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Stem Cell Research Bill Clears Australian Senate 234

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the sudden-iq-migration-down-under dept.
jaunty writes "A private members bill has passed the Australian senate which paves the way for the cloning of embryos to gather stem cells. While it only passed by a narrow margin it is expected to gain support in the House. From the article: 'The final shape of the bill is now subject to further debate on amendments including measures to toughen penalties for breaches of cloning regulations, and possibly a move to stop the use of animal tissue in the cloning process.'"
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Stem Cell Research Bill Clears Australian Senate

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  • Explanation of the science [abc.net.au] from Catalyst [abc.net.au] a science show on the ABC.

    A summary of the moral issues from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference [lockhartreview.com.au]

    These are authorative sources.

    As much as I would like to see the possible payoffs from such research, my personal feelings are that the Australian parliament has fallen into the trap of allowing the end to justify the means. As explained by Catalyst, the plan is to insert human DNA into a rabbit's egg. That really is a significant step to be making, even

    • by pubjames (468013) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @07:07AM (#16750005)
      These are authorative sources.

      Well, I guess if that depends upon whether you think a bunch of celibate men that think an invisible supernatural being is listening to them are "authorative".

      I've looked at the bishops document and it contains nothing to do with the science of stem cell research.
       
      • by megaditto (982598)
        It makes perfect sense that that the believers are against stem cell research, since they consider blastocysts a human life, and their destruction a murder.

        Yet those very same men seem to be O.K. with 44,000 dead civilians in Iraq in the name of a Greater Good (namely Democracy); many of the victims are children.

        Why is it OK to destroy life in Iraq but not in a Petri dish? Did the Bible say anything about loving a fetus but hating a child?
    • by Colin Smith (2679) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @07:18AM (#16750053)
      Simply muddies the issue.

      The fact that it's a rabbit's egg is really irrelevant, all of the rabbit DNA is removed (apart from the mitochondrial) so it's basically just a shell. It isn't as if they're going to make an animal which is a cross between a humand and a rabbit, the DNA codes for a human being, that's what you'd get.

      I don't see any moral issues here, it isn't a human being, it's a collection of cells without nervous system, the DNA wouldn't even come from a human egg or even something which could possibly have developed into a human.

       
      • by dsanfte (443781)
        I don't see any moral issues either, but there are some technical ones that may yet lurk. Using animal tissue during the cloning process is a risky business. Anything animal-like left in the cell is going to have an effect on the future human cells, benign as it may be. It bears some study to be certain that this is not going to harm the human feti down the road.
      • I don't see any moral issues here, it isn't a human being
        That's basically the ESCR and abortion debates in a nutshell. So you're more or less just declaring where you stand in the debate.
      • That's no ordinary rabbit! That's the most foul-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!

      • by asuffield (111848)

        It isn't as if they're going to make an animal which is a cross between a humand and a rabbit, the DNA codes for a human being, that's what you'd get.

        DNA isn't everything. If you don't grow the DNA in the intended host environment (a chicken needs to grow in a chicken egg, a human needs to grow in a human female), then all you're likely to get is a mass of nonviable cells (that is, a blob which isn't capable of sustaining its own existence). While it is not yet understood exactly which parts come from the D

    • These are authorative sources.

      I think you misspelled authoritarian there

      http://www.webster.com/dictionary/authoritarian [webster.com]

      • by giorgiofr (887762)
        Wow, so basically everybody who speaks his mind is oppressing you in some way?
        You know what, I'm an atheist in a close to 100% catholic country, yet nothing has ever been forced onto me by the church. MUCH more has been forced by the government. How so, I wonder?
    • by someone1234 (830754) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @07:42AM (#16750171)
      "the plan is to insert human DNA into a rabbit's egg. That really is a significant step to be making..." playboy bunnies!!!
    • "the plan is to insert human DNA into a rabbit's egg"

      I insert two chicken eggs into my DNA for breakfast. As an Aussie I can however support the notion that Catalyst is a reputable and interesting science show.
    • by babbling (952366) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @07:47AM (#16750193)
      my personal feelings are that the Australian parliament has fallen into the trap of allowing the end to justify the means

      No, they allowed their decision to be based on science rather than what the church says. You'd be crying foul if it was Islamists trying to influence the law, so stop pushing for Christian law.

      There's a lot of people who could be saved by this research, and if a few frog biological cells (that don't even have brains) have to die in the process, then so be it.
    • The only thing catholic bishops could claim to be authoritative about are ancient religious tracts and the bizarre labyrinthine philosophy they've developed from them.
    • Sorry, but I don't consider any organized religion to be an authoritative source on anything but their own dogma.

      Seriously, at this point I wish every single religious person would jump into an active volcano. With the Christians trying to run the US and the Muslims trying to blow it up, it's all getting really fucking old.

      If I were in charge, there's be frigging embryo cloning ranches and abortions would be avalable at sidewalk kiosks.

  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @07:06AM (#16749999)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/6121280.stm [bbc.co.uk]

    Quite a good way of getting round the shortage in eggs.

     
    • we already have them, I think they are called managers
    • And in the UK, they want to make human/cow hybrids

      Pffft. We already have those here in America. We call them "midwesterners."
  • Outrageous (Score:4, Funny)

    by debilo (612116) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @07:29AM (#16750113)
    I can't believe the submitter used the words "private members" in his summary, thus sending hordes of virgin Slashdotters into a never-ending giggle fit. How utterly irresponsible.
    • by aussie_a (778472)
      Considering most Australians just call them dicks, I think the submitter chose the better option for slashdot.
  • By over-litigation, stupid, religion-fueled vetoes [washingtonpost.com], etc. the U.S. falls further and further behind as other countries move ahead in nearly every major technological field. It's depressing to contemplate.

    However, on the bright side, even without federal funding, stem cell research abounds [forbes.com]. Private companies are funding the research. Which, in the end, is probably better than government funding anyway since everything the government touches turns to crap.

    "Good on ya" to the Australian legislature. With prop

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by will_die (586523)
      Huh???
      The federal government funds stems cell research, last year in the $600 Million range.
  • Why isn't some country like Saudi Arabia or China leading the effort in human experimentation? China has way, way more babies than they need, so using a few every now and then would eliminate the need for cloning completely.

    Saudi Arabia beheads people for minor crimes and stones people to death for things that aren't crimes in most places. It can't be that they sit around and have long arguments about life being somehow valuable.

    Every day in Sudan more Christers are killed by the Mohammedians - you would

  • Cloning embryos for harvesting ?

What is mind? No matter. What is matter? Never mind. -- Thomas Hewitt Key, 1799-1875

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