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just ANOTHER reason why Bush is a soulless bastard.
July 19, 2006 10:41 AM   Subscribe

Bush's threat to veto stem cell funding is a joke. Scott Rosenberg says flat out why Bush's threat is shamelessly amoral and hyporcritical, and purely political in nature. (via)
posted by Doorstop (126 comments total)

 
Stem cells a vote breaker for some Americans
"The division among Republicans [over the issue of stem cell research] could have political fallout. Polls show most Americans support the research and Democrats are hoping a voter backlash against Republicans who oppose it will win them enough votes to seize control of Congress at the November mid-term election."

[Reuters | July 19, 2006]
posted by ericb at 10:46 AM on July 19, 2006


Everything Bush does is amoral and hypocritical, no? This is a bone for the GOP midterm voters, to try to show that he gives a shit about them. He won't do it, i'm betting, but will do a signing statement full of religious babble. Plus, even if it becomes law, Bush has packed most agencies with religious/anti-science nuts, so i don't have much hope anything will actually change. The rest of the world has already passed us on this kind of research, and on others.
posted by amberglow at 10:51 AM on July 19, 2006


i want to rage against him on the stem cell issue, but i would be a hypocrite. each time i masturbate, i kill thousands of potential babies called sperm. i should be outlawed as well.
posted by poppo at 10:51 AM on July 19, 2006


meh.
posted by OmieWise at 10:52 AM on July 19, 2006


Of course, this also gives some vulnerable Republicans who've rubber-stamped everything for five years a way to distance themselves from the Bush Cooties, just in time for campaign season.
posted by Clave at 10:54 AM on July 19, 2006


67 percent of Americans support embryonic stem cell research [PDF]. The same percentage believes “It would be terrible if cures were delayed because of policies that make embryonic stem cell research difficult.”
posted by ericb at 10:56 AM on July 19, 2006


Bush Bars Media From Stem Cell Veto.
posted by ericb at 10:57 AM on July 19, 2006


Bush? A hypocrite? Now I've seen everything.
posted by chunking express at 10:57 AM on July 19, 2006


Why would there be media at a veto in the first place? I heard on the news this morning that the veto would happen in a "Rose Garden ceremony," which struck as unbelievably weird; now I see that I shouldn't have believed it.
posted by aaronetc at 11:00 AM on July 19, 2006


Duh, "...struck me..."
posted by aaronetc at 11:01 AM on July 19, 2006


George Bush doesn't care about pre-people?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:01 AM on July 19, 2006 [2 favorites]


Here's the facile conspiracy theory: Bush, at this point, is thoroughly addled by booze and pills. He's been completely over his head for years, and he just wants out. Everyone around him knows it, and is trying to dump the dead weight. His handlers get him to sign the veto in a deliberate move to show how out-of-touch Bush is with the American people, and the Republicans in Congress get to overturn the veto, lead a coup, show that they're the good guys and install a new figurehead.
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:04 AM on July 19, 2006


I think there would be media at a veto because, 1) it is a hot button topic and 2) it's his first veto, so kind of historic... by the way it doesn't say he's banning media, but banning photographers. Pictures are stronger than words, and an an uncontrolled image of vetoing a popular topic goes against SOP. I mean how else is in "inappropriate"?
posted by edgeways at 11:05 AM on July 19, 2006


is Rove having a giant rubber stamp with "VETO" on it made? And the T will actually be a cross? ; >
posted by amberglow at 11:08 AM on July 19, 2006




Welcome to the new USA: VE†O, VO†E, CONS†I†U†ION, COUR†, RIGH†S, ...
posted by amberglow at 11:12 AM on July 19, 2006


And the cost of this hypocrisy, assuming Congress can't muster the votes for an override, will be borne by everyone who dreams of new cures for awful illnesses.

This of course is only true if the US was the only country on the planet capable of this research. What the efforts of the Jesusland special interest has done is merely push this research to Europe, Canada, Asia and other places. A classic execution of operation foot bullet.
posted by Mitheral at 11:14 AM on July 19, 2006


Yeah I'm almost starting to think the GOP is primarily motivated by political gain.
posted by fleacircus at 11:16 AM on July 19, 2006


Ridiculous. If we don’t have clones, what are we going to use to fight the robots?

“Tony Snow, adopting the supercharged cant of anti-abortion activists, referred to it recently as "murder."”

So my wife and I, because we had IVF, are guilty of murder? Come and get me. I’m serious as a heart attack here. If this is murder I’m a criminal. I’m a murder for having IVF with the full knowlege that the non-viable embryonic mass would never come to terms.
Anyone got a real problem with that? You know where to find me.
Snow, et.al should STFU with inflamatory speech if they don’t want to be called on it. Unfuckingbelievable, we’re murderers because we want a child and use science to do it. Philosophically I’m still only slightly on the pro-choice side, vicerally - anyone who sides with these pricks is evil as well as stupid.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:25 AM on July 19, 2006


/and I was in a good mood this morning.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:27 AM on July 19, 2006


The stem cell fracas is a moronic red herring. While Bush clearly misused his first-ever veto, it was mostly because it should have been that even more moronic Medicare perscription entitlement.

Why people get so bent out of shape on stem cells of all things is so boorishly unimportant. It's next to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge drilling in its red herringness.
posted by Captaintripps at 11:27 AM on July 19, 2006


I was under the impression that part of Bush's stem cell plans made it so that it was mainly restricting university research. Y'know, so that any eventual findings will belong to some nice, responsible corporations.
posted by interrobang at 11:27 AM on July 19, 2006


If you went to another country, had stem cell based treatment, then returned to America, would you be quarantined since you are now made of a banned (and most importantly, immoral) substance?
posted by public at 11:30 AM on July 19, 2006


Amberglow: You forgot LIBER†Y
posted by adamrice at 11:35 AM on July 19, 2006


Why can't the people who believe stem cell research = murder simply not take part in any of the cures and treatments developed from it, like Christian Scientists and Jehovah's Witnesses? They're entitled to their opinion, but I don't think they should be entitled to ruin it for the rest of us.
posted by Soliloquy at 11:37 AM on July 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


Can we amend the Constitution to prohibit people from being elected unless they have some scientific background?

I'm pretty sure the GOP's knowledge of cloning is based on the time they all watched Multiplicity at Kent Hovind's house.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:39 AM on July 19, 2006


public, I'm pretty sure this debate is over public funding. So, even in America stem cell research can go forward if it is privately funded. the practice itself is not illegal, just govt funding of it. which raises an interesting problem. With Govt funding comes a bevy of safeguards on how trials can be run. Without the funding many of these safeguards are non existent.
posted by edgeways at 11:41 AM on July 19, 2006


it's federal funding. And the opponents all scream "well if these cures were any good then private industry would be throwing money at them"(which they are) without any real understanding of how practical science works. Most of our successful drugs/treatments have their roots firmly in publicly funded research. It's only after something shows promise that private industry swoops in and refines the treatment.

Each has their role and they do it fairly well. But by blocking public funding you're shutting down a huge part of the basic research thet'll make these treatments viable, and the opponents of stem cell research know this.
posted by slapshot57 at 11:47 AM on July 19, 2006


Quote "67 percent of Americans support embryonic stem cell research [PDF]."

I'd be surprised if 5% of the people understood anything about embryonic stem cells or alternatives other than what the media feeds them.

We as scientists don't understand exactly how stem cells work, and whether embryonic stem cells are any more powerful than adult derived. And how about putting all of that anger toward the veto into supporting cord blood banking programs? It seems a win/win if we put some effort behind it, and no matter what side of the abortion fence you are on, there would be no victims in this scenario.

I guess these alternatives are not as attractive because they don't help push an agenda though.
posted by genefinder at 11:47 AM on July 19, 2006


Amberglow: You forgot JUS†ICE
posted by Mr_Zero at 11:48 AM on July 19, 2006


public writes "If you went to another country, had stem cell based treatment, then returned to America, would you be quarantined since you are now made of a banned (and most importantly, immoral) substance?"

No. Do you have any understanding whatsoever of this issue? It doesn't help our side when we come off as hysterical and ignorant.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:49 AM on July 19, 2006


I'm an unapologetic Bush-voter, and even I recognize this move for the political theater that it is. Congressional Republicans want a way to distance thenselves from an unpopular president in a mideterm election year. The President wanta a way to throw a bone to the hardline conservatives in his party.

It's a dance, and it sucks, and it is among the many reasons I'm disgusted with my party. Both parties, actually, since this particular type of dance is not a Republican invention.
posted by DWRoelands at 11:50 AM on July 19, 2006


This is actually brilliant politics. Bush gets two things 1) He gets to talk to his conservative base, and 2) He gets to hand stem cell research to the private sector where there is little to no oversight. If anything, this veto expresses both sides of Bush's politics - the religious and the corporatist.
posted by elwoodwiles at 11:51 AM on July 19, 2006


Amberglow: You forgot JUS†ICE
oops : >

I cannot believe he actually did it--even Frist was for expanding funding, for God's sake--Catkiller Frist, MD
posted by amberglow at 11:57 AM on July 19, 2006


Mr. President should listen to Mr. Reston. Reston's daughter has a transplanted kidney. The anti-rejection drugs she takes are mildly toxic. Slowly, these drugs are poisoning and ruining the very organ they are meant to assist. In ten years, her new kidney will likely fail.

At that time, will she receive a new kidney "grown in a petri dish" as her doctor's hope? Or will Reston and family have to hope darkly for another freak county fair accident like the one that provided her first kidney?

The word you're looking for? "Appalling." That's the one.
posted by grabbingsand at 11:57 AM on July 19, 2006


even in America stem cell research can go forward if it is privately funded

Research will continue,with or without federal funding
"Despite the impression left by some of its supporters, stem-cell research is not banned. In fact, not only is it legal, it is thriving in the private sector. There are at least 11 private stem-cell research centers at universities and medical centers across the country. In May, Ray Dolby, creator of Dolby Stereo systems, donated $16 million to the University of California at San Francisco to establish a new stem-cell research center. And, just last month, Harvard University announced a privately funded, multimillion-dollar program to create cloned human embryos as sources of medically promising stem cells. Harvard is already home to the nation's largest private research effort, employing more than 100 researchers and housing 17 new stem-cell lines. Harvard now processes as many research requests for its stem-cell lines as does the National Institutes of Health.

The pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries are contributing to the research as well. More than 60 U.S. and international companies are pursuing some form of research or therapeutic product development involving stem cells. These include corporate giants such as Johnson & Johnson, General Electric and Novartis. One company alone, Geron Corp., has spent more than twice as much as the federal government on stem-cell research. New companies are entering the field as well. At a meeting this year in San Francisco, it was estimated that as many as 50 U.S. venture-capital firms are prepared to invest in stem-cell research companies. This comes on the heels of $102 million in venture-capital funding for the stem-cell industry in 2005. All this corporate research should not be surprising, given that some estimates suggest that there will be a $10 billion market for stem-cell technologies by 2010."

[San Francisco Chronicle | July 19, 2006]
posted by ericb at 11:59 AM on July 19, 2006


Harvard Stem Cell Institute.
posted by ericb at 12:00 PM on July 19, 2006


i want to rage against him on the stem cell issue, but i would be a hypocrite. each time i masturbate, i kill thousands of potential babies called sperm. i should be outlawed as well.

Dude I'm vascectomized. I'm murdering hundreds of thousands of pre-people every day. Just by, like, walking around and stuff.
posted by glenwood at 12:00 PM on July 19, 2006


This of course is only true if the US was the only country on the planet capable of this research. What the efforts of the Jesusland special interest has done is merely push this research to Europe, Canada, Asia and other places. A classic execution of operation foot bullet.

Well, yes and no. You can't entirely discount the impact of freezing out a number of talented researchers who will not leave the U.S. But your basic point is a good one -- this decision actually enriches other countries at the expense of the U.S. Other countries get a competitive advantage in the lucrative genetic engineering field because U.S. researchers are hamstrung by lack of federal funding.

What a moron.
posted by pardonyou? at 12:03 PM on July 19, 2006


I'd be surprised if 5% of the people understood anything about embryonic stem cells or alternatives other than what the media feeds them.

We as scientists don't understand exactly how stem cells work, and whether embryonic stem cells are any more powerful than adult derived. And how about putting all of that anger toward the veto into supporting cord blood banking programs? It seems a win/win if we put some effort behind it, and no matter what side of the abortion fence you are on, there would be no victims in this scenario.

I guess these alternatives are not as attractive because they don't help push an agenda though.
posted by genefinder at 11:47 AM PST on July 19


You're not fooling anybody.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:03 PM on July 19, 2006


George Bush doesn't care about zygote people.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:05 PM on July 19, 2006


Harvard Stem Cells Favored Over Those Produced With U.S. Funds
"The Bush administration's restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research are driving scientists to seek out cells from privately funded programs.

Embryonic stem cells created at Harvard University are being used three times more often than those from the National Stem Cell Bank, the largest source of cells that can be studied using U.S. research grants.

Since 2003, 667 stem cell batches were sent to other labs from Harvard, the biggest private supplier in the U.S. That compares with 246 sent by the cell bank, the main distributor of cells approved by President George W. Bush. The U.S. is providing $38 million in 2006 for research that can only be used to study older cells like those stored at the bank.

The numbers, released by Harvard and the cell bank, suggest scientists seeking new therapies against hard-to-treat medical disorders such as Parkinson's disease believe cell lines approved by Bush in 2001 aren't as useful as those created with private research grants The trend may become critical when the Senate votes early next week on a bill to overturn the Bush ban."

[Bloomberg News | July 13, 2006]
posted by ericb at 12:05 PM on July 19, 2006


Vetoed
posted by caddis at 12:07 PM on July 19, 2006


All the masturbation and menstruation going on each day in this country amounts to genocide for the pre-born. Who will do something about this?
posted by mullingitover at 12:09 PM on July 19, 2006


Does this mean he's going to lay off the signing statements for awhile?
posted by homunculus at 12:10 PM on July 19, 2006


Optimus, I make no bones about being a Catholic. I am not trying to fool anyone in any way. My faith doesn't invalidate what I said though.

Expanding efforts in understanding adult stem cells hurts no-one, whether you believe in abortion or not. Cord blood banking hurts no-one. Why not err on the side of promoting a plan everyone can get behind?
posted by genefinder at 12:11 PM on July 19, 2006


President Bush holds a child who was adopted as an embryo after he vetoed a stem cells research bill.

…there's really nothing left to say.
posted by prostyle at 12:12 PM on July 19, 2006


Why anyone would want the government to have control over the funding of stem-cell research is beyond me, really. I'm glad he vetoed it, but on other grounds than the religious (i.e., obvious).

Leaving the gov out of the equation will produce better results than the myriad conditions the government would have imposed on the funding program. And I'm pretty sure that with the debate over where life begins, and funding would be subject to some severe jerking around in the future -- or worse yet, cut off just as soon as researchers become too heavily dependent on the money.

Just my $0.02. For the record, I support the research whole-heartedly and believe it holds great potential, but I oppose the government getting its hands on it for the reasons stated above.
posted by vanadium at 12:13 PM on July 19, 2006


All the masturbation and menstruation going on each day

What'll they think about those murderers in the U.K. with their wacky Masturbate-a-thon 2006?

George should get on the red-phone to his lap-dog Tony and put a stop to it!
posted by ericb at 12:14 PM on July 19, 2006


President Bush holds a child who was adopted as an embryo after he vetoed a stem cells research bill.


posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:14 PM on July 19, 2006


Does this mean he's going to lay off the signing statements for awhile?

Just until he gets the line-item veto that Republicans fought to keep from Clinton and now want Bush to have.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:14 PM on July 19, 2006


...as long as bush signs, alongside the veto, a commitment that he'll never accept any form of medical treatment derived from stem cell research (an agreement i think should be signed by the religious nuts in opposition, alongside their virginity pledges)...
posted by troybob at 12:15 PM on July 19, 2006


When can we veto him?
posted by Sir BoBoMonkey Pooflinger Esquire III at 12:16 PM on July 19, 2006


My pen is open and dripping...like drool.
posted by Sir BoBoMonkey Pooflinger Esquire III at 12:17 PM on July 19, 2006


Leaving the gov out of the equation will produce better results than the myriad conditions the government would have imposed on the funding program

The federal government places all kinds of restrictions on the grant funding they hand out to health researchers in academia.

Why should stem cell research be curtailed for this reason alone? I'm genuinely puzzled by this reasoning.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:18 PM on July 19, 2006


understanding adult stem cells hurts no-one

"Last week, Karl Rove –- explaining why Bush planned on vetoing the bill — told the Denver Post that 'recent studies' show researchers 'have far more promise from adult stem cells than from embryonic stem cells'

The Chicago Tribune contacted a dozen top stem cell experts about Rove’s claim. They all said it was inaccurate. So who wrote the 'studies' that Rove was referring to?
'White House spokesman Ken Lisaius on Tuesday could not provide the name of a stem cell researcher who shares Rove’s views on the superior promise of adult stem cells.'
In a letter to President Bush last year, a group of 80 Nobel laureates wrote that 'current evidence suggests that adult stem cells have markedly restricted differentiation potential.'

Question: Does President Bush believe that adult stem cell research has 'far more promise' than embryonic stem cells? Is that a contributing factor in his decision to veto the bill?"

[Think Progress | July 19, 2006]
posted by ericb at 12:19 PM on July 19, 2006


Question: Does President Bush believe that adult stem cell research has 'far more promise' than embryonic stem cells? Is that a contributing factor in his decision to veto the bill?"

Via http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/08/20010809-2.html:

You should also know that stem cells can be derived from sources other than embryos -- from adult cells, from umbilical cords that are discarded after babies are born, from human placenta. And many scientists feel research on these type of stem cells is also promising. Many patients suffering from a range of diseases are already being helped with treatments developed from adult stem cells.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:23 PM on July 19, 2006


Sir BoBoMonkey, I do not want to hear about your open and dripping pen is.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:24 PM on July 19, 2006


Ridiculous. If we don’t have clones, what are we going to use to fight the robots?

This is why I read metafilter.
posted by mmrtnt at 12:27 PM on July 19, 2006


Struggling only makes it hurt more.

I'm sure it took a great deal of backroom bargaining just to get Congress this far - this is a safe veto for him, because he knows Congresscritters don't have enough spine to override it. Of course it'll be his first veto in office. It makes him look good to his constituents.

So what if the majority of the country wants to ease restrictions on embryonic stem cell research grants? There are a few people who really don't want this to happen, as it would undermine their pro-life agenda, so they've paid up their Congresscritter dues and ensured that it just won't happen.

Science takes a back seat, once again, to religion (excuse me, "morality," as if they're one and the same.)
posted by FormlessOne at 12:33 PM on July 19, 2006


ericb, those are interesting articles. Thanks for linking them.

I'm not going to begin to support Karl Rove. That's not my motivation. I do think you can clearly see from the articles you linked, that stem cell experts themselves are unsure how it will all turn out. To say embryonic stem cells are the only way to go is, in my opinion, lazy science (and I don't see these experts saying that).

Current evidence may well suggest that adult stem cells are limited in their differentiation potential. But this analysis is done with the limited understanding we all have right now. We learn more every year, and as the field expands, these statements may become more definitive, or be proven wrong.

For now, I have and will continue to err on the side of exploring non-embryonic alternatives.
posted by genefinder at 12:34 PM on July 19, 2006


On the other hand, The U.S. military budget request by the Bush Administration for Fiscal Year 2007 was $462.7 billion, not including operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Culture of life indeed. What a crock.
posted by homunculus at 12:41 PM on July 19, 2006


Ridiculous. If we don’t have clones, what are we going to use to fight the robots?

According to the Laws of Saturday Morning Cartoons, fighting robots requires nothing more than a spunky child and a garden hose. Water and children are the rock to robots' cold metal scissors.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 12:42 PM on July 19, 2006


If Salon thinks that what Bush is doing is a "joke," to use their word, they aren't paying very much attention.
posted by blucevalo at 12:51 PM on July 19, 2006


Why should stem cell research be curtailed for this reason alone? I'm genuinely puzzled by this reasoning.

Because I personally believe that medical research would flourish even more if the government didn't control its funding, actually. I'm not singling out stem-cell research by itself.

Long as the government chooses who it goes to and under what conditions, potential is curtailed and the entire shebang becomes more politicized. The more politicized it gets, the less focus there is on the real goal of helping people, and more of the focus goes to political advantage, conditions based on political agendas, and grandstanding.
posted by vanadium at 12:52 PM on July 19, 2006


We just need to clone this guy to fight the robots.
posted by oaf at 12:55 PM on July 19, 2006


Uh, amberglow, that's a dagger. (Which also works. I don't disagree with the sentiment.)
posted by Crabby Appleton at 1:01 PM on July 19, 2006


I wouldn't rest too comfortably on the poll numbers. The religious right is much more successful than the left at blitzing the public with emotionally charged rhetoric to frame an issue.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:01 PM on July 19, 2006


Here. Some good reasons why this shouldn't be politicized.

http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=2762
posted by vanadium at 1:01 PM on July 19, 2006


Because I personally believe that medical research would flourish even more if the government didn't control its funding, actually. I'm not singling out stem-cell research by itself.

I'm not sure the facts would agree. Pharmaceutical and medical product corporations historically don't want to pay for (taxpayer-funded) basic research because that eats into margins, but they are perfectly happy making use of it in creating new products. Nothing is stopping private research funding, in any case, and there are many NGOs and non-profit foundations (Howard Hughes Medical Institute being one notable example) that contribute a great deal to medical research, and PIs keep working, with or without the NIH's help. The politicization of this particular aspect of medical research is an election-year convenience, nothing more — in twenty years, it might be human cloning. I still don't see your reasoning here.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:03 PM on July 19, 2006


According to the Laws of Saturday Morning Cartoons, fighting robots requires nothing more than a spunky child and a garden hose. Water and children are the rock to robots' cold metal scissors.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:42 PM CST on July 19


eponysterical? I say yes.
posted by ninjew at 1:03 PM on July 19, 2006


DWRoelands: It's a dance, and it sucks, and it is among the many reasons I'm disgusted with my party. Both parties, actually, since this particular type of dance is not a Republican invention.

That is the most pathetic Republican bullshit line I've ever heard, and yet at the same time it's entirely typical. I salute you.
posted by fleacircus at 1:04 PM on July 19, 2006


In ten years, her new kidney will likely fail.

That's only a problem for normal people. The president and a good part of the legislature believe in Christian determinism that indirectly leads to things such as "the rich are rich for a reason" and "the sick die because of Jeebus's plan." No born again or evangelical is losing sleep over sinners.
posted by skallas at 1:07 PM on July 19, 2006


I'm an unapologetic Bush-voter...

Really? I didn't think any of those existed anymore.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:09 PM on July 19, 2006


Really? I didn't think any of those existed anymore.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 3:09 PM CST on July 19


I think Ann Coulter eats them to fuel her evil powers.
posted by ninjew at 1:11 PM on July 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


Just until he gets the line-item veto that Republicans fought to keep from Clinton and now want Bush to have.

What a weird version of history. The republicans gave Clinton the line-item veto, and it was ruled unconstitutional.
posted by delmoi at 1:11 PM on July 19, 2006


I know that. But if I remember correctly, some months after passing it, they made it a "Republican issue", with Rush going on and on about abuse of the Executive privilege and so forth. Enough so that it was a hot topic of contention (i.e. Democrat bashing) among the fiercely Republican crowd I was with then. (The very same individuals are now almost all rabid Bush supporters.)

The ruling was seen/spun as a success for the principle of separation of powers. When the line-item veto was first introduced in the CWA, it was seen/spun as a defense against pork.

Which is to say, I know that's not what happened, but at the time, people thought that's what was happening.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:17 PM on July 19, 2006


After the Veto: Placental Cells?
posted by ericb at 1:27 PM on July 19, 2006


genefinder writes "For now, I have and will continue to err on the side of exploring non-embryonic alternatives."

I don't think anyone is suggesting that such alternatives not be explored. Even if there were full funding for embryonic stem cells, there would be significant research efforts towards developing omnipotent cells from adult stem cells: it's an interesting question and a useful application (it could potentially avoid the nuclear transplant cloning step necessary to create immunocompatible cells from embyonic stem cells).

Why err on the side of not exploring the embryonic alternatives?
posted by mr_roboto at 1:33 PM on July 19, 2006


We as scientists don't understand exactly how stem cells work, and whether embryonic stem cells are any more powerful than adult derived.


genefinder,
the reason embryonic stem cells are far more pliable than adult stem cells is because they undifferentiated at that point. As for the "we as scientists don't understand" part, speak for yourself. the full knowledge of the how and why may not be complete, but it is WELL known that the reason embryonnic stem cells offer greater potential is due to their lack of differentiation. read a goddamn freshman biology book. how to USE these cells, and make them work for our purposes, on the other hand is not fully understood. this is why we have stem cell research. research which, while it may not be the holy grail of medical science, provides promise for some repairs made by terrible diseases.
posted by Doorstop at 1:33 PM on July 19, 2006


To say embryonic stem cells are the only way to go is, in my opinion, lazy science (and I don't see these experts saying that)

Er, who the heck is saying that?
posted by Stauf at 1:36 PM on July 19, 2006


genefinder

forgive me, i didn't read your following statement. in light of that, adult stem cells do present promise, but only in same-patient conditions. also, these cells are much more limited in their research due to the fact that they are fewer in number, already somewhat differentiated, and are much more difficult to harvest from bodies post mortem. their potential is very very limited.
posted by Doorstop at 1:41 PM on July 19, 2006


Optimus, I make no bones about being a Catholic. I am not trying to fool anyone in any way. My faith doesn't invalidate what I said though.

Expanding efforts in understanding adult stem cells hurts no-one, whether you believe in abortion or not. Cord blood banking hurts no-one. Why not err on the side of promoting a plan everyone can get behind?
posted by genefinder at 12:11 PM PST on July 19


Here's an idea: let's do both. But don't try to jive us into thinking that embryonic stem cells aren't - by far - the most promising part of this research. "We scientists." Please.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:43 PM on July 19, 2006


If there is any justice in this universe (divine or otherwise), Bush, his loved ones, or anyone he cares for (corporate sponsors, pro-lifers, etc) will all develop horrifically disabling conditions that could be easily cured with therapeutic modalities which would have been discovered with the research they are blocking.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 1:51 PM on July 19, 2006


"Expanding efforts in understanding adult stem cells hurts no-one, whether you believe in abortion or not. Cord blood banking hurts no-one. Why not err on the side of promoting a plan everyone can get behind?"

Because using embryos that were going to be discarded as medical waste also hurts no one, whereas withholding funding from studies that might use those embryos to produce results of great benefit to a lot of people...well, that hurts my brain with its sheer senselessness.
posted by uosuaq at 2:22 PM on July 19, 2006


The irony is, all we have to do is call up Syria and get them to stop this stem-cell shit.
posted by turducken at 2:38 PM on July 19, 2006 [2 favorites]


To paraphrase some redneck from my cloudy past:

If hooking up a embryo's brain to a 12-volt truck battery is going to save me from rotting away from cancer some day, I've got two things to say:

'Red to positive, black to negative.'
posted by BillyElmore at 2:44 PM on July 19, 2006 [2 favorites]




When the robots/WWIII/Jesus destroy us all, we won't need stem cells.

Hopefully future civilizations on this planet will find ways to run a government-less society.
posted by ninjew at 2:57 PM on July 19, 2006


Can we amend the Constitution to prohibit people from being elected unless they have some scientific background?

I'm pretty sure the GOP's knowledge of cloning is based on the time they all watched Multiplicity at Kent Hovind's house.
posted by Optimus Chyme


What I love is that, when listening to CSPAN yesterday, I heard legislators who oppose embryonic stem cell research pushing pluripotency research as an alternative. If you can take an adult cell and wave your science wand over it to make it pluripotent, what have you really just done, honestly? You've created a cloned one-celled embryo.
posted by zennie at 3:13 PM on July 19, 2006


ninjew, I'm speaking from harsh, harsh experience.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:14 PM on July 19, 2006


Adult Stem Cells have a massive amount of funding, are used in both heterologous and autologous settings, and are closer to clinical application than ESCs. Try the following search for Stem Cells at Pubmed and tell me how many are for ESCs and how many are for mesenchymal stem cells or multipotent stem/progenitor cells.

I'm not knocking ESCs, I'm just saying that sometimes technology sidelines heated debates.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 3:19 PM on July 19, 2006


If there is any justice in this universe (divine or otherwise), Bush, his loved ones, or anyone he cares for (corporate sponsors, pro-lifers, etc) will all develop horrifically disabling conditions that could be easily cured with therapeutic modalities which would have been discovered with the research they are blocking.

Because, you know, the Lesbian daughter really turned Cheney around and all.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:21 PM on July 19, 2006


genefinder You are ignoring a very significant detail. The stem cells they are talking about harvesting would come from either a) aborted fetuses, or b) IVF rejects.

Currently both are categorized as medical waste and disposed of in biohazard marked containers. The question I'd like you to answer is why do you believe it is important to keep throwing away that material? It isn't as if anyone is proposing growing human fetuses specifically to harvest stem cells from, they just want to use the existent sources of fetuses which, I emphasize, are being thrown away like garbage every day.

I really would like to know why you believe its so important to keep putting this potentially life saving material into the incenerator.
posted by sotonohito at 3:33 PM on July 19, 2006


Bush does something amoral and hypocritical? Hold the front page.
posted by Decani at 3:42 PM on July 19, 2006


Because, you know, the Lesbian daughter really turned Cheney around and all.

no, but Reagan did get Alzheimer's
posted by matteo at 4:13 PM on July 19, 2006


1. forbid something because it's against somebody morals , even if it is not imposed nor is the only realistically possible way to go for them
2. cash their votes
4 ?
5 Profit

Wait it is not over

6 Continue research in a really free country, even if it is runned by communists
7 privately import expensive cures for richer people (there is no ban on products of stem cell research)
8 next round of elections, new "GOP for stem cell" , get some federal money to private industry to "reduce the intolerable gap"
9 have them basically buy the gap with federal money
10 you and your friends are happy
11 ?
12 Double Plus Profit !
posted by elpapacito at 4:16 PM on July 19, 2006


sotonohito: genefinder You are ignoring a very significant detail. The stem cells they are talking about harvesting would come from either a) aborted fetuses, or b) IVF rejects.

I don't think that this escapes the notice of opponents to embryonic stem cell research. The counter argument to this is that abortion should be banned and alternatives to IVF strongly considered.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 4:35 PM on July 19, 2006


KirkJobSluder: While it can be easily argued that the stem cells from abortions should not be used (I think the argument is wrong, but its an easy argument to make), the argument against using rejected IVF embryos is harder to make and less compelling.

Unlike abortion there are no vocal groups protesting and seeking to ban IVF. Thus the fact that the process results in rejected fetuses is less emotionally tinged than the aborted fetuses are. I think that's one reason why Bush and the other opponents of fetal stem cell research are doing so many photo ops with "adopted" IVF reject fetuses, they're trying to establish the same sort of emotional opposition which exists to abortion.

Anyway, I'd like to hear what genefinder has to say, even though I'm pretty sure I know what it will be.
posted by sotonohito at 5:19 PM on July 19, 2006


sotonohito: Unlike abortion there are no vocal groups protesting and seeking to ban IVF.

Well, I think this is a just matter of short-term political pragmatism. Many of the groups opposed to abortion don't make a moral or ethical distinction between it and rejected embryos from IVF. From their point of view, neither abortion nor IVF should be performed for this reason.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 5:32 PM on July 19, 2006


"This bill would support the taking of innocent human life in the hope of finding medical benefits for others," Bush said. "It crosses a moral boundary that our decent society needs to respect."

OK, just checking here ... Bush seems to think this is some kind of killing, and the federal govt. shouldn't pay for it ...

But he's perfectly happy for private corporations to keep on with the killing? If he's so convinced this is morally wrong shouldn't he be asking congress for legislation banning this outright? Y'know ... if it were really a moral issue for him?

"They remind us of what is lost when embryos are destroyed in the name of research. They remind us that we all begin our lives as a small collection of cells. And they remind us that in our zeal for new treatments and cures America must never abandon our fundamental morals."

You were all too swift to abandon fundamental morals when it came to the war on terror, George ...
posted by kaemaril at 6:20 PM on July 19, 2006


murder: killing an innocent person when you have the ability not to kill that person.

person: someone with unique human chromosomes that will continue to grow if provided with nutrition and protection. The only reason to suggest ANY other definition is to justify killing other people.

child: a person with 2 parents

It is wrong to kill children no matter how bad your reasons are.


Victims? Don't be melodramatic. Look down there. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you 20,000 pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money? Or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man, free of income tax. The only way you can save money nowadays. ~ Harry Lime
posted by bevets at 7:11 PM on July 19, 2006


Senator Tom Harkin: "I say Mr. President, you are not our moral ayatollah."
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 7:39 PM on July 19, 2006


I was wondering when the troll was going to show up...
posted by Stauf at 8:27 PM on July 19, 2006




bevets writes "person: someone with unique human chromosomes that will continue to grow if provided with nutrition and protection. "

Fuck you. I have friends who are identical twins, and they're people too, goddamn it!
posted by mr_roboto at 9:23 PM on July 19, 2006


It also means that old ladies who have started shrinking, and definitely won't grow no matter how much nutrition you throw at 'em, aren't people, so I can do what I want to them with bevets' implicit blessings.

That sounds like an old AD&D spell... Bigby's clenched fist, bevets' implicit blessing...
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:31 PM on July 19, 2006 [2 favorites]


Number 1) Aren't some [or a lot] of the frozen embryos they want to use going to be thrown out at some point anyway? If Bush is opposed to 'murder' then shouldn't he also be opposed to anything having to do with frozen embryos?

Number 2) If Bush is opposed to 'murder' as Tony Snow said yesterday then why does he have no trouble declaring war in Iraq and holding back from the actions going on in Lebanon and Israel?

Not that I expect clear thinking or logic from Bush but he's certainly only being consistent in his idiocy.
posted by Rashomon at 10:39 PM on July 19, 2006


"murder: killing an innocent person when you have the ability not to kill that person."

I thought under this administration that was referred to as “collateral damage”?
posted by Tenuki at 11:16 PM on July 19, 2006


Hey, bevets? Murder is killing an innocent person? When will you be pushing your elected representatives to introduce legislation to get the police to stop investigating the so-called 'murder' of drug dealers, thieves, etc? Sounds like a waste of public money!

If a child has a parent who dies is he or she suddenly no longer a child?

And while we're on the subject ... 'murder is killing an innocent person when you have the ability to not kill that person' ... lots of collateral 'murders' in Iraq, then, unless you contend nobody in Iraq is innocent ...

Methinks your definitions need some work. Just sayin', amigo.
posted by kaemaril at 11:27 PM on July 19, 2006


If Bush is opposed to 'murder' then shouldn't he also be opposed to anything having to do with frozen embryos?

one word: margaritas
posted by matteo at 2:46 AM on July 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


murder: killing an innocent person when you have the ability not to kill that person.

person: someone with unique human chromosomes that will continue to grow if provided with nutrition and protection. The only reason to suggest ANY other definition is to justify killing other people.

child: a person with 2 parents

It is wrong to kill children no matter how bad your reasons are.


mr_roboto

I have friends who are identical twins, and they're people too

The chromosomes are different than the mothers. Unique in that there was never an exact copy before conception.

The definition is accurate but can not be exhaustive.

e.g. Moral Person: Cigarettes kill people

Tobacco Executive: It is impossible to stab someone to death with a cigarette.

Moral Person: Inhaling cigarette smoke causes cancer which kills people.

Tobacco Executive: I know someone who smoked a pack of cigarettes in 1982 and they never got cancer.

Moral Person: Inhaling cigarette smoke on a regular basis tends to cause cancer which kills people.

Tobacco Executive: That hasnt been proven.
posted by bevets at 4:33 AM on July 20, 2006


The chromosomes are different than the mothers. Unique in that there was never an exact copy before conception.

So clones aren't human? I can clone an embryo and then do all the research I want; is that what you're saying?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:51 AM on July 20, 2006


That sounds like an old AD&D spell... Bigby's clenched fist, bevets' implicit blessing...

I once cast bevets' implicit blessing at a hostile kobold and he collapsed into prayer!
posted by COBRA! at 7:01 AM on July 20, 2006


From Bevets Unique link: Each person's genetic code is unique except in the case of identical twins.
posted by Pendragon at 8:22 AM on July 20, 2006


Bevets: You're a moron. It's not difficult to make a cogent argument supporting your views, and there are plenty of places online that you could crib from. The swill you're spewing doesn't even pass a laugh test, though. It's junior-high level. You're about 15 mental years below everyone else in this discussion. I'm going to ignore you, now.
posted by mr_roboto at 8:32 AM on July 20, 2006


Hey, bevets, thanks for posting, word for word, the exact same comment you posted in another thread on a different topic. Why Matt keeps you around is a mystery to everyone here.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:39 AM on July 20, 2006


Why Matt keeps you around is a mystery to everyone here.

Clearly, Matt missed a saving throw when comeone cast bevets' implicit blessing on him.
posted by COBRA! at 8:43 AM on July 20, 2006


What the hell, bevets?
posted by brain_drain at 8:49 AM on July 20, 2006


bevets 42 vs. 1

longbaugh 599 vs. 150

I winned! I'm the winner!

*goes to make a fetus sandwich*
posted by longbaugh at 9:13 AM on July 20, 2006


President Bush’s embryonic stem cell policy began with lies and has now ended with one. ...An administration that has shown itself over and over again to have trouble telling the truth is now telling Americans in wheelchairs, those with damaged hearts, babies who are diabetic and those left immobile by Parkinsonism not to worry. The president, whose grasp of science left him unable to identify creationism as a fundamentally religious idea, and his trusty sidekick Karl Rove, rarely seen in a white lab coat but who knows something about rats, having been in Washington for some time now, claim to know best which medical research is most likely to benefit diseased Americans in the future. ...
posted by amberglow at 9:37 AM on July 20, 2006


...propose legislation that would fund an adoption program for all 400,000 of the frozen embryos stored throughout America. The first people who should step up to the plate and adopt one of these microscopic entities are the 37 Senators who voted against the stem cell research bill on Tuesday and the 193 members of the House who refused to override Bush's veto of the bill yesterday. Heck, the Bush family alone could probably adopt a couple hundred of them.

That leaves only about 399,500 of the little cells to find homes for, which is where Bush can start a faith-based, Christian program and enlist the help of James Dobson, at the ultraconservative Focus on the Family, who called the stem cell bill "barbarous legislation" and lauded the veto, calling Bush "a man of his word and a champion for the pre-born." ...

posted by amberglow at 5:04 PM on July 20, 2006




...if one genuinely believes that destroying a blastocyst to extract stem cells is murder, then logically one must also be opposed to in vitro fertilization. The routine practices of fertility clinics destroy far more blastocysts than would ever likely be destroyed for stem cell research. “And yet, no one objects, or objects very loudly,” Kinsley says. “President Bush actually praised the work of fertility clinics in his first speech announcing restrictions on stem cells.”

The fact is, opponents of stem cell research routinely lie — to themselves, to each other, to anyone who will listen — in order to defend their belief that embryonic stem cell research is immoral. ...

posted by amberglow at 4:17 PM on July 22, 2006


WaPo--- ...Nightlight Christian Adoptions of Fullerton, Calif., and its "Snowflakes" program, a name intended to emphasize that every embryo is unique.

More than half of U.S. fertility clinics allow clients to donate embryos to other couples anonymously. Nightlight, which has received more than $800,000 in grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to promote embryo adoptions, is one of only a few agencies that treat embryos exactly like infants. ...

posted by amberglow at 11:46 AM on July 23, 2006




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