Scrambled eggs

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.

http://www.ncl.ac.uk/press.office/press.release/content.phtml?ref=1162836050

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.

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9 responses to “Scrambled eggs

  1. “This seems complex, ethically ambiguous, and only indirectly useful. ”

    It isn’t that complex: they are just removing the cow DNA and placing in human DNA to get the stem cells to grow.

    They aren’t growing a cow/human hybrid.

    Is it ‘ethically ambiguous’ or ‘ethically icky’? If the religious morons keep pushing the playing God card all the time, people who actually live in the real world need to do something.

    Extracting eggs from women is a dodgy procedure so getting the same result via a less risky method is OK by me.

    And people saying it blurs the distinction between human and animal are simply reacting rather than thinking about what is happening and also being genetically superior: we are all animals…unless you believe in creation.

    Stuff the God-squadders: if they don’t want want a cure for Parkinsons then when the cure is found we make damn sure they don;t get the cure if thay DO get Parkinsons. There aren’t any athiests in foxholes they say: there aren’t many Christians in hospital dying of curably degenerative diseases (Copyright Alfster 2006)

  2. Oh, buggrit, you’ve got me there with that darn logical thinking, Boy.

    It is all pretty moot in my case. I got an email back saying that I’m too old to donate, not by much, but by enough. I am more upset by that rejection than I’d care to admit. My eggs weren’t good enough to be children, and now they aren’t good enough to be research either. Life’s a bitch and then George Bush gets elected for a second term.

    Ignore me. I’m rambling.

    AB

  3. *hugs AB anyway*

  4. Well, at least the Democrats now control the House of Representatives and the Senate. πŸ˜€

  5. Indeed πŸ˜€

  6. Write back to them and assure them your eggs have got the ‘Lion Mark’ of quality stamped on them.

  7. *laughs out loud*

    They aren’t orgnic, do you think that matters?

  8. What inorganic things have you been sticking up there?…no, don’t tell me…OK, go on.

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