Sunday, November 11, 2007

Spare parts

The future has arrived. Spare parts embryos?:

"Parents of sick children in Britain will be allowed to use IVF to create "spare-part babies" under controversial laws published yesterday.
The legislation will dramatically relax rules on IVF clinics creating "saviour siblings" who can help cure their older brothers and sisters of medical conditions such as leukemia."
At first blush the concept is a little creepy, but so was In Vitrio Fertilization at one time. In scientific terms, it makes total sense. If a live child can be cured of some kind of terrible disease by using cells from a sibling embryo grown for that purpose, why not? This could be a real gift for kids with leukemia and organ diseases.

The Usual Suspects at lifeshite etc are all up in arms about this, and why? Not because of the spare parts aspect of things, but because the extra embryos are being tossed. Here's an idea: let's use them for stem-cell research! Oh. Yeah.

I think it sounds like a fabb-o idea. I'm imagining how fast I could run a marathon if I had a new lung or two to replace the ones wrecked by all those years of smoking, a new ticker without all the drug damage... maybe a whole soft machine oil change of fresh new oxygen-rich blood. And that's just me -- don't get me started on a brain for Georgie!