I heard a news item about stem cell research on the radio today. It seems that there is a shortage of human eggs to work on, so researchers are hoping to inject human DNA into animal eggs to do early days research. This seems complex, ethically ambiguous, and only indirectly useful.
Stem cell research is, in my opinion, rather amazing:
The eventual aim is to develop a way of creating stem cells to grow new tissue that is genetically matched to individual patients. For example, scientists hope to take a cell from a patient and re-programme it so that stem cells can be extracted to grow new tissue for damaged body parts without fear of immune rejection.
However, they have do do this complex cow-stuff because there is a shortage of donated eggs.
Well, I have spare eggs. I’ve had a lifetime of spare bloody eggs. Three decades, almost, of entirely pointless ovulation.
I would rather my eggs were used to help alleviate the suffering of people with Parkinson’s disease than went to waste, and I would not be comfortable donating them to infertile couples. If I inflict this world on my children, then I owe it to them to be around to help them through it, so if anyone raises my children, I want it to be me. But I am comfortable with my embryos multiplying for two weeks and being used for research. These are embryos which otherwise would not exist, the egg-parts joining their sisters month by month in a long trailing queue of pointlessness.
I have therefore emailed the university concerned to find out more about what would be involved in donating my rather elderly eggs. There is a long way between sending an email, and actually – you know – doing something about it, but I have at least sent the email.
I guess the definition of a spontaneous action is that it should take you by surprise.