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Catching Stem Cell Fever

Huge news in the area of science today, where UW-Madison and Japanese researchers appear to have reprogrammed skin cells to act like stem cells. (Unfortunately, Reggie White was unavailable for comment.) Certainly, this is great news - and deserves the public's support.

Most interesting about the issue is Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle's reaction to the news. From today's Wispolitics PM update:

"Doyle said he is in favor of 'going wherever the science leads us' and doesn't think politicians should be making decisions on where it leads."

As a friend of mine pointed out to me today, there is no end to the horrors implicit in that quote. We should go wherever science leads us? Really?

That quote led to the following exchange, which is likely only amusing to me and my buddy.

Me: So we should go wherever the science takes us? What if we found out that eating live elderly people cured Alzheimer's? Think the politicians should make a decision about that?

Him: Alzheimer's is bad.

Me: It took you until now to figure that out, genius?

Him: No, but my grandma had it, and it was bad.

Me: So here's the question - would you eat a live elderly person if it guaranteed you'd never get Alzheimer's?

Him: I just didn't want you to understate it. Actually eating people might not be a bad tradeoff.

Me: It would be kind of hard, since they'd be yelling so much. They'd be all like "don't eat me, I'm on a fixed income."

Him: I'm sure if science can cure Alzheimer's, they can figure a way to get them to pipe down a little while you're eating them.

Me: Just make sure the politicians don't get involved.

Him: Do I have to eat the bones, too? Kind of hard to eat bones.

Me: Let's just say for the sake of argument that the bones don't have the anti-Alzheimer's agent. But in order to save your life, you better lick those bones clean.

And on it went, figuring out the logistics of how exactly that would work. Gross? Yes. Tasteless? Perhaps. But it shows the absurdity of just blindly following "wherever science leads us." Personally, I'm holding out hope that the new stem cells help me lose weight. Then science might lead me to Culver's a little more often.

Frankly, Doyle has to secretly be a little disappointed at this news. Now, in the next election, he won't be able to accuse his opponent of wanting children to die of diabetes.