Sunday, June 12, 2005

Stem Cells

There's lots of dishonest criticism of Bush for "stopping stem cell research" or somesuch. This just isn't true.

All that was done was to restrict taxpayer funds from being used in the creation of NEW embryonic stem cell lines, as that requires the destructino of an embryo.

Federal funds can, and are, being used to study the EXISTING embryonic stem cell lines.

Federal funds can, and are, being used to create and study adult stem cell lines.

As far as I've heard, so far, adult stem cell research is very promising, with some actual successes in disease treatment. There are clinical trials underway at this moment.

Current work with embryonic stem cells hasn't gone so well, as they tend to turn to cancer instead of into the regenerated, functional cells we'd like them to. Thus, this line of research has not progressed yet to clinical trials.

From the Whitehouse webpage, someone asks:
1)Why do you stand against Stem-Cell research when it has greatpossibilites for health?

2)Why can't you at least give a chance?
Margaret Spellings, assistant to the President on Domestic Policy, answers:
President Bush is not opposed to stem cell research. To the contrary -- he is the first President to support Federal Funding for embryonic stem cell research.

There are many different kinds of stem cell research, all of which are important to studying disease. Last year, the NIH provided over half a billion dollars for all forms of stem cell research. He has asked NIH to establish Centers of Excellence for stem cell research, which give scientists in this area extra support, and his Administration is establishing a Stem Cell registry, to make sure that scientists can get access to embryonic stem cells quickly.

In fact, more than 500 shipments of eligible stem cell lines have been sent to researchers for this important work. 3,500 shipments, from 22 different genetically distinct lines, are still available.

The President has said only that researchers using taxpayer funds cannot use the funds for research that requires the destruction of an additional human embryo. Researchers can use private funds for any form of stem cell research.

Moreover, many scientists focus on stem cell research that does not require the destruction of a human embryo because it uses cells from placental tissue or bone marrow. This type of stem cell research has already produced treatments for disease, and there are clinical trials underway on new treatments for diseases like parkinsons, multiple sclerosis, and leukemia.

I should also note that stem cells are just one of the many areas scientists are studying for possible cures and treatments for diabetes. Since President Bush took office, funding for all forms of diabetes research has increased by $336 million dollars -- a 49% increase.
But, yous till get celebrities and pundits using the stem cell issue to bash the administration because religious conservatives hate crippled people or something.

Due to biased reporting, voters favor funding embryonic stem cell research, to the tune of $6 billion in California, for example. It's a boondoggle.

Anti-Bush partisans are afraid if they admit there might be a teensie-weensie ethical issue with destroying a viable embryo, that suddenly abortion will be outlawed.

So, they lie and mislead:
"This is only a political sidestep. Adult-stem-cell research holds no real promise that I can see. It's not usable."
That is from Steve Brozak, who is not a scientist, but rather
is running for Congress in New Jersey as a Democrat.
But recently, there may have been a breakthrough they can't ignore:
Scientists at Australia's Griffith University have engineered a breakthrough in the field of adult stem cell research that's so significant, say experts, that it could render the debate over embryonic stem cell research moot.

The results of the four-year research project showed that olfactory stem cells can be turned into heart cells, brain cells, nerve cells – indeed, almost any kind of cell in the body – without the problems of rejection or tumors forming, a common side effect with embryonic stem cells.
The breakthrough, first announced two months ago, has been largely ignored by the U.S. media, which has focused on embryonic stem cell research as the only option to cure debilitating ailments like Hodgkin's, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.

As a result of the lopsided press coverage, California voters passed a $6 billion referendum to fund embryonic stem cell research last November, with similar programs proposed around the U.S. - though embryonic stem cell research has yet to show any significant medical progress.

In Australia, however, the medical community is excited over Mackay-Sim's adult stem cell breakthrough.
Unlike embryonic stem cells, which reportedly can trigger tumors in one in five cases at the point of injection, adult stem cells grow in a controlled fashion and don't revert to their original tissue form.

Another significant benefit: Because adult stem cells can be harvested from the patient, there's no risk of the body rejecting them as alien, eliminating the need for immune system-suppressing drugs.

Still, two months after Australia's adult stem cell breakthrough was first announced, it has played little or no role in the ongoing U.S. debate over government funding for embryonic stem cell research.

"One of the complicating factors is that a lot of people have a lot of money tied up in embryonic stem cells," noted Australia's Catholic Archbishop George Pell, who helped secure funding for the Mackay-Sim project.
Talk about being ignored, here's a discussion of the adult stem cell initial breakthroughs in New Scientist, three and a half years ago!

The media are such useless, biased fools.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,I am working at a company (Vescell) that is currently treating no-option heart disease patients with adult stem cells (We've treated several patients from the US this year). These are not trials! Our adult stem cell therapy works! We draw about 250cc of blood from the patient's arm and in about one week, expand enough Endothelial Progenitor Cells to be able to treat the patient via catheter implantation into the coronary artery, thoracoscopic implantation into the heart, or direct implantation during a CABG procedure. These cells are not rejected by the body because they are the patient's own cells!Dr. Amit Patel from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center was just in Thailand using our therapy to treat one of his patients from America but for some reason, all this news falls upon deaf ears in the States. This treatment is proven and effective unlike embryonic stem cells which as of right now seem to have no practical uses only this "potential" that everyone keeps talking about. When will the US media wake up and smell the coffee? It is frustrating that many lives can be improved and many lives can be saved, but nobody knows about us or similar companies like us.

4:05 AM, June 16, 2005  

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