Harvard Stem Cell Institute to Extract Stem Cells from Cloned Human Embryos.On June 6 the Harvard Stem Cell stem cell
In living organisms, an undifferentiated cell that can produce other cells that eventually make up specialized tissues and organs. There are two major types of stem cells, embryonic and adult. Institute announced that researchers at Harvard University Harvard University, mainly at Cambridge, Mass., including Harvard College, the oldest American college. Harvard College
Harvard College, originally for men, was founded in 1636 with a grant from the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. and Children's Hospital are going to attempt to extract stem cells stem cells, unspecialized human or animal cells that can produce mature specialized body cells and at the same time replicate themselves. Embryonic stem cells are derived from a blastocyst (the blastula typical of placental mammals; see embryo), which is very young from cloned human embryos. A story that appeared the next day in the New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of Times pointed out that the University of California, San Francisco ( UCSF UCSF University of California at San Francisco ) had done the same thing "less conspicuously a month ago, resuming a program abandoned in 2001."
As is typically the case, the press release used scientific jargon"Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Noun 1. somatic cell nuclear transfer - moving a cell nucleus and its genetic material from one cell to another
nuclear transplantation, SCNT, somatic cell nuclear transplantation
biological research - scientific research conducted by biologists "to avoid bringing up the obvious: that the researchers are creating human lives by cloning and then destroying them.
In its coverage of the press conference, the Boston Globe pointed out the many practical and ethical landmines.
"These goals are distant hopes because there is no assurance that cloned human embryonic stem cells can even be made," wrote the Globe's Gareth Cook. "Although cloning has been used successfully in many animals, each species presents a unique set of technical challenges."
In addition, "Beyond the biological puzzles, there are practical obstacles, such as finding women who are willing to donate the eggs needed for cloning. The research is controversial because scientists destroy days-old embryos, which some opponents say is essentially taking human lives, and because the research uses human eggs, which can place donors at a slight risk of side effects Side effects
Effects of a proposed project on other parts of the firm. ."
Even one of the speakers at the press conference, George Daley of Children's Hospital Boston Children's Hospital Boston is a children's hospital located in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area of Boston, Massachusetts. Located at 300 Longwood Avenue, Children's is adjacent both to its teaching affiliate, Harvard Medical School, and to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. , conceded, "Clinical applications may be a decade or even more away." Daley was joined by Douglas Melton and Kevin Eggan of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.
Critics were quick to point out that not so long ago proponents insisted that "all" researchers wanted were "spare embryos" which were "left over" from fertility clinics. The rationalization was that they were, in many cases, not going to be implanted and/or that they would "die anyway."
Now, the researchers are proposing to create human lives to be destroyed for ther stem cells.
According to Nature magazine, the Harvard enterprise will go even further than the work in San Francisco. Helen Pearson writes that the UCSF researchers are "using eggs that failed to fertilize during in vitro fertilization in vitro fertilization (vē`trō, vĭ`trō), technique for conception of a human embryo outside the mother's body. Several ova, or eggs, are removed from the mother's body and placed in special laboratory culture dishes (Petri dishes); (IVF IVF in vitro fertilization.
in vitro fertilization
IVF 1 In vitro fertilization, see there 2. Intravascular fluid )." Harvard's Melton and Eggan will "ask healthy women in the Boston area to donate eggs." (According to the Times, however, a UCSF spokesman said that "Dr. Reijo Pera [one of the researchers] will switch to using donated eggs if those rejected by fertility clinics do not work.")
At the press conference Harvard Provost Dr. Steven E. Hyman argued that following extensive reviews by eight committees over two years, the research was "ethically justified." According to published reports, the research had been okayed by a review panel at Columbia University and "institutional reviews at Harvard, two affiliated hospitals, and a fertility clinic."
How would the cloned human embryo be created? Women would "donate" their ovum. The DNA DNA: see nucleic acid.
or deoxyribonucleic acid
One of two types of nucleic acid (the other is RNA); a complex organic compound found in all living cells and many viruses. It is the chemical substance of genes. from the human egg would be removed.
This "hollowed-out" egg is then fused with a cell from a patient's body, most often a skin cell. The cloned human embryo would essentially be genetically identical to the skin cell donor.
The Globe's account noted that the Harvard project is "particularly large." The Harvard scientists "have laid extensive groundwork, including building laboratory space and getting all the necessary approvals, and one group has already begun its experiments," Cook wrote. "This places Harvard ahead of several of the other teams."
According to the Harvard Gazette, Melton, co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, said, "The reality of the suffering of those individuals far outweighs the potential of blastocysts that would never be implanted and allowed to come to term even if we did not do this research." But as critics point out, this gets the cart before the horseor, perhaps better put, confuses the horse with the cart.
Why do these human embryos exist in the first place? Because Melton and his associates needed "source material" to destroy for their stem cells. As one observer noted, "He made them, and he intends to do nothing to let them survive, and these two prior immoral decisions make it moral for him to kill them for research." In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently , "Three wrongs don't make a right!"
There is any number of reasons why it is highly unlikely that embryonic stem cellswhether harvested from existing embryos or vacuumed out of cloned human embryoswill ever "cure" anything. In fact, all the successes to date involve sources of stem cells other than from human embryos. Indeed, the more so-called "adult" stem cell sources are probed, the greater is the likely range of illnesses they may help remedy or cure.