In an effort to limit my verbosity I'm going to make this brief.
Lee Silver was on Charlie Rose tonight talking about the ACT work.
He felt the work was about "technical" advances showing the potential
usefullness of "therapeutic" cloning. He argued that people
need to recognize that stem cell research and "therapeutic"
cloning are deeply intertwined (because in most treatments
you would prefer to use stem cells derived from the indivdual
being treated) [I have ways around this but they require
further technological advances.] (The implication is that
President Bush's position that you shouldn't "create life to
destroy life" is fundamentally limiting the applications of the
stem cell research he does find acceptable.) Silver thought the reason
for publishing the work was to promote public discussion about
its usefullness. He agreed that the development of the
techniques would lead to the possibility of "reproductive"
cloning and estimated that would occur within 5 years.
He made it clear that he thought the cloning debate was a
"Red Herring" because the history of IVF has shown that
we can produce "normal" children using such methods
and that natural human emotions prevail and we treat
individuals created using such methods as "normal" people.
Generally speaking I thought his perspective was quite extropic
(for someone who wears a bioethicist hat from time to time).
Related to the discussion, I'm moderately certain that fingerprint
ridges are developmentally determined and not genetically determined.
I don't believe identical twins have the same fingerprints. See:
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