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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 8, 2007 / 22 Sivan, 5767

Good news on stem cells

By Linda Chavez


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Finally, some good news: A front-page story that not only brings hope on an important and contentious issue, but may even find Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals, religious believers and non-believers cheering with equal enthusiasm. Scientists in Japan and the United States have now found a way to reprogram skin cells back to an embryonic state.


Since 1998, when scientists first discovered how to generate human embryonic stem cells from embryos discarded by fertility clinics, stem cell research has become almost as controversial an issue as abortion. But if this new technique can be applied to humans — so far, it has been performed only on mice — the debate on stem cell research is over. If skin cells can be used to create stem cells, who will argue that it is necessary to destroy embryos for the same purpose?


This news comes at an interesting time, just as a bill to provide federal funds for embryonic stem cell research makes its way to the president for his signature. President Bush has made it clear that he will veto the bill, as he did similar legislation a few years ago. But not all Republicans support the president's position. Among Republican presidential contenders, Sen. John McCain and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani support embryonic stem cell research. Those who support the research cite the benefits it could bring to millions of people suffering from degenerative and other diseases.


In the 2006 congressional races, Democrats were able to use some Republicans' opposition to embryonic stem cell research to defeat them, most notably Sen. Jim Talent in Missouri. The tactics the Democrats used — especially ads by actor Michael J. Fox, who suffers from Parkinson's disease — were effective, but irresponsible. The Democrats acted as if opposition to destroying embryos was tantamount to denying life-saving therapy to the sick and dying. But even the most ardent supporters of embryonic stem cell research in the scientific community acknowledge we are a long way from turning any such research into practical therapies for Parkinson's, diabetes or any other disease.


Ironically, it was George W. Bush who provided the first federal funding of such research, when he approved federal money being used for research on existing stem cell lines in August 2001. Although researchers had been working in this area since 1998, President Clinton never saw fit to do the same thing in his two remaining years in office. But President Bush has never received any credit on this from the supporters of stem cell research, only recriminations from opponents of such research, who thought his actions violated the sanctity of human life.


There is no way to know at this point whether the new research will bear fruit. One of the problems is that the mice used in Dr. Shinya Yamanaka's research had to be interbred — not exactly an option for humans. In addition, two of the four genes Dr. Yamanaka used to reprogram skin cells into an embryonic state also seem to trigger cancer. One-in-five of the mice used in experiments died of cancer. Scientists are hopeful they can discover ways to mitigate these effects, but it's impossible to know if they will succeed.


Nonetheless, this new research suggests — as opponents of experimental use of embryonic stem cells have claimed all along — that there are viable alternatives to destroying human embryos in order to save lives. For those who do not believe that human life begins at conception, the debate over embryos has never made sense. But for observant Catholics — and many others who share Catholics' belief that the moment a human egg is fertilized, a unique, fully human life is present — this debate touches on deeply held religious and moral values.


Both sides believe they are on the side of saving lives. It would be wonderful — dare I suggest, Providential — if science could help close the divide between them by finding a new way to conduct potentially life-saving research without destroying life in the process.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Linda Chavez is President of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Her latest book is "Betrayal: How Union Bosses Shake Down Their Members and Corrupt American Politics". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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