Saturday, October 20, 2007

Against ANT-OAR

I won't post the whole thing here. Done that here at W4, as my colleagues are taking to calling it.

The basic gist is that this technique is supposed to give us "embryonic" stem-cells without our ever making (and then destroying) embryos. That has always sounded fishy to me. What I decide in the post is that one way of doing it probably does make embryos and the other plausibly doesn't. But I could be wrong even about the second of these and am disturbed, perhaps more than I make evident in the post, by the lack of empirical underpinnings for all of this. The bottom line is that to some extent it seems the proponents of this stuff are doing armchair science and don't really know what will happen when they try this stuff. Moreover, one advocate, Marcus Grompe, is gung-ho even about the ways of doing this with knock-out genes that sure look to me like they would make merely damaged embryos. And the fact that he doesn't make any serious distinction between the two methods (though some other advocates do) makes me wonder how different their results really are and how they would know.

All skating on exceedingly thin ice, ethically, it seems to me. Why do it?

P.S. I actually do plan to update here at least weekly, but I was sick last weekend.

1 comment:

William Luse said...

Well I'm glad you're feeling better.