Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Saviour offspring.

Continuing on the stem cell issue, the Times reports a bizzare custom by football (this mean soccer) stars...
freezing/storing stem cells from the umbilical cords of their children for future use as "repair tissue" !
Some excerpts...
One Premier League footballer, playing in the northwest of England, said: “We decided to store our new baby’s stem cells for possible future therapeutic reasons, both for our children and possibly for myself.”

The player, who declined to be named, added: “As a footballer, if you’re prone to injury it can mean the end of your career, so having your stem cells — a repair kit if you like — on hand makes sense.”

He is one of five professional footballers who have frozen their children’s stem cells with Liverpool-based CryoGenesis International (CGI), one of about seven commercial stem cell “banks” in Britain.

Now I am a proponent of stem cell research, as long as they don't "grow" embryos for the explicit purpose of creating stem cells. But this seems a little excessive...how far will someone go once they feel that they can "create" and discard progeny for improving their lifestyles?

Previous post on stem cells : 1.

2 comments:

Radha said...

This is slowly becoming quite popular in India as well, but parents "store" stem cell in "banks" in the hope that it can be used to help/cure their offsprings of several diseases in their adulthood. It makes a lot of sence. Why throw away the umbilical cord, when you can preserve it and possibly save a life in future? It is quite economical also. In Chennai, it cost around Rs 60,000 to store cells for around 20 years(Apparently, they also have Installment schemes and schemes to help poor families!!). Not a very high price for biological insurance.

Sib said...

Well, all good things in science can be distorted by people with ulterior motives. As I mentioned, we must ensure that the storage is a by-product of the birth and not the other way round...which would vindicate the original dissenters who are against stem cell research...

Human nature being what it is, I guess some kind of safeguards must be in place to ensure that this technology is not misused...misuse it more of a possibility in places like India, where the law usually plays catch-up and cannot be implemented as effectively...