Category: Cloning, Embryo Research & Genetics

Genetic Modification: Bad for Cows and Corn, but Okay for Humans?
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Genetic Modification: Bad for Cows and Corn, but Okay for Humans?

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As a former California girl, I am aware that my state of origin is full of contradictions like women who are on the Pill eating nothing but organically grown produce. Back in 2004 Californians overwhelmingly voted with Prop 71 to publicly fund embryonic stem cell research with billions of dollars because they were told that […]

Clarification on Pro-Life Objections to iPSC Technology
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Clarification on Pro-Life Objections to iPSC Technology

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Last week I wrote about some pro-life objections to induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology. Yes there are some objections surrounding iPSCs, but I hold that iPSCs themselves are not inherently immoral. Cell lines of illicit origin have been used in developing this technology (and unfortunately are used ubiquitously in many areas of research), and […]

Answering Pro-Life Objections to Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Research
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Answering Pro-Life Objections to Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Research

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There has been a lot of talk about Dr. Yamanaka and his work on induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) since he won the Nobel Prize earlier this week.  There have even been some rumblings that pro-lifers should not be so happy about iPSCs since they are not “100% pro-life.” Before I list the objections that […]

Scientist Who Developed Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Wins Nobel Prize
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Scientist Who Developed Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Wins Nobel Prize

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The man that envisioned a better way than destroying human embryos to get embryonic-like stem cells has won the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Dr. Shinya Yamanaka developed the technique to take an adult cell and reprogram it to an embryonic-like state as a way to avoid the destruction of human embryos. Dr. Yamanka’s reprogrammed adult […]

Respect Life Month Brings Rich, Inter-related Themes this Year
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Respect Life Month Brings Rich, Inter-related Themes this Year

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Happy October! And what a month it will be! There are various powerful observances and events this month whose themes reinforce one another and the overall mission of the Church on behalf of human life. It is, first of all, Respect Life Month. It’s a time to let the pulpits roar with the Church’s Biblical […]

Does the State Have Your Child's DNA?
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Does the State Have Your Child’s DNA?

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I hate to be so sensational, but I think it is important for parents to understand that your child’s DNA maybe stored in a state government facility and you have no idea. Impossible, you say? You know that heel stick that your child got in the hospital right after birth?  Some states keep and catalog […]

Singer and Savulescu: 1-2 Punch of Death
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Singer and Savulescu: 1-2 Punch of Death

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Everyone knows about Peter Singer, the utilitarian ethicist that argues for everything from euthanasia to infanticide and who recently wrote an op-ed suggesting that just being human doesn’t give you a right to live. Many people do not know about his protégé Julian Savulescu. It is time to start paying attention. Who is Julian Savulescu? […]

What Can We Learn from the Stem Cell Debates
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What Can We Learn from the Stem Cell Debates

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A report from The Witherspoon Council, a newly-formed bioethics body, argues that even the noblest aspirations of the scientific enterprise must be guided by ethics and governed under political authority. The stem cell debates of the past decade and a half were among the most heated controversies about science and politics in recent memory, raising […]

Key West Says No to "Robo-Frankenstein Mosquitoes"
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Key West Says No to “Robo-Frankenstein Mosquitoes”

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Dengue Fever afflicts millions of people around the world. It is a virus that is spread by a specific mosquito, the Aedes aegypti. Dengue fever can develop into a more serious disease Dengue hemorrhagic fever which can be fatal. Aedes aegyptiis native to Africa, but has spread to other areas including the southern United States. […]

The Morality of Testing for Down Syndrome
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The Morality of Testing for Down Syndrome

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A response to the many queries I’ve been receiving about this topic: The technological genie is out of the bottle. We live in the age of Molecular Biology, where diagnostics (including those for Down Syndrome) are becoming much more accurate, sensitive, and inexpensive. It’s a blessed thing to behold. That may come as a surprise […]

Being Pro-Life 3.0
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Being Pro-Life 3.0

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This characterization of the many facets of being pro-life is so brilliant I wish I could say I thought of it.  Scott Rae, in an interview with John Stonestreet at BreakPoint.org, brings the pro-life movement into the 21st century in an attempt to get us all to wake up to the perils we are facing. […]

Pre-Existing Prenatal Conditions and Health Care Coverage
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Pre-Existing Prenatal Conditions and Health Care Coverage

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Part of the recently upheld Affordable Care Act that many in the disability community applaud is the elimination of policy exclusions for pre-existing conditions. I agree that our culture should not discriminate against and withhold heath care from an individual based on a physical or mental disability. Early Intervention services, exceptional educators, and medical advances […]

Owning Genes
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Owning Genes

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While the country breathlessly waits for the Supreme Court to decide on Obamacare, there is another court battle to keep an eye on.  This battle may not be as critical as the one on our health care system, but it is still important for the health of anyone with DNA. For decades the U.S. Patent […]

3,500 Ways to Avoid Genetic Imperfection
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3,500 Ways to Avoid Genetic Imperfection

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A recent headline proclaiming the great advances science has made in detecting genetic defects in preborn children sent a chill down my pro-life spine. Proclaiming the incredible news that a day is upon us when scientists will be able to run genetic tests that will identify more than 3,500 genetic irregularities, the reporter echoed a concern raised […]

"Reproductive Rights" and the Brave New United States
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“Reproductive Rights” and the Brave New United States

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When I talk to my fellow Americans about biotechnology, they have this idea that all the bad stuff will happen in places like China and that the horrors of Huxley’s Brave New World will never happen here.  Cloning, human genetic engineering and the like will happen somewhere else, but not in the good ol’ USA. […]

Catholic Confusion on Enhancements
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Catholic Confusion on Enhancements

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I have to confess that I am a bit disheartened.  I find that my fellow Catholics are having trouble really connecting with the Church’s teaching regarding genetic engineering.  Some very smart, thoughtful and faithful Catholics are having difficulty with the distinction between gene therapy, which is genetic engineering to fix a genetic pathology, and genetic […]

The Triumph of Ideology Over Law
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The Triumph of Ideology Over Law

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With each passing day it becomes more apparent that President Obama has little respect for the intelligence of his ideological opponents.  If you don’t agree with him, he assumes it is because you “don’t understand the issue.”  In other words, you are ignorant, or misinformed, or both.  We saw this attitude at work during the […]

What Biotech Needs Most
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What Biotech Needs Most

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Over the years, I have given a lot of talks on biotechnology.  I have one on the ethics of genetic testing, one on the ethics of human genetic engineering and one on stem cell research and cloning. My talks, especially the one on cloning, are not all uplifting and feely-good.  Most people come in all […]

PepsiCo Stops Using Aborted Fetal Cell Lines to Test Flavor Enhancers
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PepsiCo Stops Using Aborted Fetal Cell Lines to Test Flavor Enhancers

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Children of God for Life announced today the stunning news that PepsiCo will not use aborted fetal cell line HEK-293 (human embryonic kidney) in their contractual agreement with Senomyx to develop flavor enhancers for their beverages. Children of God for Life’s Executive Director, Debi Vinnedge, hailed PepsiCo’s decision as a major breakthrough and achievement by […]

US Supreme Court Rejects Gene Patents
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US Supreme Court Rejects Gene Patents

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For 30 years, the U.S. Patent Office has been issuing patents for naturally occurring genes.  About a fourth of our genes are patented by companies who are looking to make a profit off of a molecule we naturally make in our bodies. Objects of nature are not patentable so genes should not be patentable either.  […]

Our Bodies, Our Biotechnology
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Our Bodies, Our Biotechnology

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Most woman do not realize how valuable they are.  I am not talking about cooking, cleaning or raising the kids while bringing home the bacon.  I am talking about their biology.  So many of the culture wars today are on the battlefield of the female body because of our awesome pro-creative power. There are many […]

What Happened to My Beloved Oxford?
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What Happened to My Beloved Oxford?

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My junior year of college I took a year off from my chemistry studies and went on an adventure.  I spent a year studying English literature, philosophy and Latin at Blackfriars College, a part of University of Oxford.  Academically, I got my butt handed to me.  Once, after spending days poring over a philosophy text […]

Should We Engineer Our Children to Save the Planet?
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Should We Engineer Our Children to Save the Planet?

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Radical environmentalism and transhumanism are the two movements that I think are very pernicious.  Radical environmentalism wants the plague of humanity to be reduced (or disappear all together) so the Earth can be “healthy” again.  Transhumanism wants to radically engineer man to be “posthuman” which includes, but is not limited to, living forever through enhancements. […]

Morally Tainted: Products Made Possible By the Destruction of Innocent Human Life
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Morally Tainted: Products Made Possible By the Destruction of Innocent Human Life

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Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey has introduced a bill to Oklahoma’s state legislature that has caused quite a stir.  SB 1418 says it would ban any product for human “consumption” that contains aborted human fetal tissue or where the research or development of any of the ingredients required the use of aborted fetal tissue. Now, […]

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