73 Essays on Infinite Lifespans   Michael D. West and turned into cells that repopulate our blood with young immune cells, or cells that can re-seed our blood vessels with fresh young cells, or indeed young cells of any kind to treat a vast array of currently untreatable diseases. HEATED CONTROVERSY Despite the good intentions of researchers in this emerging field of regenerative medicine, these technologies have been at the center of one of the most heated controversies in the his- tory of science. The raging controversy over embryonic stem cells and cloning has deeply divided our nation, and the stem cells’ profound implications for battling the manifestations of age-related degenerative disease have raised concerns that mankind may be meddling in technologies that will anger the gods themselves. In the face of lives molded and bounded by death, we are forced to choose our own position on these new technologies. In the summer of 1999, as I stood with my mother in a small hospital room, I knew my position in the debate. I would do anything to save the life of my mother – anything, that is, short of harming an actual human being. And I had strong reasons to believe that therapeutic cloning would not have to create an individualized human being, even at the earliest states of development. I would risk my life, my finances, my reputation; I would give anything to help her. DEATH IS THE ENEMY My mother’s pulse continued its downward glide – 90, 80, 20, 10, 8… I thought to myself, her heart was solid; I would never have worried that she would have died of heart failure.