A few weeks ago the UK granted its first license for human cloning for stem cell research. \nContrary to the claims of many, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that embryonic stem cell research has more potential to lead to viable treatments for various diseases than research with non-embryonic stem cells. \nThere is, however, strong evidence to suggest that the opposite is true. \nLeading stem cell researchers Robert Lanza and Nadia Rosenthal have concluded that embryonic stem cells pose the problem of spontaneously differentiating into a hodgepodge of tissue types. They need "coaxing" to differentiate into the desired cell types. \nIn addition, embryonic stem cells carry the likelihood of immune rejection in humans, which makes embryonic stem cell research an extremely dangerous -- if not impossible -- prospect. \nIt is little wonder that no therapies for humans using embryonic stem cells have ever been successfully carried out. It is also becoming clear that cloning is the only viable method of overcoming these restrictions. \nHowever, efforts to produce live animals through cloning have also met with an unusually high rate of deformities and mortality. \nTests using human adult stem cells, however, have produced significant and encouraging results in the areas of Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injury, cardiovascular disease, sickle-cell anemia and dozens of other conditions -- without posing any moral problem. \nOn a biological level, the pre-natal being is unlike any other tissue: it is human, with its own DNA. As such it has all the same fundamental rights as any other human being. \nIn light of these facts the cry should be not for an increase in federal funding for embryonic stem cells, but rather an aggressive expansion of adult stem cell research. \nPaul Kokoski \nOntario, Canada
As China pushes the world to avoid official dealings with Taiwan, leaders across the globe are realizing just how dependent they have become on the democratic nation. Taiwan is being courted for its capacity to make leading-edge computer chips. That is mostly down to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the world’s largest foundry and go-to producer of chips for Apple Inc smartphones, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing. Taiwan’s role in the world economy largely existed below the radar, until it came to recent prominence as the auto industry suffered shortfalls in chips used for everything from parking sensors to reducing emissions. With automakers
If social media interaction is any yardstick, India remained one of the top countries for Taiwan last year. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has on several occasions expressed enthusiasm to strengthen cooperation with India, one of the 18 target nations in her administration’s New Southbound Policy. The past year was instrumental in fostering Taiwan-India ties and will be remembered for accelerated momentum in bilateral relations. However, most of it has been confined to civil society circles. Even though Taiwan launched its southbound policy in 2016, the potential of Taiwan-India engagement remains underutilized. It is crucial to identify what is obstructing greater momentum
In memory of Diane Baker: one of the last working dance journalists, a true dance aficionado and dear friend. On Friday, through a mutual friend, I received the shocking news that dance critic Diane Baker had passed away suddenly at her apartment in Tianmu, Taipei. The news quickly spread, and messages of concern quickly swarmed in from the dance community in Taiwan and abroad. Her sister Sharon in the US later confirmed that Diane died of a heart attack on Wednesday last week. She was 65. Diane was a dear friend to Taiwan’s dance community. Her frequent appearance at dance performances in
A full year after an outbreak of a novel coronavirus was detected in Wuhan, the Chinese government last week finally relented to international pressure and granted access to a team of scientists from the WHO to investigate the origins of the disease. However, serious questions remain about whether the team would be able to carry out its investigation, free from the meddling hand of the Chinese state: The signs do not bode well. The team was originally due to arrive at the beginning of this month; however, their visas were abruptly canceled while several of its members were already in transit.