Obligatory Stem Cell research post

Your take on Bush’s veto on government funding of stem cell research? I come down quite conservative in this debate.

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0 Responses to Obligatory Stem Cell research post

  1. Jon Wright says:

    What is stem cell research?

    What are stem cells?

    Are there different types of stem cells?

    These are some questions we should answer early on in a discussion about stem cell research.

  2. Jon says:

    Wikipedia has good info on the above questions.

    It has been observed that both proponents and detractors of the embryonic stem-cell research debate hold “life” in high regard. While the detractors of said research advocate a preservation of life and therefore oppose the harvesting of embryonic cells from aborted fetuses, proponents of the research seek to preserve and extend life, but more-so towards it’s prolonging.
    I have not done enough research to comment confidently on whether or not effective stem cell research may be done on stem cells derived from sources other than embyros, however, I still find the consideration of the practice of abortion to be barbaric, and subsequently, the practice
    of harvesting cells from those terminated lives to be a furthering of such barbary.
    I also put forward that this need not necessarily be a republican/democrat/independent issue as former President Bill Clinton signed into effect the Dickey Amendment in 1995 which prohibited the federal funding of the following practices:

    (1) the creation of a human embryo or embryos for research purposes; or
    (2) research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for research on fetuses in utero.

  3. Jon Wright says:

    Yes, I know this is long, but I couldn’t help myself.

    The questions I stated are easy to find an answer to if one searches for them. However, it has been my experience in my discussions with others concerning stem cell research (hereafter SCR) that people do not fully understand the basics. There are indeed different sources of stem cells (this should be old news to anyone who has even briefly considered this topic on their own). When this topic is discussed in the media, crucial adjectives are left out without which terms and discussion of SCR is misleading and confusing. From this omission the viewer is lead to assume that when people say they are against SCR, they are against it — period — and that they thus are against the health which can be gained from SCR. But this is not the case. Those that are said to be against SCR are actually only opposed to embryonic SCR; in fact, I know nor have heard of anyone ever being opposed to SCR. This is my “bone” that I have to pick with the media — they don’t always tell the whole story…but then again, how much can you tell in “Around the World in 80 Seconds”?

    The types of SCR are in two broad catagories: adult (hereafter ASC) and embryonic (hereafter ESC). ASC’s are found in virtually all tissues of the body and can be harvested without injury to the person they are harvested from. ESC’s come from early embryos (within the first month of development) and the death of the child (I will not get into the abortion debate, but at least I can say that ESC harvesting possibly kills a human while there are no moral objections to ASC harvesting) is necessary for the harvest of the stem cells.

    to be continued… (I think my post is too large to post in one entry)

  4. Jon Wright says:

    A question one should also ask is: What are the advantages of one type of SCR over the other? The advantage of ESC is their supposed unlimited growth and potential to form all tissues. ASC’s are currently more stable and controllable and can be harvested from willing donors. My next question is: which types of SCR are actively advancing the cause of medicine? (Yes yes, i know that is a leading question, but it must be asked)

    It is interesting to note that ASC’s have been used to cure human patients for over a decade now while ESC’s can only promise to one day do so. ESC’s are very uncontrollable and unpredictable; when they are used in experimental animals, they sometimes form tumors and unwanted tissues which ultimately worsen the patient’s condition — even leading to death. The research in mice over the last 25 years have yielded questionable results about the safeness and effectiveness of ESC’s. Indeed, the calls for ESC’s to be used in research funded by the government are scientifically unjustified in light of the evidence. Such calls are simply playing on the ignorance and hopes of the vulnerable with empty promises for political and philosophical gain.

    to be continued…again…

  5. Jon Wright says:

    ASC’s on the other hand have shown themselves to be very useful, though you won’t hear this on the news (no, not even FoxNews — right of left can still be left). Diabetes, Parkinsons, stroke, heart disease, spinal cord injury have been successfully treated in animal patients. In human patients ASC’s have shown themselves helpful for: Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, sickle cell anemia, repairing cartilage damage, growing new corneas to restore sight to blind patients, growing new blood vessels to rescue legs from gangrene, repairing heart damage, alleviating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, restoring movement to spinal cord injury patients. (For more, go here: http://bioethics.gov/reports/stemcell/appendix_k.html) The methods which lead to these acheviements are continuing to advance which ESC is still at the starting line speculating to the new reporters about how he is going to win the race.

    to be continued…again… ( i would like to file a formal complaint to the administrator)

  6. Jon Wright says:

    In light of this, you might rightly ask yourself: Why is the advances made by ASC’s marginalized while the use of ESC’s advanced with such great zeal? I mean, if there are other options that are not morally questionable and are delivering on the promises that ESC research can only promise, then why aren’t people pushing that research? I like how Dr. David A. Prentice put it. He said, “It may be surprising to know that there have been hundreds of quiet advances in adult stem cell research while the loud praise heaped on embryonic stem cells lacks scientific credibility.” But why is it that we hear only the praises and moral obligation to use ESC’s while we hear nothing of the amazing and numerous advances of ASC’s? I know the answers to my above questions — but that is a discussion for another time.

    The End…for now…

  7. Scott says:

    The reason we don’t hear about these distinctions (ESC/ASC) is that it takes too long to explain the difference (see above posts). It’s much easier to lump all stem cell research into one category and try to make it a polarizing issue for the sake of a top story.

    Dr. Tony Atala and his team at WFU Health Sciences grow organs from Adult Stem Cells, and they’ve done some amazing stuff in clinical and preclinical trials. http://www.wfirm.org

    It’s unfortunate that ESC are presented as a panacea that could end all suffering if conservatives weren’t so afraid of science.

  8. Brad Roehrenbeck says:

    so much passive voice…

  9. Scott says:

    I only used one verb in the passive voice (not that there’s anything wrong with the passive voice) Let me rephrase: It’s unfortunate that ‘insert nominative plural here’ present ESC as a panacea…

  10. Derek Lidbom says:

    Maybe he meant all the people who usually comment on these things are choosing to voice their comments passively (by not voicing) on this topic.

  11. Brad Roehrenbeck says:

    you’re both wrong. I’ll leave it at that…

  12. Brad Roehrenbeck says:

    So I should clarify. I was kind of shooting from the hip with the initial comment and shouldn’t have made it to begin with. The second comment was me trying to back out of it without seeming like I was attacking anyone personally (which was not my intent). I apologize for interrupting what could and should be a very important conversation. Sometimes I can be a jerk. Derek, Scott, and Jon, please accept my apology.

  13. Brad R says:

    Happy Birthday Derek!!!!!!!!!!!! Wooooooooooooohooooooooooooooooo!!!

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