Friday, January 27, 2006

As a happy side-effect of my job, I read interesting science articles every morning. This is totally my favourite part of the job, which means that as I get more responsibility and projects underway, this will be the part that falls by the wayside. Boo!

However, this morning, I'm still reading the interesting articles. Today, a set of articles about cell regeneration caught my eye.

If you were ever unsure why it's important to ensure the biodiversity of the species here on earth, these articles bring it home. If no one had ever encountered a particular species of toad, they might never have come up with the novel way to regrow an organ:

Regrow Your Own
Cells That Go Back in Time
Regeneration Sans Stem Cells

Now, you may or may not agree with the experiments done on animals and you may have varying opinions on stem cell research. However, certain organisms are inspiring ideas about how humans can grow back some heart tissue after they have a heart attack.

In a recent Scientific American, there's a story about the huge problem of heart scar tissue following a heart attack. This problem means, even if you survive a heart attack, you're still gonna die pretty soon. Your heart never truly recovers.

But now, without disrupting any ethical issues, they're working on a way that we could fully repair ourselves.

Now, this is the new controversy in my mind: does that mean that the rich sloths of the world can continue to eat crap, smoke and drink their faces off, sloth around without lifting a finger and be carried around on a bier, and all our expensive research will actually allow this person to live LONGER?

I mean, how valuable is the technology when you look at it that way?
Heart attacks are a part of natural selection. Survival of the fittest. What kind of race would we be if continued to allow the worst examples of our race to propagate?

But think of it in terms of macular degeneration: maybe we wouldn't have to wear eyeglasses anymore. Or what about nerve damage from a car accident that would otherwise put you in a wheelchair? If you could regenerate some nerve cells, you could walk again!

The possibilities are endless. So maybe we save a couple of jerks in the process - the reality is that they're probably the ones who will fund the research in the first place so that they can continue their slothful ways.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well done. An interesting post. Keep it up for at least another few days.

Thank you.