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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, September 1, 2004
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Stem cells weren't created for research

Mr. Roger Foreman seems to have missed the point of Brett Berry's Monday column, "Science Should Trump Ideology." It is most certainly debatable where exactly life begins, and I leave that up to people more scientifically and spiritually intelligent than I.

But Mr. Foreman is laboring under the very misconception that Mr. Berry set out to dispel: that the embryos that produce the stem cells are created explicitly for stem cell research. The real point of Mr. Berry's article was that stem cells come from embryos that were already created and condemned prior to their being enrolled for stem cell research.

The people responsible for the death of these embryos are those who participate in selective in-vitro fertilization. They, not the stem cell researchers, create the embryos and decide which will die. If those who find this to be a crime need an enemy, they should look towards the in-vitro labs.

The stem cell researchers are merely taking those embryos already sentenced to death and making their fetal sacrifices worth something instead of seeing them thrown away like an unwanted Wildcat insert. These are not embryos that would have lived had not they fallen into the clutches of stem cell scientists, they are embryos that had no womb waiting to give them shelter and nourishment because one of their siblings was chosen to live instead of them.

Mr. Foreman is correct that adult stem cells show much more promise in practical application, but fetal stem cells are not used because scientists expect to make cures from them. They are used because they are easier to extract than adult stem cells and because they are important for understanding what exactly it is stem cells do and how they do it, since they are at their most active stage: human gestation. But most importantly, they are used because they would otherwise go to waste.

John Bruce
computer science junior

More transit safety needed around UA

Moving from Point A to Point B on campus seems to be an obstacle course. It is an obstacle course not because of a large number of students but because of a large number of students and non-students alike who do not know basic safety rules when walking, biking, or driving. There are so many safety violations every day by pedestrians, motorists, and bikers that it is becoming a great concern about one's personal safety when moving from one part of the campus to the other.

Simple advice to the campus community when moving around campus: When you are walking, remember what your mother told you at age three - to look both ways before crossing the street. Likewise, if you are not going to cross the street, please stay out of the street.

Motorists: When you approach a stop sign, you are supposed to actually stop before the crosswalk or behind the stop sign - not five feet past the sign where a pedestrian could be hit. Also, stay within the posted limit. Driving as if you need to take your mother to the hospital by zooming 40 mph around congested campus areas only puts everyone at risk.

Bikers: You are supposed to actually follow the same rules as motorists. Have your lights on at night, ride on the right side of the road, get off of the sidewalks, and actually stop at the stop signs. Put on a helmet, too.

These are common sense techniques that sound so simple that they should not have to be said. Those of us who do follow basic safety while commuting should not have to be worried because of people who do not know how to drive a car, ride a bike, or look both ways before crossing the street. I would also recommend that the UAPD tighten up traffic enforcement particularly in the area of bicycling.

Eric Austin
engineering and physics sophomore

Underage drinking laws are important

This letter is in response to Michael Werth's Monday letter about underage drinking laws not being important. While I fully understand the desire to be able to party your tail off (I know I foolishly did it), your logic about bike theft and vandalism is seriously flawed.

The police are busting underage drinking because it is damaging to the lives of those drinking and the lives of others when minors drive home. This is not to say that those who are 21 are any less likely to drive drunk, but statistics have shown that after the drinking age was raised to 21, there were less alcohol-related deaths in this country.

Studies also show that at the age of 18, the mind is still growing and that any mind-altering substance is likely to inhibit that.

Finally, this town was here long before the sophomores and freshmen of this university, and many parties are disturbing to the community, where there may be seniors or families next door. So next time you think "the man" is coming down on you, realize that they do it for your protection and the protection of those around you.

Eric Anderson
pre-computer science senior

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