Jun. 9th, 2003

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"Golf. The best way to ruin a good walk."

I think Sir Winston might have had something there. After an appalling outing at Ardsley, I think I may have to avoid the annual game with the Capitol AMA's this year. Much of my field's professional standing is linked heavily to golf, no doubt to the chagrin of the person being operated on by a third rate neurosurgeon but a first rate short gamesman. As long as he replaces the divots, I assume.

So many attacks of conscience in the last few days. A Clinton tell-all book, a celebrity indictment, and a retiring general over an unfortunate brunch. Really, so much to learn about in the world, and so few really looking at things.

My former associates have let slip that the final links to Stryker's failed program have been purged from the system. No doubt the oversight committee will continue to hound the Pentagon on the details, but for naught. I wonder if anyone has considered following the shift of research personnel? There are a limited number of truly skilled researchers in the field, and even fewer under military contract.

Memo: Contact Colonel Abraham B. Cornelius about old friends. Let's see who's got a brand new bag, so to speak.

I received a letter by IOMS yesterday, asking me to consider a symposium in Kuwait early next year on cloning. The IOMS convened a seminar in 1983 on "Reproduction in Islam", in which two papers were presented dealing with the possibility of human cloning as a result of successful cloning in plants, frogs and small marine animals. The Seminar made the following recommendation: "To exercise prudence in giving a Shari'ah- based opinion on human cloning (as achieved in animals) and to call for further medical and Islamic investigation of these issues. It would be possible to apply genetic engineering of micro-organisms using the recombinant DNA technology to produce medicinal substances in abundant supply ." I'm afraid the topic hasn't developed much in examination since.

Islam has a very real interest in cloning from an agricultural prospective. The arid lands of the Middle East, save for fertile bands around the four great rivers, could benefit greatly from genetically modified food plants and cloning to augment their breeding stocks. Islamic communities in Asia face similar pressures, especially given the nature of the Pan-Pacific belt. However, the often contradictory strictures of the Quran have created a wide rift in their scientific community on whether it is right to do so, and if so, under what conditions?

I hear that Kuwait lacks golf courses. I should consider this.

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Dr. Nathaniel Essex

April 2013

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