The European Court of Justice has ruled that egg cells incapable of developing into human beings cannot be considered human embryos. Allowing patents on the use of such organisms will push forward controversial research.
Deutsche Welle, 18 Dec 2014
Research involving a human egg used to produce embryonic stem cells but unable to develop into an embryo can be patented, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled Thursday.
The decision is of huge interest for biotechnology companies investing in stem cell research. Work on stem cell therapies is still experimental, but researchers believe they could be used to treat a range of diseases from Parkinson's to blindness. Until now, however, strict restrictions on obtaining patents have slowed research.
The case was brought in Britain by US company International Stem Cell Corporation against the UK Intellectual Property Office for refusing to grant it two patents covering the use of human egg cells.
The British authorities had argued that since the eggs involved were active and developing organisms, even though they were not fertilized by male sperm, previous EU law prevented the company from securing a patent on them. In 2011, the ECJ had ruled that stem cell research involving human embryos could not be patented.
International Stem Cell Corporation argued that the eggs, activated by a chemical process known as parthenogenesis, could not develop into human beings as they lacked the full parental DNA required.
Thursday's ruling stated that such organisms do not constitute human embryos, and that their uses in scientific research could therefore be patented.
"In order to be classified as a 'human embryo,' a non-fertilized human ovum must necessarily have the inherent capacity of developing into a human being," a statement from the ECJ said.
The statement also made clear that if an egg is able to develop into an embryo, "it should be treated in the same way as a fertilized human ovum, at all stages of its development." In that case, EU member states would still have the right under existing law to deny patents on ethical and moral grounds.
Stem cell research has long been controversial, with critics arguing against the use of embryos left over from fertility treatment. However, scientists contend that the research is justified as the stem cells they used are derived from surplus eggs. Embryonic stem cells are more flexible than adult stem cells, and therefore more widely used in research.
lvw/mg (AFP, Reuters, dpa)
Question: Dearest Kryon: I've read the question and answer on people with diseases of the mind - for example, Alzheimers and dementia. But I have more questions. You say that people have chosen this path and that the lessons are for us. As I work with these people, I'm wondering if there is any stage where there could be a reversal of the condition, and if so, with what methods? The people in the hostel are so drugged up, and there's a mind-set with the authorities that no "alternate" therapies work - although they're using colored lights. (Sadly, the diversional therapist told me she doesn't know what color therapy is.)
From a spiritual point of view, what is the best way to work with these people - talk to them as though they were normal, or go along with their imaginings? I've been told that they need to be kept quiet, especially toward evening. However, I've found that with one woman who mostly paces saying very little, the more childlike I am (dancing and singing makes her happy), the more she talks. I could go on and on - could you please enlighten me further?
Answer: I will answer the second part first. Love those who are in this condition. Find out what makes them smile... and then make them smile. The best you can do in a facilitation of this condition is to somehow create joy. Even in their confusion they can laugh at situations and be creative. They'll also remember you better as the one who creates this emotion. Each is very different, but in general, try to find their "happy" button and push it as often as you can. They will remember that.
Right now you're perched upon some important discoveries that will be able to reverse these conditions to a large degree. But just as the paraplegic who regains their nerve connections must than relearn how to walk, suffering much pain, there will be this attribute with a regeneration of the mind. Even if new cells are created, they won't necessarily have the old memories, but they can be trained to be healthy and be ready for new memories.
So someday these will have the ability to halt the progress of the degeneration of cells that are being taken, and instead grow new pathways around them. Some will be able to "reconnect" to certain kinds of memories (like recognition) but will have to relearn what the association of recognition actually means. So history and events might have to be studied and relearned... sometimes even things like reading, also. The pain will be that the individual will regain mental health and will realize exactly what has happened.
Your stem-cell research is very important, and you're reaching a point where you'll be able to use birth cells that aren't embryonic, but every bit as potent for research... thereby sidestepping all moral issues. Look for this in the next few years.