Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Stem Cell Research

I was at a conference once where they were discussing the use of stem cells garnered from abortions by street women and others.  The government here was unwilling to address the issue of 'ownership' of this material but was looking to get permission to use this material in research.  A whole range of ethical and religious questions arose.  I was instantly hated because I wanted the women who'd had the abortions to be paid reasonably for this material and the women researchers holding the discussions were gravely offended by my suggestion. Indeed by their looks they wanted my entire body donated to research there and then.    I don't like such conferences.  Naturally they scare me.  
It was obvious that some priviledged people wanted something for nothing and thereby could get richer.  They didn't care about the street women, alcoholic and drug addicts and such who had in addition to their existing diseases,  no support for their pregnancies and really were encouraged to have abortions as the only options for them.  They'd no doubt believed these fetus would be disposed of but they weren't. Unbeknownst to them and without any legal release their fetus were kept and now were going to the 'benefit of science'.  Unfortunately the 'benefit of science' is no longer in an era of altruism but rather an era of business and copywright. So these stem cell researchers want free product for their raw factories so they could make a killing so to speak. 
When I asked the question about paying the women who'd had the abortions the lead researcher and her beaurocratic friends looked at me with the hate and fury that you only get when you threaten to steal a child's piggy bank.  She terrified me. Her and her friends are making new human bodies for her and and her friends to inhabit.   It was silly of me to make such a powerful enemy by asking about street women who were alcoholics and addicts.  
Now from this exchange I was labelled "against stem cell research".  My file was flagged and I was never again invited to another of these illustrious conferences. Another fancy free lunch opportunity gone.  The alcoholics and addicts will always let me join them at the gospel mission or rainbow church food lines, though. All is not lost. 
The next time I passed one of these women they gave me that eye roll thing too.  That was as they were getting into their sleek new sportcar dressed as one of the girls from sex in the city might dress.  Not your traditional medical researcher. Times had changed.  
I just wanted to say here that I love 'stem cell research'.   I love science.  Business and government often suck in my mind but science still moves me like fine music or great art.  I think stem cell research is the cutting edge of biology.  
We all have stem cells. These are the cells that differentiate into all the different specialized cells of our bodies.  Stem cells can be put into the body and will differentiate into the cells that they're replacing. Something about putting a singer beside a tenor and he starts to sing tenor.  So they're growing ears for soldiers and bladders to implant in people who were carrying around external plastic bags before they got their new stem cell bladders. 
This is space age stuff. This is medicine at it's finest.  I'm hanging in their for a new brain, heart and would gladly see my ponch cells regenerated into pecs and lats.  That's the latest. Researchers have reverse engineered skin cells to make them stem cells so the whole abortion discussion is no longer relevant. Tomorrow if I'm lucky they're reverse engineer my fat cells to muscle cells.  
The question still will remain who gets these body parts, especially the sexual ones or the cosmetic ones.  Now that's business and it reeks of the same old same old.  But the science, it's incredible and I'm all for it.  All that science fiction stuff is happening today and body parts are being grown in vats.  Quite frankly everyone who is injured could have new eyes, limbs and burned faces replaced.  
The trouble is old men and women continue  to kill  young men and women with needless wasteful wars.  Old men and old women want to keep all this to themselves, too.  Maybe I'll understand all this when I'm older.  Some things get dim with age as it is but other things get crystal clear.  This stem cell research is great but like everything in science it goes back to who uses it and for what purpose. We got a lot more nuclear weapons instead of nuclear energy plants thanks to the last paranoid cretans in power.  
Today I'm going to hope stem cell research makes more healthy babies rather than building a Star Trek army of clones.  It's good to be hopeful.  Stem cell research and the applications give us incredible hope.  Let's hope our leaders will see it that way. 

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