NRL News

Now, if the University’s Scientists will only take the same course!

by | Dec 9, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

University of Minnesota Prof. Jeffrey Simon

My wife and I are from Minnesota and both attended the University of Minnesota. As a graduate student I wrote for the Minnesota Daily, the student newspaper. Therefore, even if both the University and the Daily did not deluge me with fundraising appeals, I would stilll keep track of what takes place at my alma mater and where I learned the tools of the reporting trade.

But there is a third reason: the University is up to its eyeballs in defending human cloning. As Paul Stark, of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, recently wrote.

Despite all the clarifying developments of recent years, scientists at the University of Minnesota used worn-out scare tactics and misinformation last spring to argue that taxpayer funds should be available for human cloning for the purpose of embryo-destructive research. Because of a veto by Gov. Mark Dayton, a human cloning advocate, the University won that battle, for now.

So imagine my amusement and chagrin when the Daily ran a story today headlined, “Course offers undergraduates a lesson in stem cells.” Beginning next semester what had been taught only to graduate students—a course on stem cells– will be taught to undergraduates. 

And according to Rachel Raveling although “the history of stem cells, how they are engineered, their research and their practical applications” will covered, “It will be hard to avoid discussing the ethics of stem cell research, including the controversy attached to using human embryonic stem cells for research, said Jeffrey Simon, a genetics, cell biology and development professor who will teach the course this spring.”

So, specifically what will be discussed in “Stem Cells in Biology and Medicine “? Adult stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells—both of which are ethically unobjectionable—and  “Embryonic stem cells from both humans and animals, which can differentiate into every type of cell and easily self-reproduce.” Note not a syllable that suggests part of that easy self-reproduction is a proclivity to produce tumors.

And as for those picky pro-life types, Prof. Simon tells Raveling that while “Discussion of using human embryonic stem cells for anything is naturally going to attract moral concerns,” he assures her, “the cells never come from an embryo that was fertilized in a woman.”

As opposed to embryos created using in vitro fertilization? Or created in the lab and “never fertilized in a woman”? The dishonesty of embryonic stem cells proponents is just staggering.

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