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ION: - Grin with cat attached
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ION: Jul. 2nd, 2006 06:04 pm
"But one of them could have been Jesus!"

From: scixual
Date: July 2nd, 2006 - 05:12 pm (Link)
If logic would work, the religious objectors would never have objected in the first place. Calling the thing an embryo does not mean it's a baby, or even a possible baby, though, in theory, it could be forced into becoming a baby, with somewhat less intervention that making a baby out of, say, compost.

I'm watching this story with amusement; I'm curious how the objection is going to be rephrased.
From: hairyears
Date: July 2nd, 2006 - 09:54 pm (Link)
I wonder what the theological and moral status is, of those creepy growths in the endometrium that develop teeth and recognisable limbs? They, too, are parthenogenic.
From: fellcat
Date: July 3rd, 2006 - 04:37 pm (Link)
AFAIK, the type of cancer of which you speak has no religious or moral status, as it could never possibly attain an independant existence.
From: sashajwolf
Date: July 3rd, 2006 - 09:50 am (Link)
Urk. I'm not at all sure what to make of that.
From: fellcat
Date: July 3rd, 2006 - 06:09 pm (Link)
I'm not at all sure what to make of that.

Genetics-speak can be hard to follow. The article states: Because some of the genes needed for development are only activated in chromosomes from the sperm, human parthenotes never develop past a few days. In straight English, this means that the virgin embryos can never develop to the point of self-sustenance, even if they were implanted into a surrogate mother's uterus. Additional reading would indicate that markers attached to the paternal X chromosome are required for the development of the placenta in female embryos; these markers do not exist in parthenotes as they have two maternal X chromosomes.

I have no ethical objection to the use of parthenote-derived stem cells, just as I have no ethical objection to the use of adult stem cells or stem cells taken from umbilical blood. I personally welcome the establishment of parthenote-derived stem cell lines, as it provides medical researchers with another alternative to the destruction of viable embryos.
From: sashajwolf
Date: July 5th, 2006 - 11:31 am (Link)
I didn't mean that I found the article difficult to understand - just that I'm not sure how to derive a view on the morality of the procedure. My personal moral views on abortion and embryo destruction are not dependent on the viability of the embryo - it's more a question of whether or not the "electrical or chemical shock" that prompts the initial development is morally and spiritually equivalent to fertilisation, in which case the resulting embryo would in my moral system be an ensouled human being with a right to life, or whether it is something entirely different, in which case the issue doesn't arise. There's no obvious methodology for answering such a question.
From: fellcat
Date: July 5th, 2006 - 06:55 pm (Link)
question of whether or not the "electrical or chemical shock" that prompts the initial development is morally and spiritually equivalent to fertilisation,

I don't think it is, given that the issues of the maternal X vs paternal X mean that it isn't physiologically equivalent.
From: meico
Date: July 3rd, 2006 - 10:36 am (Link)
Interesting. :)

Though I doubt these are truly ES cells. The fact that they "need" genes from the sperm to continue development suggests to me that they are not fully differentiable... If they were then wouldn't development (which is basically just the process of differentiation itself) continue normally?

I also worry that they "do not display all the characteristics expected." Hopefully they will still be useful though...
From: mhw
Date: July 3rd, 2006 - 12:56 pm (Link)
*snerk*

But actually, no. If it were ever possible for them to turn into a fetus, they'd have two X chromosomes and thus be female.
From: sashajwolf
Date: July 5th, 2006 - 11:33 am (Link)
I don't know - my world would not collapse if it turned out that Jesus had been intersex...
From: mhw
Date: July 5th, 2006 - 02:33 pm (Link)
Mm. Good point. I suppose it is irrelevant, really.