X-Message-Number: 21835
Date: Sat, 31 May 2003 03:40:52 EDT
Subject: Something important

This morning's Washington Post, front page below the fold headline: "Stem 
Cell 'Master Gene' Found."  This is the gene "largely responsible for giving 

those cells their unique regenerative and therapeutic potential.  The discovery
...brings scientists closer to the holy grail of biology: the ability to turn 
ordinary cells into those that possess all the biomedical potency of human 

embryonic stem cells, eliminating the need to destroy embryos to get them."  
was published in the journal Cell, and conducted by U of Edinburgh researcher 

Austin Smith.  His team worked independently but in parallel with a team led by
Shinya Yamanaka of Japan's Nara Institute of Science and Technology.  Note 

that cutting edge work in this area is being done outside US.  Is this a GWBush
This is but one step in a long process, of course, but each step brings 

bioscientists and biotech closer to something akin to physical immortality.  Of
course, they don't dare say so in so many words, but the more obvious the 

direction becomes, the more people will start thinking the unthinkable.   This 
very important for cryonics.  Hardly anybody outside the tiny cryonics circle 

today thinks of the future in these terms.  Take, for example, the silly twaddle
of Paul Farrell about the singularity doomsday.  When they start to think of 
the future as having this potential, even, let us say, 50 or 100 years out, 

then they begin to feel the pain of not being alive at that future time, of 
cheated, as it were, by accident of when they were born (too soon.)  Only 

then does cryonics come into the picture as a chance, however remote, of sharing
the future with those future immortals.  Those who live into that time when 
the bio-technolgy has cracked the aging problem will, of course, have no need 
and no desire for cryo-preservation, but for most of us, especially those like 
myself who have seen six or more decades roll by, the situation is very 

different.  We need to be joined by millions more who come to realize that human
immortality is just beyond the horizon of their lifetime.

Ron Havelock, CI member.

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