(c) 2000 Dr Hendel; 1st appeared in Torah Forum (c) Project Genesis

Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2000 22:09:55 -0500 (EST)
From: Russell Hendel <  rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu>
Subject: Re: Torah And Genetics

QUESTION: What is the Torah's perspective on DNA research to prolong life.

ANSWER:  I recently had the privelege of hearing
Rabbi Dr Tendler speak at the 3rd international conference on Torah and

He described the latest breakthrus which he said was completely permissable
according to Judaism (He also indicated how the Church opposed it and how
the Church had forced the US to stop government funding of such projects;
the result he said is that the lead for these projects is now being done by
the private sector)

Rabbi Tendler basically explained the progress as follows: There is a
certain type of cell called the MAST cell which does not have a specialized
function. If you place it in the heart it will grow like a heart cell and
if you place it in the skin it will grow like a skin cell. This will enable
curing bad diseases.

MAST cells for each individual can be obtained by cloning a cell of the
person and terminating the embryo at the 144 cell stage (before it has life
status and while the cells are still undifferentiated). Such cells are the
same type as the person and will not trigger antiimmune responses Thus we
have a perfect setup to create mast cells, inject them in bad organs and
cure them.

He said the Torah approved such research and that it is actively being
pursued by several private sectors.

Russell Hendel; Math; Towson University
Moderator Rashi Is Simple, http://www.shamash.org/rashi/