Notes: Advanced Cell Technology, a small biotechnology company, announced it has successfully created a human embryo with cloning techniques. This is called therapeutic cloning and its purpose is to grow stem cells for research and eventually to implant in people with many incurable diseases, not to grow a human being. George W. Bush condemned such cloning saying that "[w]e should not, as a society, grow life to destroy it, and that's exactly what is taking place." He stated that it was "morally wrong." Bush called for the Senate to impose a ban on this cloning. However, the Senate apparently will not take up the issue until next February as previously planned. The prestigious National Academy of Sciences favors such cloning in hopes of finding cures for several diseases.

The issue causing disagreement is that proponents claim that the embryos are not yet humans while opponents claim they are. The cloning procedure allows the development of stem cells from a patient -- instead of using someone else's cells -- which in theory greatly lessens the chance of rejection from a body's immune system. An unusual alliance of Republican and Democratic senators with family members suffering from incurable disease are leaning toward favoring the cloning. It's believed that research surrounding stem cells grown from embryos may lead to cures for diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, diabetes, and cancer. Having friends and family members suffering from each of these now-incurable diseases, I strongly favor cloning for stem cell research and ultimately for growing stem cells to implant in people suffering from the above-mentioned diseases.

In this time of war where people have been killed in America and Afghanistan, there is some irony in worrying about killing a few cells in a petri dish. This seems particularly ironic, since the research may save American lives.