Hilzoy on stem cells and primate pets

Why Somatic Cell Nuclear Transplant isn’t growing babies for spare parts, and why humans shouldn’t keep other primates as pets.

Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings combines a wonderful takedown of Charles Krauthammer and George W. Bush (which Brad DeLong quotes extensively) with an equally wonderful non-technical account of just exactly what it is that stem cells promise and that the Bush policy would forbid, an acute analysis of the politics of the problem, and a very sober and reflective meditation on the ethical issues involved. Instead of satisfying yourself with Brad’s except, I strongly recommend that you read the whole thing. It looks as if Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) ought to be in everyone’s vocabulary; I know it wasn’t in mine.

And while she’s at it, Hilzoy has a very convincing essay on why humans shouldn’t keep other primates as pets, and why, therefore, the interstate traffic in pet monkeys ought to be stopped. I have no independent knowledge of the question, but she sure persuaded me.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com