Is This Frankenstein Medicine?
by J. Beardsall
US scientists are vowing to redouble their efforts to create human sperm now that Japanese scientists have stolen a march on them with their success in using mouse stem cells to produce sperm.
Dr Renee Pera, of Stanford University in California, aims to create human sperm to use for reproduction within two years, and eggs within five years.
She says she is aware people think this is Frankenstein medicine but that infertility is a major issue for those affected by it.
Dr Pera’s lab at the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine uses embryonic stem cells for research uses embryos left over from IVF treatments which is controversial because the embryos are destroyed in order to use them.
What About The Big Picture?
Dr Pera is correct in her understanding of the misery childlessness can cause, but what safeguards have been created to prevent misuse of this technology? The science is moving ahead so fast – governments need to be putting suitable laws in place to protect the rights of these potential human beings and the future of the human race. This surely must be the biggest issue ever to face humanity.
Dr Pera is doing what scientists always seem to do. She is looking at one aspect of science without seeing the implications of the whole picture.
Laboratory Generation coming up?
Recent research development means stem cells now have the potential to grow into any cell in the body. Creating eggs in a lab could become mainstream, much like IVF is viewed today.
.About one million or 1.5 million embryos are made each year in America using IVF – and about 500,000 of those embryos are discarded. According to Dr Pera about 500 of those embryos are used for research.
“And people worry about those 500 instead of the 500,000 discarded,” Dr Pera says.
This of course is her point of view. But what do the rest of us think and want? Have we been consulted? No! Meanwhile scientists are experimenting with the whole future of the human race.
Have they seriously considered how the structure of human society will be affected once men and women no longer need each other to produce children? Have they even thought about what could happen when this technology gets into the hands of unscrupulous people who want to create humans for their own purposes?
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