1) People from the state of Michigan are called “Michiganders”.
2) Science kicks ass.
Now, I’ve lived in the United States my entire life, and aside from a few months at the very beginning when I favored cooing noises and little baby clicks and grunts, I’ve spoken fairly decent English. Plus, I pay what I feel is adequate attention to things going on around me. Yet, until today, I didn’t know that residents of Michigan are called Michiganders.
Well, I’m glad to be in that loop now. And what an encouraging article in which to discover the little nugget.
Seems stem cell research proponents in Michigan are mounting a strong campaign this election cycle to have the stem cell research ban lifted in their state. A group called CureMichigan submitted 570,000 signatures on July 7, 2008 to put such a proposal on the ballot. That’s about 200,000 more than needed.
It’s exciting to see so many more people getting past the moralizing that has bogged this issue down for the last decade or so. But it’s even more fascinated to note that coming to moral terms with stem cell research may not be necessary anymore, which brings me to the second thing I wanted to mention — science kicks ass.
I just love science. I love science so much, I want to read it poetry at sunset. I want to rub scented oils on it. I want to sleep with it at night, and call it “Baby”.
You see, most of the stem cell ado has come in the form of moral objections about the source of the stem cells. Stem cells can be used to morph into any other kind of human cell, which could lead to cures and applications for a variety of medical anomalies, but the cells must be extracted from unborn fetuses. And therein lies the problem.
A lot of folks tend to get twitchy about taking things from fetuses. Arguments about abortion and playing god arise, and the twitchiest among us go out of their way to keep stem cell research from progressing. Just look at the Bush administration’s take on the issue.
But here’s why I love science:
Scientists, in two separate studies in November of last year, were able to cause ordinary human skin cells to behave like stem cells. And one of the researchers has even improved on the process.
In other words, they’ve engineered skin cells to morph into other types of cells, just like stem cells do. The difference being, skin cells are plentiful, and everyone has them. There is no need to harvest them from fetuses, thereby negating any moral arguments against the research.
Not only that, but researchers in Ontario and California are now partnering on a project to make it easier to turn cutting-edge stem cell research into medical breakthroughs, including pumping a million dollars into “skin cell to stem cell” advances.
Folks, science is nothing if not a master at overcoming problems, even if those problems are the intellectual shortsightedness of the moral minority and people in power. Lie in its path, and science will build a bridge right over you.
How could anyone not love it?