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back to article Stem cell researchers claim victory in battle with Church

Scientists have today welcomed MPs' decision to allow them to create human-animal hybrids in order to harvest embryonic stem cells for research. After a weekend of intensive and emotive lobbying from both sides of the debate, the victory for scientists late last night was comfortable in the end. In a free vote, 336 MPs voted in …

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Thank you A

I'd never heard of that idea before.

Learn something new every day, just don't believe them all :)

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@Edmund Nash

"The fact is that eighteen years of legalised human embryo research in the UK have not produced any significant medical advances. This legislation will not change that."

In case you weren't aware, medical advances do not happen to some sort of time-table. You cannot say "if this research is allowed we will have a cure for X in Y years".

However if research is not allowed it's pretty damn certain that any chances of a cure being discovered are a hell of a lot lower!

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Dan

@Spleen

I wasn't suggesting that adoption of orphans should be the sole responsibility of the infertile. I know several people that took to fostering and then adopting even though they have their own biological offspring. They are indeed better people than most. But I still disagree with IVF. Perhaps if Neil Docherty's suggestion of making the parents pay for the treatment themselves would encourage more adoption and less IVF.

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Happy

Finally

After listening to you Brits a couple of years back, whinging on as if someone had stepped on your balls with golf spikes as you complained about the evil manipulation of genes that was done to GM foods, it pegs the old irony meter to hear some of you defending the same type of genetic tomfoolery with human DNA.

Don't get me wrong, I have no horse in this race - I don't care. But a sarcastic and cynical bastard such as myself can't help but enjoy the irony of it all.

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Coat

@Shinobi87

Dammit Shin, I'm a scientist, not a magician!

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Don't have a cow, man.

I, for one, welcome our new minotaur overlords!

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@Dan

You're suggesting for two people who want to have children, the medically fertile person should have the *option* to adopt, but for the medically infertile person it should be *compulsory*. That is discrimination.

Re: 16:18:

"I can understand your logic; but which would you, as an individual, rather have:

a) Treatment for Alzheimers so you can remember that you don't have any children.

b) Treatment for infertility so that there'll be someone around to care that you have Alzheimers."

A. A. Wait, let me think. A. Alzheimers is the only thing I fear more than death itself. If I've got Alzheimers then it won't matter whether I've got children to care for me or not, because it won't matter to me whether it's my children or a bunch of nurses who are putting up with my shell asking where my dead wife is and trying to beat them up. The only difference is that my children might be wondering whether their father is actually still alive in that shell, whereas the nurses will have the blessing of clinical detachment.

Alzheimers is fucking terrifying. If that was a rhetorical question to which you expected the answer B, you either don't know what Alzheimers is or you are insane.

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Linux

This should be stopped immediately

Shame on you for joking about squirrel tails and whining about left over bits of animal DNA. There are real issues here, like if we can make glow in the dark pigs, can I have a glow-in-the-dark baby? Also where's my talking dog? Until these and the issue of a glow-in-the-dark-talking dog (or a glow-in-the-dark-baby that can speak dog fluently) are properly satisfied (i.e. I own one) all this tomfoolery must stop.

Linux thing because my baby must have penguin feet and flippers too. You might laugh, but I bet it wins gold at the olympics.

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Anonymous Coward

embryonic stem cell research is a pointless waste of time of dubious ethics

Anything coming out of it will be rejected by the host.

There is a mad scientist in china who uses stem cells for Motor

Neuron Diease. It is successful until the body kills of all the foreign

cells and the the patiant is back to where they started sans

$000's.

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Secrets...

My *really*-bad-movie take on all of this:

Mad-scientist sneaks stuff out of lab, secretly grows human-hybrids in basement. They *appear* human so he raises them as children, enrolls them in school, etc. Outwardly, they're normal.

They grow up and leave home. Some of them are even kind of hot-looking.

No one knows they're part cow.

You meet one of them, you fall in love and you have your first child, but oopsie - WTF, why does your first kid have a cow's tail??!

Some cosmetic surgery to remove the cow's tail so your kid doesn't get made fun of in school...

Wait and see what else skips a generation in your grandkids...

Dating services will eventually adapt to all this by having the option, when seeking prospective mates, to specify whether or not you're actually "fully human" accompanied by certified medical testing of your DNA to prove it.

Actually, I'm not really all that worried about this... Hell it might even *improve* the human race, who knows ;)

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Modern medicine has a long ways to go.

"Alzheimers is fucking terrifying"

What the public sees, at least up to a *point*, is that it's harder on the family than on the person who is actually afflicted with Alzheimers. It changes (gets bad) when the person deteriorates to the point that it's too hard to control him/her and they have to keep the person sedated against their wishes (force-feeding them meds to make them calm down), that's pretty disturbing. So yeah it's ugly.

One would hope that someday or some-century, people won't have to endure that kind of horror anymore.

For all our medical advances, we still have a very long ways to go.

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Spock

> pointy ears as well.

I want Spock ears :) Oh wait, we'd have to find some Vulcans first... dammit I forgot they're fictitious...

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Coat

@Slavery is back with a Vengeance (Saviour Siblings)

"How would you feel if you had been born out of a need for your tissue, spare parts supply."

I wouldn't, because I'd be genetically altered to not feel anything as I was being harvested. Pretty convenient, and we already harvest stuff from nearly every living thing except humans these days anyway. At least the humans wouldn't be inhumanely treated. Oh ho!

Screw this debate, mine's the one with the squirrel tail!

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Savious Siblings

I think some people have let their imaginations run wild with this whole saviour sibling thing.

Firstly the sibling is not born, will not grow, up, will not go to school will not eat. It reamins a bunch of stem cells and such. The term Sibling is used because it will contain the same parents as the child who requires the medical attention rather than human DNA spliced into a cows DNA removed egg.

there will not be any people walking this earth in servitude just in case a sibling becomes sick. The child is already sick and so then the parents donate sperm and eggs to turn into the 'sibling' before Gestation (is that right?) the stem cells will then be used to help cure the sick sibling

Some people really do have blurred vision when it comes to science and morals

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Dan

@Spleen

Discrimination or not, I disagree with IVF. When people can't reproduce - through no fault of their own, I'll admit - it's usually because they are genetically flawed. Again: horses, donkeys and mules.

Nazi? No. Cold bastard? Most Definitely yes!

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@ Richard

"Firstly the sibling is not born, will not grow, up, will not go to school will not eat."

Urm... no. The sibling is selected at the ball-of-cells stage to be one compatible with the existing child. It then grows in its mother's womb, and is born, and at birth the cord/placenta blood and cells are used to help its older sibling. The child then grows up and goes to school and eats some food. There is always a possibility that if the older sibling needs further blood transfusions or bone marrow transplants, or even a kidney, that there could be pressure on the saviour sibling to be the donor. According to the BBC in 2006:

"A number of "saviour siblings" have been born, including two-year-old Jamie Whitaker.

He is a near-perfect genetic match for his older brother Charlie - now five - who has a rare condition called Diamond-Blackfan anaemia, which could only be treated with a stem cell transplant from a matched donor."

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Paris Hilton

Where's the church angle?

I thought the Church of England weren't bothered? Can you clarify?

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Anonymous Coward

@ Dan

I've wondered before if there has been an increase in genetic disability since IVF was introduced - generally nature does its best to wipe out genetic disadvantages, often through infertility. Don't know as I'd go as far as to deny anyone IVF though, but I have wondered about it.

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Squirrel tail schmirrel tail -

Personally when biomodding myself I am going for a shorthair, prehensile tail for irresponsible party monkey mischief and an extra thumb on each hand. Squirrel tails while asthetically pleasing are, let's face it, just fluffy counterbalance! (though admittedly debonair resplendent with a high wow factor if red)

My tail will be holding my martini.

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