24 December 2007
But this post is really about something else. Namely, why many of you on our Christmas card list will be receiving yours even later than usual this year. I had intended to mail them this morning. But after the two-year-old daughter woke up at 3 AM with repeated trips to the bathroom, laundry room, and back (I'll spare you the details, but this went on for hours and eventually she slept intermittently on the bathroom floor with her mom), the trip to the post office was postponed. Later, about 1:30 pm actually, I found out that a) the local snail mail office closed at noon, and b) the stamp machine doesn't dispense 1 or 2-cent stamps, which I needed since there were already stamps from 2005 on most of the cards...
But there is still time for you to receive your requisite holiday greeting from us within the 12-day window. Merry Christmas!
17 December 2007
14 December 2007
There you go again, Globe Editors. In your "In our view" editorial, "Hope where none existed," (Sep. 5, 2005), you refer to the wonderful, heartwarming, perhaps miraculous story of six-year-old Rylea Bartlett, who was born blind, but whose sight was partially restored after receiving stem-cell transplants from umbilical cords. But then your true colors show.
Referring to opponents of embryonic (not umbilical cord) stem cell research, you state, "We don’t fault those who follow their consciences, but we think that they are caught in between rapid advances in medical science that have outpaced medical ethics and public understanding." In effect, what you are saying is that we the public are too ignorant to know what is good for us. You go on to once again push your agenda, claiming that the best hope for those suffering from various unnamed maladies that reduce quality or duration of life is "somatic cell nuclear transfer research here in Missouri." Non sequitur!
Well, the public is not so ignorant as you seem to think. We understand that the creation of human beings (embryos) by the process you so single-mindedly promote, only to destroy them in the hope that others' suffering might be decreased is and forever will be unacceptable. And furthermore, as Rylea's story shows, treatments are being developed utilizing stem cells that do not involve violating this ethical deadline. Wouldn't the wise, compassionate course of action be to hold off on somatic cell nuclear transfer? There is plenty of hope for treatments arising from research using non-embryonic stem cells and from other related techniques under development. I predict that the "need" for embryonic stem cells for medical research will be fleeting. Let's wait and see.
Creator of Dolly the Sheep Abandons Human Cloning in favor of More Promising Research
Professor Ian Wilmut Believes Cures More Likely to be Found Without Human CloningST. LOUIS, MO - In news that "could mark the beginning of the end" for the human cloning procedure promoted by the Stowers Institute and other human cloning supporters in Missouri, the London based Telegraph is reporting that the creator of Dolly the Sheep has decided to abandon the cloning technique he helped pioneer in favor of more promising stem cell research.
The Telegraph reports: "Prof [Ian] Wilmut, who works at Edinburgh University, believes a rival method pioneered in Japan has better potential for making human embryonic cells which can be used to grow a patient's own cells and tissues for a vast range of treatments, from treating strokes to heart attacks and Parkinson's, and will be less controversial than the Dolly method known as 'nuclear transfer.'" (www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2007/11/16/scidolly116.xml&page=1)
"Today's news serves as a wake-up call to Missouri citizens. One of the most respected scientists in the field has decided to abandon human cloning experiments because new developments in stem cell research hold more potential for cures and treatments," said Jaci Winship, Executive Director of Missourians Against Human Cloning. "This validates what all of us who support the Cures Without Cloning Initiative have clearly stated - human cloning is unethical, unproven and unnecessary."
Winship went on to challenge the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures to abandon human cloning and support the wide spectrum of truly promising stem cell research.
"Human cloning just doesn't offer the promise to find new cures that its supporters contend," Winship said. We applaud Professor Wilmut for his foresight and wisdom in ignoring the hype and focusing on stem cell research that holds true promise. We hope this helps pull the wool from the eyes of those who have been misled about human cloning experiments."
Missourians Against Human Cloning is part of a broad-based, statewide coalition of grassroots organizations committed to prohibiting the cloning of human beings in Missouri. Interested citizens are invited to visit www.nocloning.org for more information.