May 19, 2005
Now things are going to get interesting, and I am about to use a word I tell all science writing students never to use in a story, “breakthrough.” Fortunately, I can hide it in a quote.

Researchers in South Korea, reporting in Science Magazine, have just turned the debate over stem cell research on its head. They cloned stem cells from injured and sick patients, cells with the exact genetic makeup of the patients. See the word “cloned.” Or, in other words, they produced embryos that are exact genetic clones of the patients from which they extracted the cells. Cell lines usually have been taken from the detritus of fertilization clinics and from aborted fetuses, and we all know how controversial that is. This is a whole different thing. Last year, the group at the Seoul National University derived embryonic stem cells but the technique was very inefficient and generally useless, one cell line in 200 tries. Not all scientists believed them, truth be told. They now report a method that is ten times better, a cell line in fewer than 20 times, and in nine cases with women patients, got one every time they tried. That could mean patients needing stem cell transplants for things like Parkinson’s disease could use clones of themselves, greatly reducing the complexities of rejection and a rebellious immune system. No one has yet expressed any doubts to the veracity of their paper. Read on

Destination Christian Nation      The Revealer
Jeff Sharlet: Spent the morning in an interview with Matthew Wells, a BBC radio reporter who's been working the evangelical politics beat in America for the sake of worried Europeans. Should they be worried? Judging from the clips of Ohio mega-pastor Rod Parsley that Matt played me, yes.  Continue reading...

 
Porn Star to dine with Bush and Rove!
 
Porn star and former gubernatorial candidate Mary Carey will be joining her boss, Kick Ass Pictures president Mark Kulkis, in attending a dinner with President Bush in Washington, Read on

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