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Embryonic Stem Cells Unnecessary for Medical Progress

Embryonic Stem Cells Unnecessary for Medical Progress

Reporting on new research by Dr. Donald Orlic of the National Institutes of Health and others, indicating that adult bone marrow stem cells can help repair, and restore function in, damaged hearts: “Until now, researchers thought that stem cells from embryos offered the best hope for rebuilding damaged organs, but this latest research shows that the embryos, which are politically controversial, may not be necessary. ‘We are currently finding that these adult stem cells can function as well, perhaps even better than, embryonic stem cells,’ Orlic said.”

– “Approach may repair heart damage,” MSNBC, March 30, 2001 (

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“Umbilical cords discarded after birth may offer a vast new source of repair material for fixing brains damaged by strokes and other ills, free of the ethical concerns surrounding the use of fetal tissue, researchers said Sunday.”

– “Umbilical cords could repair brains,” Associated Press, February 20, 2001

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“PPL Therapeutics, the company that cloned Dolly the sheep, has succeeded in ‘reprogramming’ a cell — a move that could lead to the development of treatments for diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The Scotland-based group will today announce that it has turned a cow’s skin cell into a beating heart cell and is close to starting research on humans… The PPL announcement…will be seen as an important step towards producing stem cells without using human embryos.”

– “PPL follows Dolly with cell breakthrough,” Financial Times, February 23, 2001

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“[O]rgan-specific adult stem cells appear to display much more plasticity than originally thought. Stem cells isolated from one tissue can differentiate into a variety of unrelated cell types and tissues… These findings raise the exciting possibility of using bone marrow transplantation to treat a wide variety of disorders, such as muscular dystrophies, Parkinson disease, stroke, and hepatic failure.”

– E. Kaji and J. Leiden, “Gene and Stem Cell Therapies,” Journal of the American Medical Association, February 7, 2001, p. 547

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“[S]ince adult bone marrow has recently been found to contain stem cells of previously unrecognized ‘plasticity’ that are able to form a variety of types of cell — muscle, liver, neural, bone, cartilage, endothelial, and perhaps others — it may be possible to use marrow stem cells in cytotherapeutic approaches to a wide spectrum of diseases, such as cardiac disorders, muscular dystrophy, liver disease, neurodegenerative conditions, and joint diseases.

A Tale of Two Cities Essays: Irony

Irony in A Tale of Two Cities

Someone once said “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This is a compelling message upon which many writers have built their literature. One effective work which employs this theme is A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens. This novel is set in Paris and London during the late eighteenth century. During this period, France was engaged in a revolution in which the otherwise common man rose up against the country’s aristocracy. In its outset, the novel reveals the motives behind the plebeians’ actions. Dickens focuses upon the strife the townspeople experience at the hands of the merciless nobility. By the novel’s end, however, Dickens achieves an about-face. The working class wields its new source of power to reek vengeance upon the aristocracy. In an ironic twist, Dickens displays how power can corrupt those even were once threatened by it.

To convince the reader of the oppression the townspeople face, Dickens employs motifs. By providing a reoccurring phrase, the reader gains a sense of the distress which makes up every aspect of their lives. On such example of this is as follows:

“Hunger was pushed out of the tall houses, in the wretched clothing that hung upon poles and lines; Hunger was patched into them with straw and rag and wood and paper; Hunger was repeated in every fragment of the small modicum of firewood that the man sawed off; Hunger stared down from the smokeless chimneys, and started up from the filthy street that had no offal, among its refuse, of anything to eat. Hunger was the inscription on the baker’s shelves, written in every small loaf of his scanty stock of bad bread; at the sausage-shop, in every dead-dog preparation that was offered…

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…nd the reader. One man in particular approaches Darnay. The narrator says,

“‘In the name of the assembled companions in misfortune,’ said a gentleman of courtly appearance and address, coming forward, ‘I have the honour of giving you welcome to La Force [Prison], and of condoling with you on the calamity that has brought you among us. May it soon terminate happily!'” (p. 254-255).

Remarkablely, Dickens succeeds in turning the merciless noblemen into martyrs.

The ironic role reversal is very effective in displaying Dickens’ theme. People naturally try to find a protagonist and antagonist in any story. The reader soon becomes perplexed, until finally she decides that it is simply human nature to both abuse positions of power and require them in society.

Works Cited:

Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. London: Orion Publishing Group, 1994.

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