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June 17, 2005 7:38 AM   Subscribe

Source of stem cells idea sent me straight into my uncanny valley. (via aldaily)
posted by rainbaby (21 comments total)

 
"You could grow them in vats, kill them at will, and never risk offending God.
...
When he wraps up his presentation, the applause is long and loud."


I can't help but be reminded of that South Park episode involving the secret meeting of priests in Rome, including the giant frog-like alien priests.

And the giant spider.
posted by odinsdream at 7:54 AM on June 17, 2005


Q How do you appease both stem cell researchers and the Roman Catholic church?

A Harvest your goodies from the horrific mutant remains of a blighted cancerous sub-human child that never was.


Hurrah! win-win!
posted by NinjaPirate at 7:55 AM on June 17, 2005


"How to Farm Stem Cells Without Losing Your Soul"

Well since souls don't exist, I'm not seeing a problem here.
posted by MrLint at 8:09 AM on June 17, 2005


I'm not seeing a problem here.

Certainly you misspoke. You must have meant to say: "This animate hunk of meat doesn't see a problem here."
posted by felix betachat at 8:31 AM on June 17, 2005


While I was dimly aware of the phenomenon, I was not familiar with the term "teratoma" until just a few moments ago. This led me - against my better judgment - to perform a google image search.

I am now permanently scarred. The horror . . .
posted by aladfar at 8:43 AM on June 17, 2005


Google: putting the "terror" in teratoma
posted by NinjaPirate at 8:46 AM on June 17, 2005


I prefer the normal way. You know, the one that dosn't involve loosing your lunch.

---

Also, google helpfully puts GIS results right in the main search results. I think the main reason for promoting something like this would be to turn more people off of stem cell research.
posted by delmoi at 8:59 AM on June 17, 2005


Man...dont google teratoma, it's at the very least potentially NSFW, but mostly just horrid to look at.
posted by nile_red at 9:37 AM on June 17, 2005


...Should I be worried that this idea doesn't squick me out? This combined with the feeling-robot thread make me wonder if I'm developing mad-scientist tendencies. I actually think this is sort of neat.
posted by wanderingmind at 9:45 AM on June 17, 2005


Maybe delmoi is on to something and it's a reverse psychology ploy? It just kicked me in the irrational guts.

But apart from the "squick" (great word) factor - to my UN scientific mind, wouldn't the stem cells from something designed to be messed up have a greater likelihood of being, well. . .messed up?
posted by rainbaby at 9:54 AM on June 17, 2005


Well since souls don't exist, I'm not seeing a problem here.

I'll give a blow-job to the first politician to say that publicly.
posted by iron chef morimoto at 9:56 AM on June 17, 2005


I have no problem seeing myself as an animate hunk of meat, albeit a sentient hunk of meat. There is nothing inherently better about me than any other animate hunk of meat. The homo sapiens variety of meat has enough variation and uniqueness at the cellular level -- especially considering the millions upon millions of different ways eltrochemical links occur between our neurons and synapses -- that one might be tempted to conclude we are more than our biology, especially when one relies on beliefs formulated well before such knowledge was widespread, but it is not necessarily so.
posted by pmbuko at 10:48 AM on June 17, 2005


They're made out of meat.
posted by homunculus at 1:08 PM on June 17, 2005


I love that one.

This reminds me of Animal 57, too...
posted by First Post at 1:51 PM on June 17, 2005


Definitely a high disgust factor, and I'm not sure how this 'solves' the ostensible moral issues.

Reminds me of the time I suggested 'murder free' meat made by creating then harvesting benign tumors from livestock just to piss off a vegan buddy of mine.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:58 PM on June 17, 2005


Tumors. It's what's for dinner.
posted by iron chef morimoto at 3:10 PM on June 17, 2005


Was going to post this earlier today. Glad it made it to the blue. The bold new future! Or should I say brave new world?

But apart from the "squick" (great word) factor - to my UN scientific mind, wouldn't the stem cells from something designed to be messed up have a greater likelihood of being, well. . .messed up?

I think they cover this. They're talking about intentionally malforming what would have been healthy fetuses so they have no viable chance. Then they'd need to fix what they broke, because otherwise the stem cells they harvest would contain the same problem. This multiplies the difficulty of the procedure, and is one of the things that critics of this approach don't like.
posted by dreamsign at 9:15 PM on June 17, 2005


Take two.
posted by homunculus at 9:29 PM on June 17, 2005


I approve...err... ::barfs::

There are some things too disturbing even for the Lord to handle.
posted by God Almighty at 4:13 PM on June 18, 2005


I say God just opens an embryo wing of heaven to handle the influx, and everybody's happy.
posted by boaz at 4:26 PM on June 18, 2005


So these scientists, they throw some genetic switch and suddenly these embryos are doomed - their life trajectory hits an abrupt brick wall.

Obvious moral objection #1: what prevents these scientists from throwing the switch back the other way? Use a retro-virus to re-install the missing embryonic skin DNA or something? Then these embryos are only doomed in the same sense that a preemie would be doomed without the use of an incubator.

Obvious moral can-o-worms #1: if scientists can manipulate embryonic cells to become non-viable, then maybe the reverse becomes conceivable? Maybe ordinary human cells could someday be manipulated into viable embryonic cells? If so, then each and every one of us suddenly becomes guilty of failing to assure the potential life-trajectory of each and every cell of our bodies. Spill just a couple drops of blood and you've deprived one billion of your identical twins a chance at a full llife-trajectory.
posted by gregor-e at 6:38 PM on June 18, 2005


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