Taylor, Rebecca
10 Articles at Lifeissues.net

Rebecca Taylor is a clinical laboratory technologist in Molecular Biology at a Catholic hospital. Contact: rhtaylor@marymeetsdolly.com Website:http://www.MaryMeetsDolly.com

Contact: rhtaylor@marymeetsdolly.com



Genetic Engineering of Humans

The genetic engineering of humans is not yet a reality. But, with advancements in gene therapy and cloning, it will be. It is critical that Catholics be ahead of the rhetorical curve on this issue, instead of behind. Now is the time to look at the genetic engineering of humans and what the Church says on the issue. Now is the time to understand what Catholics can embrace and what we should reject.

Date posted: 2009-01-10

Cloning 101

The term "cloning" has been used in biotechnology for a long time and refers to more than one kind of procedure. The cloning procedure most in debate in the scientific world is called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). A somatic cell is any cell in the body except the egg or sperm cells, or their precursors. Skin cells, blood cells, brain cells are all somatic cells. Every somatic cell contains, in its nucleus, all of the chromosomes (DNA) unique to each individual. In SCNT, a technician takes an egg from a female donor, removes the nucleus, and inserts the somatic cell nucleus with its DNA into the "empty" egg. SCNT is the transfer of the nucleus of a somatic cell to the egg.

Date posted: 2008-10-04

Therapeutic Cloning: Will it Work?

Therapeutic cloning is cloning for research purposes. The cloning procedure is called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). A somatic cell is any cell in the body except the egg or sperm cells, or their precursors. Skin cells, blood cells, brain cells are all somatic cells. Every somatic cell has all of the chromosomes (DNA), unique to each individual, in its nucleus. In SCNT, one takes an egg from a female donor, removes the nucleus, and inserts the somatic cell nucleus with its DNA into the "empty" egg. More simply, SCNT is the transfer of the nucleus from a somatic cell to the egg. The egg is impregnated with all 46 chromosomes of an already existing genome and then "tricked" into thinking it has been fertilized. The fertilized egg begins to divide and a clone is created. In therapeutic cloning, the cloned embryo is then destroyed to harvest cells for research purposes.

Date posted: 2008-02-11

Ethical Uses of Genetic Testing

Doctors often use genetic testing to help treat their patients. A good example is the test for a mutation in the Factor V Leiden gene. Factor V Leiden is the most common hereditary blood coagulation disorder in the United States. Patients with a mutation in this gene are at greater risk of developing potentially deadly blood clots. If a doctor knows that a patient has an increased risk of developing a clot, they can prescribe medication or monitor the patient closely after surgery. Genetic testing also provides information on Hereditary Hemochromatosis (HHC), the most common form of iron overload disease. HHC is an inherited disorder that causes the body to absorb and store too much iron.

Date posted: 2008-01-16

Genetic Testing 101

Genetic testing is the testing of a person's DNA. Genetic testing is done for many reasons, including to establish paternity, diagnose disease, determine sex, or determine tissue type. Scientists perform genetic testing on adults, children, fetuses, and, more recently, embryos in the very early stages of development.

Date posted: 2007-11-19

Stem Cell Research 101

It is crucial to understand the differences between adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells, all the more so because our lawmakers and the media often try to confuse the issue by not making the distinction. While cures from embryonic stem cells are currently not possible, adult stem cells are already curing patients without the moral conundrums. Consequently, the best, most ethical technologies for stem cell treatment come from adult stem cell research.

Date posted: 2007-08-11

Adult vs. Embryonic Stem Cells

The point is that ASCs are much closer to providing cures than ESCs, without the need for cloning or leftover IVF embryos. So, why are so many scientists and reporters confusing the issue? Why are they pushing for the creation and destruction of embryos for embryonic stem cells? I believe that, once we no longer recognized the sanctity of human life from its beginning, we entered a culture where human embryos have become, not a precious gift, but a commodity that many researchers cannot wait to exploit, regardless of whether cures will result or not. They want to divert precious research dollars toward the manipulation of human life, not toward research that actually shows real promise. It is crucial that, as a society, we remain informed. There is a distinction between adult and embryonic stem cells. There are alternatives to the "creation and destruction of human life" to cure devastating disease.

Date posted: 2007-07-06

Commentary on the Women's Bioethics Project

A new pro-choice, pro-science think tank called the Women's Bioethics Project, has released a report called, "Bioethics and Public Policy: Conservative Dominance in the Current Landscape." I thought to myself: How is that possible? Do conservatives dominate bioethics public policy? Is that like the mythical "conservative" media bias?

Date posted: 2006-01-21

Reproductive Technology: From Artificial Insemination to Cloning

Many believe that advances in cloning and stem cell research, as well as their ethical implications, are recent developments. Actually we have been careening down a slippery slope toward a biotechnical "brave new world" for quite some time. This will be an unpopular topic for many Catholics, but to ignore the path that has led to our current dilemmas would be to side-step issues that have led us to the reality of human cloning.

Date posted: 2005-11-09

Abortion, Stem Cells, and Cloning

On January 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Roe vs. Wade, that the laws outlawing abortion in Texas were unconstitutional because a woman had a right to privacy, guaranteed by the Constitution. Suddenly, the unborn had no legal protection in the United States. But Roe vs. Wade did not just deny legal protection to the unborn; it catapulted the United States toward the reality of human cloning. Gregory Pence, a pro-cloning bioethicist, could not be more correct when he writes, "To say that embryos are not persons and cannot be studied and killed in research is contradictory. Perhaps this shows once again that the cloning debate is really about abortion."

Date posted: 2005-11-03