Tough Cell

Joel Pett is the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist of the Lexington Herald-Leader. His work also appears in USA Today.

Life may be fleeting, but the debate over it runs in eternal media circles.

Over the last year, actor Christopher Reeve's death engendered stem cell debate, which gave way to the South Korean cloning story, then to the Schiavo fiasco, the Kansas creationism trial, the pro-life judges meltdown, and now … more stem cell debates. All against a global backdrop of hunger, war, inhumanity and epidemics of diseases for which we already know the cure.

Cartoonists tend to regard opposition to stem cell research as some blasto-Sisyphean exercise in futility, but Gary Varvel of the Indianapolis Star takes a more ethereal view. And both Signe Wilkinson and Nick Anderson remind us that California plays a leading role in the debate because of Alzheimer's icon Ronald Reagan and the state's recently passed stem cell research initiative.

State funding aside, U.S. scientists continue to flee the country to pursue cures for the most devastating and intractable diseases. Maybe as they do, they'll pass incoming Islamic terrorist cells armed with biological weapons.

Gotta go! I think that's the nucleus, if not the fully formed and viable embryo, of my next cartoon.

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