Stem cells: clumps, broth, and chick emryos

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In the conclusion of our foray into the universe of stem cell research, we take a closer look at what grows out of stem cells. Dr. Murry's team brought us under the microscope to get a closer look at how different types of stem cells develop into particular components of our favorite rodents.

We also get a close look at what sort of mad science can be done with chick embryos. Our sunny side up order in the Microsoft Cafe 16 won't ever look the same again.

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      Matthew Mushall

      This was a good conclusion to a thoroughly enjoyable segment, although the ending was rather abrupt.  There was a lot more hands on science here and not so much explanation...just like a science lab after one spends two hours in lecture.  Great stuff.

      I, for one, favor stem cell research at the cost of embryos.  A developing embryo is not guaranteed to reach maturity and become a viable life...it's only the potential.  Without the aid of science, most of the embyos tested would not have developed anyway.  We live in a universe of almost limitless potentials that never come to fruition, so harnessing that potentail for the benefit of living peope is not a crime.  It also depends on when we recognize life.  As long as there has been no mental development, say within the first two months of conception, I don't think the destruction of said life is a waste if it can be harnessed at the benefit of others.

    • User profile image
      Matthew Mushall

      This was a good conclusion to a thoroughly enjoyable segment, although the ending was rather abrupt.  There was a lot more hands on science here and not so much explanation...just like a science lab after one spends two hours in lecture.  Great stuff.

      I, for one, favor stem cell research at the cost of embryos.  A developing embryo is not guaranteed to reach maturity and become a viable life...it's only the potential.  Without the aid of science, most of the embyos tested would not have developed anyway.  We live in a universe of almost limitless potentials that never come to fruition, so harnessing that potentail for the benefit of living peope is not a crime.  It also depends on when we recognize life.  As long as there has been no mental development, say within the first two months of conception, I don't think the destruction of said life is a waste if it can be harnessed at the benefit of others.

    • User profile image
      Human​Compiler

      "it's only the potential"

      So are you implying that potential shouldn't be given a chance?  Sounds rather inhumane to me.

      "so harnessing that potential for the benefit of living people is not a crime"

      Eye of the beholder.  Where's the line?  Why not sacrafice a living full grown person?  I'm sure a lot could be learned.  The debate is about where the line is.

      All that said, I'm not really on either side.  I can definitely see points to both sides of the argument.  I really liked hearing that couples who are trying to have a baby can donate the extra embryos to this research.  That IS FABULOUS as they would've been wasted in the past.

      The other argument that seems to come up is that if there other ways we can move forward without killing embryos, then why not do that?  The argument against it is that it moves much slower.  My answer to that is, yah, so?  People are born and die everyday.  It's a process that's being going on...well, for a VERY long time.  What's the rush?  And I'm sure the answer to that is, "My friend/parent/child/spouse is dying of xxx" is why it needs to go faster.  I understand that.  It all just comes down to that question of is it right to end one life to replace another?  Is it a black and white issue?  Nope.

    • User profile image
      Erik Porter

      "it's only the potential"

      So are you implying that potential shouldn't be given a chance?  Sounds rather inhumane to me.

      "so harnessing that potential for the benefit of living people is not a crime"

      Eye of the beholder.  Where's the line?  Why not sacrafice a living full grown person?  I'm sure a lot could be learned.  The debate is about where the line is.

      All that said, I'm not really on either side.  I can definitely see points to both sides of the argument.  I really liked hearing that couples who are trying to have a baby can donate the extra embryos to this research.  That IS FABULOUS as they would've been wasted in the past.

      The other argument that seems to come up is that if there other ways we can move forward without killing embryos, then why not do that?  The argument against it is that it moves much slower.  My answer to that is, yah, so?  People are born and die everyday.  It's a process that's being going on...well, for a VERY long time.  What's the rush?  And I'm sure the answer to that is, "My friend/parent/child/spouse is dying of xxx" is why it needs to go faster.  I understand that.  It all just comes down to that question of is it right to end one life to replace another?  Is it a black and white issue?  Nope.

    • User profile image
      Walter Crespo

      Hi laura,

      I thought your joke was cute, looking forward to your next feature, pretty lady.

    • User profile image
      Walter Crespo

      Hi laura,

      I thought your joke was cute, looking forward to your next feature, pretty lady.

    • User profile image
      Matthew Mushall

      Erik,

      Thanks for the insightful reply.  You wouldn't be the first to suggest my view is inhumane.  While I'll admit its sounds rather hard with a very "black and white" boundary, that's simply the approach I've chosen because there are no right answers.  I choose not to recognize undeveloped life as...life...only the potential.  We've been manipulating potentials for 30,000 years.  I don't percieve any significant wrong in harnassing ptentials to save living people.  No one living in my family is suffering from any ailment that could be treated by said research, but I think the benefits can not be dismissed on the grounds of crossing an individual's ethical line.

      That being said, I'll admit my approach could be viewed as unethical or wrong and I accept that.

    • User profile image
      Matthew Mushall

      Erik,

      Thanks for the insightful reply.  You wouldn't be the first to suggest my view is inhumane.  While I'll admit its sounds rather hard with a very "black and white" boundary, that's simply the approach I've chosen because there are no right answers.  I choose not to recognize undeveloped life as...life...only the potential.  We've been manipulating potentials for 30,000 years.  I don't percieve any significant wrong in harnassing ptentials to save living people.  No one living in my family is suffering from any ailment that could be treated by said research, but I think the benefits can not be dismissed on the grounds of crossing an individual's ethical line.

      That being said, I'll admit my approach could be viewed as unethical or wrong and I accept that.

    • User profile image
      Erik Porter

      Ah yes, but that's the fun part.  Both sides of the issue can be considered unethical and wrong depending on your perspective.  Since I'm in the middle I actually do consider both sides unethical and wrong (just towards different things.

    • User profile image
      Human​Compiler
      Ah yes, but that's the fun part.  Both sides of the issue can be considered unethical and wrong depending on your perspective.  Since I'm in the middle I actually do consider both sides unethical and wrong (just towards different things.

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