From Our Readers

Stem Cell Research I rarely comment on your articles; I’ve grown accustomed to the consistently fine quality of Awake! However, I feel compelled to write and say that the series “Stem Cells​—Has Science Gone Too Far?” (November 22, 2002) is a flagship example of excellent writing on subjects difficult to understand. There has been so much in the media about stem cell research that the facts have proved difficult to piece together. Your articles explained things clearly while keeping in focus the moral, ethical, and social issues.

K. M., United States

Peer Pressure Thank you so much for the article “Young People Ask . . . Peer Pressure​—Is It Really All That Powerful?” (November 22, 2002) I never thought of myself as one influenced by peer pressure. But where I live, many are getting married very young. I had always wanted to stay single a while and develop into a spiritual young woman. But people would come up to me and ask, “When are you getting married?” (I’m only 16.) I began to think that maybe it was wrong for me to be single! This article helped me to see how powerful peer pressure really is.

E. A., United States

Flood Relief Thank you very much for the article “Love in Action​—A Marathon Relief Effort.” (November 22, 2002) I was surprised to learn how great the flood damage was in Houston, Texas. I did not know about the sorrowful conditions that my Christian brothers and sisters there were facing. The well-organized relief work has given me a foregleam of how the earth will be returned to a beautiful state after Armageddon.

M. I., Japan

Genetic Code I would like to draw attention to the way the term “genetic code” is used in your publication. For example, in the article “How Did the Universe and Life Originate?” (June 8, 2002), you speak of “the recent mapping of the human genetic code.” As a biologist, I would like to point out that such usage of that term is inaccurate.

A. R., Russia

“Awake!” responds: Strictly speaking, our reader is correct. Scientists do not use the term “genetic code” to describe the genes themselves. Rather, the code refers to the mechanism or set of rules that allows cells to “read” or decode the genes and produce proteins. Nevertheless, “Awake!” is directed to the general public​—not to scientists. In popular usage the term “genetic code” is often given a broader, nontechnical application.

Wastewater As the chief operator of a wastewater plant, I was extremely pleased to read the article “Where Does the Water Go?” (October 8, 2002) Wastewater treatment saves millions upon millions of people from pathogenic infections. In the past, typhoid, cholera, and other waterborne diseases ran rampant worldwide. Interestingly, modern wastewater treatment is a natural process, often using little or no chemical additives. In my plant ultraviolet light is used to disinfect treated wastewater. Thanks for showing the lifesaving process of wastewater treatment.

E. P., United States

Amber I really appreciated the article “Captured in a Golden Teardrop.” (September 22, 2002) I must admit that I never used to pay any attention to amber. But since reading this article, every time I walk past a jewelry shop, I cannot stop myself from looking closely at the details of this marvel​—something that I used to think was ordinary and without charm.

F. L., France