Pyramid Comment

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Friday, March 28, 2008

Embryo Research

Dr. Eustace J. de Souza The argument is science v common sense. Ignore the red herring of the Church and consider alone the basics. On the science side there are those who suffer from debilitating disease. This is absolutely critical. Nobody should be exposed to motor neurone or Alzheimer's disease if preventable. Sadly, the price may be just too high. The global population is potentially at stake. Stem Cells Chimera Potential Indications are that an early human embryo (blastocyst) can be created by fusing the DNA from a single skin cell and a human egg from which its DNA had been removed. In theory, human embryonic stem cells (hESC) can be extracted from this creation matched to the original skin cell. However, the resultant skin cell DNA was contaminated by traces of mitochondrial DNA from the woman who donated the egg. This illustrates that residual (female donor) DNA exists even when it has been 'emptied' of its DNA. Clearly, it has not been emptied. If the hESC can be derived from a single skin cell then to remove all trace of the original female DNA is not possible and one remaining female cell will contaminate the resultant hESC. Indeed, cells extracted from the embryos are currently being grown in the lab, but too soon to claim if any were hESCs. The illustration should scream caution since contamination of the hESC by residual egg cells DNA makes the possibility of the chimera more credible. Dustbin vs Research Interference by politics Q & A: 1 Q & A: 2