Friday, May 20, 2005

Another "Great Leap Forward"

Ten whole days since I last posted! You might be wondering what happened. On top of trying to do too much at once, I've been suffering from a cold (perhaps these two are related?—d'ya think?) from which I am now (thank God) almost fully recovered. I'm a bit busy even now trying to get out the door for the last day of my internship, but I felt obliged to comment on the big biotech news:

South Koreans Streamline Cloning of Human Embryos and
Human embryo cloned for first time in Britain

Two points:

  1. The scientists' (and the journalists') insistence on the distinction between "therapeutic cloning" and "reproductive cloning" is pure garbage. The technologies needed for for former are (for the most part) necessary for the latter. While scientists have yet to bring a cloned child full term, you can rest assured they will. The Raelians if no one else, but I think it's safe to say that with scientific addiction to "technically sweet" projects—in utter disregard to their moral implications—that there will be plenty of others joining in.
  2. The leader of the South Korean team, Professor Woo Suk Hwang, appraised the result
    This report brings science a giant step forward toward the day when some of humankind's most devastating diseases and injuries can be effectively treated through the use of therapeutic stem cells. (Quoted on ABC Online)
    Like Mao's "Great Leap Forward," this development purports to draw us closer to our imaginings of what the future should be like, but will have devasting effects on human life.

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