Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Smallpox and stem cells

An interesting op ed in today's NY Times recalls the days when the church, the news media, and even some in the field of medicine denounced the idea that innoculation could prevent smallpox. It's discussed in the context of the stem cell debate.

I was going to write more and link to it, but Jef Hall got there first.


At 5:01 PM, Blogger Theodore Donald Kerabatsos said...

In the 1930's, we had the same kind of controversy over artificial insemination for cows, another University of Wisconsin invention. The same "moral" objections were raised to something which, at the time, seemed so unnatural to some of the religious minds.

Thank heavens that clearer thinking prevailed as artificial insemination turned out to be an economic gold mine for agriculture in Wisconsin. It also turned into a farm safety issue. Instead of having to maintain and control a bull on your farm for the sole purpose of inseminating the cows, this part of the economic enterprise could be contracted out.

Will the modern-day Luddites succeed in driving the stem cell scientists out of Wisconsin? The answer may turn on the election for Governor in early November.


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