Genetic Engineering

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Awaiting_the_fifth, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. alexa

    alexa somewhere in time

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    Who is Ayn Rand ?
     
  2. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, Alexa!

    Ayn Rand is a lady philosopher of the mid-1900's who developed a philosophy (I believe it is called "objectivism") that raises the worth of the individual, what some might see as "selfishness." She wrote two books that have a "cult" following, "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead." I appreciate her philosophy to a point, but as I mentioned, she (perhaps due to being atheist) ignores the worth of a human life beyond that of the ability to create. I noticed she was deliberately silent on the subject of religion and spirit. Other than that, I think her philosophy does hold some merit.
     
  3. alexa

    alexa somewhere in time

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    I did a quick research on her on the net. She was born in ST. Petersburg, in Russia and she witnessed the Russian revolution in 1917. This might explain her reticence about religion. No one, who lived in a communist country will speak freely about religion. She was also a novelist. Thanks, Juan, for mentioning her. There are not many recognised philosopher women, so I'm happy to learn about her.

    I completly agree with you on transplants, so I won't insist.

    Back to the history of medicine.

    Indeed, the studies were performed on dead persons. Those were humans who had never agreed to serve the science. What makes different an embryon rejected by his mother ? I don't say, his mother will give it to the science. Some embryons don't survive for different reasons (his genetic heritage or the health of the mother). Don't we have the same issue in here like in the past when doctors didn't know how to administrate a good treatment without knowing the structure of a body ? If we really want to heal genetic diseases, don't doctors need to find out how the DNA works for them ?
     
  4. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Just heard on the news tonight of a medical group using adult stem cells from the patient to build new blood vessels. They showed a man who was at risk of amputation of his leg from blocked arteries building new vessels and saving his leg. They also pointed to research on the heart, and how the patient's own stem cells are being used to repair damaged vessels. Of course, the requisite caveat of "but embryonic stem cells hold out the most hope" was the parting line...*sigh*
     
  5. alexa

    alexa somewhere in time

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    I can only say BRAVO for that medical group. If they can use the patient's own stem cells to reconstruct blood vessels, this means they can use them to help the reconstruction of a burned or injured body in car accidents or fire.

    Are they at the beginning of their research ? Can you tell me more about that medical group, Juan ?
     
  6. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, Alexa!

    I'm afraid I cannot, I was only half-listening at first, I was responding to a thread on CR!

    Since it was broadcast on ABC news, I would think there may be a snippet on ABCnews.com. I will take a look and see what I can find.

    Found this:

    http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/Health/story?id=1002059&page=1

    Doctors Use Patients' Own Stem Cells to Build New Blood Vessels
    Therapy Could Help Millions of Heart Patients Each Year

    Aug. 2, 2005 - Adult stem cells are found throughout the body -- in the brain, bones, muscle, skin and blood -- which help heal the body after injury. But now, researchers are using high concentrations of these cells to actually build new arteries in adult patients.

    "What we do is actually take them out and find the right amount of cells and specifically put them into targeted areas," said Dr. Amit Patel, director of the Cardiac Stem Cell Therapies at The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

    Results in more than 100 patients show that, within just three months after the stem cell injections, patients see a significant improvement in blood flow to the heart. The heart muscle itself actually doubles its ability to squeeze or contract.

    Researchers say these adult stem cells might help tens of millions of heart patients each year.

    "It could be patients who are receiving stents, who are recovering from coronary bypass surgery, patients with heart failure," said Patel. "All of these patients have the potential to benefit from this therapy."

    Therapy Makes Amputation Unnecessary

    Doctors at Chicago's Northwestern Memorial Hospital have started injecting adult stem cells into the leg to grow new arteries there. Jeremy Kotner, 27, had so little blood flow in his right leg he was at risk of having it amputated.

    "You can see where the vessel is blocked," said Dr. Richard Burt while examining Kotner's X-ray. "You can see the blood flowing and then it just stops. Now, three months later after injection of stem cells in that area, you can see that there's a new vessel bringing the blood."

    Burt, a specialist in autoimmune diseases, performed the world's first adult stem cell transplant at Northwestern.

    "The pain is gone," said Kotner. "I can walk farther and because of that, I feel a lot better."

    Many researchers emphasize that early success with these adult stem cells does not replace the need for greater research on embryonic stem cells, which appear more versatile and could potentially treat more diseases.

    But when it comes to building blood vessels, using one's own cells could become a common treatment with just a couple of more years of testing.

    ABC News' John McKenzie filed this report for "World News Tonight."

    Copyright © 2005 ABC News Internet Ventures
     
  7. alexa

    alexa somewhere in time

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    Thanks, Juan for the article. Very interesting. :)
     
  8. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Boy oh boy, things seem to be speeding up in the field. On the news tonight:

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=1005862

    *Some of the highlights:

    South Korean Scientists Clone First Dog

    By JOSEPH B. VERRENGIA AP Science Writer
    The Associated Press

    Aug. 3, 2005 - South Korea's pioneering stem cell scientist has cloned a dog, smashing another biological barrier and reigniting a fierce ethical debate while producing a perky, lovable puppy.

    The researchers, led by Hwang Woo-suk, insist they cloned an Afghan hound, a resplendent supermodel in a world of mutts, only to help investigate human disease, including the possibility of cloning stem cells for treatment purposes.

    But others immediately renewed calls for a global ban on human reproductive cloning before the technology moves any farther.

    "Successful cloning of an increasing number of species confirms the general impression that it would be possible to clone any mammalian species, including humans," said Ian Wilmut, a reproductive biologist at the University of Edinburgh who produced the first cloned mammal, Dolly the sheep, from an adult cell nearly a decade ago.

    Researchers have since cloned cats, goats, cows, mice, pigs, rabbits, horses, deer, mules and gaur, a large wild ox of Southeast Asia. So far, efforts to clone a monkey or another primate with the same techniques have failed.

    Uncertainties about the health and life span of cloned animals persist; Dolly died prematurely in 2003 after developing cancer and arthritis.

    --------------
    In a news conference in Seoul, the cloning team also condemned the reproductive cloning of humans as "unsafe and inefficient." Human reproductive cloning already is banned in South Korea. Other nations, including the United States, are split over whether to ban just human cloning or cloning of all kinds, including the production of stem cells.

    Embryonic stem cells are the source of all tissue. Researchers believe they can be coaxed to grow into heart, brain or nerve cells that could be used to renew ailing organs.

    Last year, Hwang's team at Seoul National University created the world's first cloned human embryos. In May, they created the first embryonic stem cells that genetically match injured or sick patients.

    --------
    Monkeys are the closest model to humans and they are crucial to medical research, but Hwang told reporters that cloning a monkey "is technically impossible at the moment."

    The researchers nicknamed their canine creation Snuppy, for "Seoul National University puppy," a reference to Hwang's lab. One of the dog's co-creators, Gerald Schatten of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, described Snuppy, now 14 weeks old, as "a frisky, healthy, normal, rambunctious puppy."

    On scientific terms, the experiment's success was mixed. Like Dolly, Snuppy was created using a method called somatic cell nuclear transfer.

    Scientists took a skin cell from the ear of a 3-year-old male Afghan hound and extracted genetic material from the nucleus. They transferred it to an unfertilized egg whose nucleus was removed. The reconstructed egg holding the DNA from the donor cell was zapped with an electric current to stimulate cell division.

    They implanted 1,095 cloned embryos into 123 dogs and just three pregnancies resulted. That's a cloning efficiency rate lower than experiments with cats and horses. One fetus miscarried and one puppy died of pneumonia 22 days after birth.

    That left Snuppy. He was delivered by Caesarean section from his surrogate mother, a yellow Labrador retriever.

    ----------
    Associated Press writer Ji-Soo Kim contributed to this story from Seoul, South Korea.

    Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

    Copyright © 2005 ABC News Internet Ventures
     
  9. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    I guess that + or - 3% difference in DNA structure is an awful big canyon to cross...


    v/r

    Q
     
  10. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Yep, been saying that all along. If base pairs were dollars, I'd take 3% anytime, it would be like winning a huge lotto. 3% of 3 billion, hmmm, what is that, like, 90 million I think. Eh, my trusty dusty old calculator doesn't go that high, but it tells me 3% of 3000 is 90, so I think my guess is right.

    Something else I found telling, is that it took almost 1100 tries for one success. Now, I haven't looked into the normal attrition rate, but it seems to me cats and dogs are pretty fertile when the time is right. And when the time is not right, they aren't really interested. So, I'm not sure what to make of it...
     
  11. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Guess my question would be, where are the 1100 human eggs going to come from?

    v/r

    Q
     
  12. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, Q!

    Um, yeah. Kinda makes you wonder how they know it is not practical yet to do humans and apes?...figure somebody somewhere has already been trying?

    I edited some of the material. Don't recall offhand if I left the stuff in that said this guy in S. Korea already cloned stem cells. The article is worth the read for the stuff I left out. I kept the stuff here I thought was applicable to other points in the conversation so far, like Dolly.
     
  13. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    "Primates" are only "gifted" with about 200,000 eggs (for life). Which means to harvest the eggs would conceivably render the "female" sterile. In human terms, who is going to willingly give up their "right" to bear children...for the sake of science, or the "State"?

    One to think hard on...

    v/r

    Q
     
  14. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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  15. alexa

    alexa somewhere in time

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    Pandora's box was opened for cloning. How can we lock it ?
     
  16. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Short of a major catastrophe setting humanity back several hundred (or thousand!) years, I don't see this Pandora's box being locked.
     
  17. alexa

    alexa somewhere in time

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    Scientists have to find a solution to restrain those experiments. I really don't want to live among dinosaurs.
     
  18. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    OK, I was thinking war or natural disaster, but your point is a very good one as well.
     
  19. InLove

    InLove at peace

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    Hi, all--and peace,

    I am asking myself why that picture of Alba somehow makes me want to cry?

    Should I?

    Perhaps the bunny served a great purpose, and lives on somehow.

    But the tears still come....

    InPeace,
    InLove
     
  20. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Kindest Regards, InLove!

    I am not sure I fully follow what you are saying. Is Alba dead? The last I heard she was alive and doing very well, although she is kept in a rather strict environment to prevent escape into the wild. She is doted upon as well as any pet could hope. That was one of the reasons Mr. Kac had her created, is as a pet for his daughter. The website goes over all of this in detail.

    Of course, it has been a couple of years since last I checked, and in fairness I don't know the average lifespan of a domestic rabbit. But provided she is capable of living well for 5 years or so, she should be just fine.

    And I do not know why, but the picture of her has never made me sad. I have always, from the first moment I saw, thought she was gorgeous. For a rabbit, she is beautiful beyond belief in my eyes. I have never viewed her as some kind of "franken-rabbit."
     

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