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What I learned today #1: About bioethics

There’s a word for taking animal’s body parts and implanting them into humans for medicinal purposes, like taking a pig’s or a cow’s heart valves and doing heart surgery with them. It’s xenotransplantation.

I had never heard of that word before.

I learned it in tonight’s church small group lesson. We’re going through a worldview curriculum called “Understanding the Times” (already somewhat familiar to me) and started the bioethics videos tonight.

Xenotransplantation is just one of the several bioethical issues that will be coming up here soon. Another is a combination of nanotechnology and artificial intelligence.

As the video speaker pointed out: What’s scarier than invisible robots that can think like you? Not much.

This new series of random observations is inspired jointly by my sister and my dad. Abby suggested that I blog about stuff I learned each day, and Dad used to ask me and my siblings every night at dinner—“what did you learn today?” We often responded with “nothing,” but after reminders from Mom we would launch into an excited description of some science factoid or historical story we had encountered for the first time that day. I’ve tried to be attentive to everyday learning opportunities ever since.


mafia said…
Oh, I already knew about this stuff...I guess it comes with the field. Did you know that Grandpa had heart valve replacement surgery with pig valves?
Sarah said…
Figures you'd already know this stuff. No, didn't know he did. Wait, which Grandpa?
Guitarlady said…
Paternal grandpa.
LittleChai said…
Interesting that it should be called "xenotransplantation" as xenophobia is the fear of new things (or things that are foreign/strange)....and xenophilia...well, you can guess what that is.
Sarah said…
Mom: OK. That's who I was thinking because I didn't remember your dad having heart surgery.

Alicia: Yeah, all from the same Greek root. Xeno = foreign. Cool, huh?

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