Friday, January 18, 2008

Dr. Moreau is coming!

Stem cells, as many fervent and loyal blog readers will know, are the very early cells that can develop into almost all other types of cell and tissue.
They occur in the early (five-day) embryo when it is a tiny ball of about 100 cells before it implants in the uterus.
They also occur in significant numbers in some tissues in the developing foetus and in umbilical cord blood at birth.
They can also be found in some adult tissue, e.g. bone marrow, but they can be difficult to isolate, being present in very small numbers.

In the United Kingdom last week, Parliament allowed scientists to go ahead with therapeutic cloning.
To use stem cells to generate new human tissues.

This opens the way to clone a human being.
Like has been done with sheep and other animals.
The only way this is stopped is the control of the Government.
In Britain, it is a crime to create a human embryo outside the body without a license from a Government agency, and officials have made it clear they will not issue one for human cloning.

The scientists in the UK already have announced they will use DNA from animals to mix with human stem cells to make human tissue and organs.

One thing is to get for example a new liver that resembles more one like a pig has.
If it works, it works and as long as the person is not starting to act like a pig, what is the problem?

We will see in the future availability of organs, slowing down and maybe healing of diseases like Alzheimer and Parkinson, thanks to a combination of animal and human stem cells.

The other thing is that this technique can potentially eventually result in the possibility of the cloning of a human being.
A person identical to one already there.

History has learned that what technique makes possible, people somewhere somehow will actually do.
A Government can make a law that it is not allowed, but if economical, personal or political gains can be made, it will happen never the less.

So, fervent and loyal blog readers, make yourself ready to meet people who are partly animal or identical to someone else.

One of the most beloved writers is H.G.Wells.
He was English and lived from 1866 till 1946.

A visionary man who has been writing amazing stories.
One of them is called “The island of Dr. Moreau”.
Made into a film by John Frankenheimer in 1996 with Marlon Brando playing Dr. Moreau.
It is the story of a man who is rescued from a boat accident and brought to an island.
Where he discovers that a doctor is experimenting with cloning and DNA.
Dr. Moreau has managed to make beings that are half human, and half animal.
The issue is of course how to keep those creatures under control.
Obviously this is the thing that fails and the creatures turn against their makers.

The idea H.G. Wells had for the book is founded on a wisdom many people know for centuries.
They know because they see it happen all around them.
When human beings turn against nature, there are always serious repercussions.
Human beings are supposed to live in harmony with nature.
But they don’t.
They try to become the masters of nature.
And this is simply impossible.
Every effort eventually results in disaster, suffering and defeat.

Always humans have secondary reasons to interfere in nature.
They burn down forests to have more agricultural land.
Until it turns out that the disappeared forests were playing an important role in the CO2 conditions of the planet.
They pump up oil to use it in a way that temporarily improves lives of some of the population devastating the environment leaving but havoc for the future.
Concerning health this is also exactly very much the matter.
People refuse to accept that it is only natural to die.
They try to postpone and avoid it.

However, it makes sense of course to develop medical techniques to halt suffering.
Although one would think that this effort becomes only relevant after diseases like malaria are wiped out first.
After we have improved the following facts:
  • Each year, more than 8 million people around the world die because they are too poor to stay alive.
  • Over 1 billion people—1 in 6 people around the world—live in extreme poverty, defined as living on less than $1 a day.
  • More than 800 million go hungry each day.
  • Over 100 million primary school-age children cannot go to school.

But these facts are not stopping the developed countries to pour millions in medical research for the well to do.
With the result that now in the United Kingdom the Government has opened the doors to have cloning get out of control.
As expected, Dr. Moreau will soon be born and busy again.


To learn more about H.G. Wells, click on:

To get the facts about poverty, click on:

1 comment:

Valerie said...

This is a very interesting topic indeed. Let's take the example of diabetes. Worldwide about 200 million people suffer from it, and that number is still increasing. 90% of the cases of diabetes is due to a change in nutrition, an increase in pollution and an inactive lifestyle. 10% of the cases is due to an immunedefiency, which causes the body to destroy it's own insulin producing cells. So in 90% of the cases, research should be done about prevention of an unhealthy diet or lifestyle. In 10% of the cases research should focus on why the immunesystem fails and kills its insulinproducing cells. Instead, the kind of research you are describing claims it will in the end will be effective for this kind of diseases, for it will be able to provide patients with new insulin producing cells, maybe partly from animal origin. The patients whose ineffective lifestyle and diet has caused the disease will continue their lifestyle and exhausts those new cells again and the patients who have a failing immune system will have their new cells destroyed in no time, so nothing will change.
but what the hell, the medical world can spend millions to do the research they want.