Re: John Sherffius’ July 20 cartoon on President Bush’s veto:
I am not surprised at all by the political cartoon The Star ran critical of the president's veto of embryonic stem-cell research funding.
The president is not opposed to stem-cell research, but he is opposed to the use of embryos as a tissue source. The bioethics controversy of embryos as a tissue source is a major part of the topic at hand, but I want address the controversy from another angle.
Developments as late as August 2005 are showing that embryonic stem cells are potentially the poorest and least-viable source for tissue regeneration. Embryonic stem-cell discoveries really developed in 1998, and the big business of medical research and treatment development has been one active source for pushing the embryonic stem cell as a quick and profitable source for disease treatment. There are new discoveries all the time regarding better sources of stem cells.
What about the more reliable adult stem cells? These cells can be taken from the host being treated and developed into tissue that will not be rejected by the patient's immune system. What about the discovery of amniotic epithial cells in the human placenta? These cells do not develop the tumors associated with embryonic stem-cell tissue growth. This tumor-free development makes it possible to plant the new stem cells directly to a patient.
Just because the use of embryonic stems cells was developed first does not make it the best.
— David Moore, Moorpark