Thursday, October 11, 2012

Holy Shit, Stem Cell Babies!

Stem Cell Colony

Stem cells are a scientific miracle. They are cells that can become any cell you want them to be. You take a stem cell and tell it, "Hey! Be a kidney!" and it can grow a goddamn kidney. I could stop there, because holy shit we can grow body parts from single cells, but there's much, much more.

The reason conservative folks have a raging hatred for stem cell research is that until recently, embryonic stem cells were the only ones that could be used to make miracles happen. Embryonic stem cells typically come from abortions, which is a rather unpopular process in many political circles. That's all changing now because of the 2012 winners of the Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine. These guys have proven that you can do a lot of the same blowing of minds (and saving of lives) by using adult stem cells. So get ready for some enormous medical advances in the next few years.

Again, I could stop there, but it gets even wilder.

The part that sticks out to me - the part that brings the loudest "Holy shit!" from the depths of my boggled mind - is the part where scientists might eventually be able to hand craft goddamn babies from stem cells. Wait! don't say it yet, I'm not done!

Japanese scientists have successfully created both sperm cells and egg cells from non-embryonic stem cells in mice. Both genders of mice. BOTH GENDERS OF MICE. Let that sink in.

This is largely speculation at this point, but it's speculation that is rapidly moving into the realm of plausibility. Do you know what the implications of this are?

 Well...yeah...but also:

The Gay Book
It may be a while before we know how well this is going to work, but no matter what happens...STEM CELLS. Holy shit.

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