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Genetic Crossroads
February 23rd, 2006

Opinion: Osagie Obasogie, "Of mice, men and stem cell research," San Francisco Chronicle (February 20) "Creating animals that blur traditional species lines (also known as "chimeras," after the mythological creature with a lion's head, goat's body and serpent's ­tail) is not exactly new….We will all be the poorer if concerns over chimeric research and other genetic and reproductive technologies are reduced to yet another red state/blue state wedge issue. Rather, the implications these technologies hold for basic human integrity suggest that strong federal oversight and regulation are in order."

"Science Academy Creating Panel to Monitor Stem-Cell Research," New York Times (February 16) "[T]he National Academy of Sciences is setting up a committee to provide informal oversight over research with human embryonic stem cells." The new committee, like the voluntary guidelines issued last spring by the National Academy, will have no monitoring or enforcement capacity.

"There is no stop button in the race for human re-engineering," The Guardian (January 30) "[I]t's all too possible to envisage how fast, in a competitive, unequal world, we could hurtle towards some horrible futures....There's no point in sci-fi style panic. The best hope lies in the strength and quality of public debate and democratic institutions to regulate and direct the use of these powerful technologies."


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