ovaries to produce enough eggs. Which women are they more likely to get eggs from? Middle-class Americans or poverty-stricken third-worlders?
12 posted on 04/24/2003 10:49:09 AM PDT by nina0113
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To: general_re
If life begins at conception, then no conception = no life, right?

That statement contains a few loaded assumptions;

  1. Life began a few billion years ago (or a few thousand, if that works better for you) and living cells simply continue to generate more living cells. Life does not "begin" from inanimate matter.
  2. "Conception" does not mean "fertilization". It means "implantation" in current medical jargon. Fertilization is the often considered the starting point of a new individual.
  3. Where an individual starts is a less important question than whether an individual entity is an individual human being worthy of protection.

So the question is not whether these embryo have a conventional beginning (they clearly don't) or whether they are alive (they clearly are if they can grow -- dead cells don't divide and metabolize). The question is wether these embryos represent unique individuals worthy of protection. A key question there is, "If you were to implant one of these embryos into a woman, would it be possible to get a baby?" A related question is, "How similar are these embyos to a normal fertilized embryo?"

13 posted on 04/24/2003 10:49:12 AM PDT by Question_Assumptions (q)
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To: general_re
"Parthenogenesis is a form of reproduction in which the egg develops without fertilisation"

Once the artifically fertilized egg starts to divide, we DO have a conception - an embryo. The whole idea of Parthenogenesis is that development of the embryo (in this case a human embryo) begins without a sperm.

Contrary to popular myth, opposition to embryonic stem cells has never been about how the embryo came into being. It has always been about killing the embryo once it exists.

14 posted on 04/24/2003 10:49:18 AM PDT by Notwithstanding
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To: Cyber Liberty
ROFLMAO!
15 posted on 04/24/2003 10:49:58 AM PDT by Howlin
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To: Howlin
Well, it needed saying.
16 posted on 04/24/2003 10:50:58 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty ( 2003, Ravin' Lunatic since 4/98)
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To: Dead Corpse
Adults ones are pretty much useless.

I can't remember when I've seen such a silly statement on FR.

You are dead wrong.

17 posted on 04/24/2003 10:51:08 AM PDT by Howlin
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To: Howlin
Do you think slick-sick-lying-lawyer-senator and presidential aspirant Edwards can find a PI lawsuit anywhere in this? Are you still celebrating his campaign's donation troubles?
18 posted on 04/24/2003 10:58:44 AM PDT by onyx
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To: onyx
You bet I am.
19 posted on 04/24/2003 11:01:06 AM PDT by Howlin
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To: Howlin
I can't remember when I've seen such a silly statement on FR.
You are dead wrong.

Was that really necessary? Especially since you didn't bother to post anything other than your attack to back it up?

I don't have a dog in this hunt. Last word I heard is that undifferentiated stem cell lines were the center focus of this type of research as they more readily "become" other cells. Adult cells, while they have their uses, are not as readily workable, nor are the applications as broad.

If I am mistaken in my assumptions, then point me to some more research and let me go read up. Don't just wade in with the insults.

20 posted on 04/24/2003 11:08:35 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (For an Evil Super Genius, you aren't too bright are you?)
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