More reasons to fund stem cell research

seasoned

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Stem cell research sounds very promising, provided it is monitored, and not abused.
 

crushing

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Stories like that and a great hope are the reasons that the funding of stem cell research has grown so dramatically over the last decade.
 

MA-Caver

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I don't have a problem with stem-cell research and development. It is probably one of the things that will help make medical science take great leaps forward.
But I do think they need to find a better way to get stem-cells.
 

elder999

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But I do think they need to find a better way to get stem-cells.

And they probably will, but in the meantime, this touches on something that I've always wondered about in the past policy-why is it not okay to use embryonic stem cells for research, but somehow already okay to dispose of embryos as waste? And I'm not referring to embryos from abortions, but those that have been stored for implantation and are no longer needed.
 

Twin Fist

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adult stem cells, the ones already allowed, have a lot of promise.

no one, anywhere, has achieved anything with fetal stem cells. They dont work. Stem cell research is just a smoke screen by the pro abortion folks.
 

cdunn

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How can you tell? Researchers have put their efforts where they are permitted to work.

If you want to do research on some things with federal funding, and some things where federal funding is explicitly forbidden, you functionally required to keep two seperate facilities, with two seperate staffs. The entry barrier is functionally impassable.
 

Grenadier

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adult stem cells, the ones already allowed, have a lot of promise.

These projects have come a long way, since such cells are hearty enough to survive without severe modifications.

no one, anywhere, has achieved anything with fetal stem cells. They dont work. Stem cell research is just a smoke screen by the pro abortion folks.

Human embryonic stem cells are extremely fragile, and so far, as TF has pointed out, nobody has overcome this limitation while still keeping these cells usable. The only way such cells have been produced en masse, is by fusing them with mouse cells, rendering them unusable for human use.

The only one who even dared claim that he overcame such barriers, was Hwang Woo Suk, now the laughingstock of the world's research community, a soiled embezzler, and a national disgrace for the Republic of Korea.

Despite the lack of US government funding, regarding embryonic human stem cells, such research still had a lot of private funding to support it, and they still haven't come up with a way to stabilize such cells in a usable fashion, and neither has the rest of the world.

On a side note, it is interesting to see, that people critical of the previous administration, failed to point out that adult stem cell research projects were well-funded, and were never opposed by the Bush Administration, or any of the GOP. In fact, George W. Bush gave a strong endorsement for the funding of such projects.
 

crushing

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On a side note, it is interesting to see, that people critical of the previous administration, failed to point out that adult stem cell research projects were well-funded, and were never opposed by the Bush Administration, or any of the GOP. In fact, George W. Bush gave a strong endorsement for the funding of such projects.

Are you sure? (that was rhetorical) Because most MSM headlines make it appear the funding restriction was an outright stem cell ban that prevented any stem cell research.

Some headlines taken from a google news search:

Researchers react to lifting of stem cell research ban
What The Stem Cell Ban Means To One Scientist
Individual States Ready to Revoke The Stem Cell Ban Reversal?
MIT professors embrace stem cell bans end
Langevin will be there when Obama lifts stem cell ban
Stem Cell Ban Lift Renews Hope for Disease-Ridden
 

Flea

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Stem cell research is just a smoke screen by the pro abortion folks.


Interesting. I'm confused about it from the other end - what could be more pro-life than finding cures for intractable diseases? I'm not asking to pick a fight, it's a sincere question.
 

cdunn

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Interesting. I'm confused about it from the other end - what could be more pro-life than finding cures for intractable diseases? I'm not asking to pick a fight, it's a sincere question.

Embryonic stem cells, perforce, come from a human embryo - created en masse for a fertility treatment. Typically, these are frozen, and then implanted 2-3 at a time until 1-2 takes hold.

You then have a problem of leftovers. The next couple doesn't want them in the grand majority of cases. So, what do you do with them? Do you throw them out in the trash? Do you hold on to them in the freezer until they are no longer implantable, before throwing them out on the forlorn hope someone that's had the entire procedure bomb on them tries with them? They are potential human life - a potential that will never be realized, an honest ethical dilemma, a form of the old save the one, or save the many hypotheticals.

Meanwhile, fundamentally, the abortion question is rather similar, hinging on the answer to the question of whose rights superceed whose - the unborn's right to life against the mother's right to self determination. There is a concern that should one question be answered in one way, the other must fall in line, regardless of the differentiation between them.
 

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Embryonic stem cells, perforce, come from a human embryo - created en masse for a fertility treatment. Typically, these are frozen, and then implanted 2-3 at a time until 1-2 takes hold.

You then have a problem of leftovers. The next couple doesn't want them in the grand majority of cases. So, what do you do with them? Do you throw them out in the trash? Do you hold on to them in the freezer until they are no longer implantable, before throwing them out on the forlorn hope someone that's had the entire procedure bomb on them tries with them? They are potential human life - a potential that will never be realized, an honest ethical dilemma, a form of the old save the one, or save the many hypotheticals.

Meanwhile, fundamentally, the abortion question is rather similar, hinging on the answer to the question of whose rights superceed whose - the unborn's right to life against the mother's right to self determination. There is a concern that should one question be answered in one way, the other must fall in line, regardless of the differentiation between them.

To me, the whole stem cell/abortion association thing is a clear-cut example that our legislation is not very effective when it comes to moral gray areas; areas where certain situations are defined differently by different people.

Fundamental questions like "what's your definition of life?" come into play.

I think stem cell research should be fully funded, researched, and implemented within the medical community. History has shown that medical research isn't always for the queasy or the morally-inclined; but great strides can come from it.
 

Empty Hands

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no one, anywhere, has achieved anything with fetal stem cells. They dont work.

Don't work because they don't work, or don't work because we haven't figured out yet how to make them work?

Empirical research is always the answer.
 

Twin Fist

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the REST OF THE ENTIRE WORLD has been able to work with fetal stem cells

they have produced NOTHING

Bush supported ADULT stem cell research, and it has achieved a LOT

the press makes it SOUND like Bush blocked ALL stem cell research, which is an outright LIE

why waste money looking into fetal stem cells, which DONT WORK when you can look into adult stem cells, which DO and do not require the destruction of any embryos?
 

Bill Mattocks

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I agree with Twin Fist that the embryonic stem cell controversy has been severely manipulated by the press.

President Bush banned federal funding - not research. Several states voted to fund it anyway. Other nations have also funded it.

If you read headlines, it does appear that the press reports that President Obama changed President Bush's policy forbidding stem cell research, but there was never any such ban. President Bush even permitted the ongoing use of the few embryonic stem cell lines that had already been created, but many scientists complained that the number was insufficient and had been accidentally contaminated.

To date, nothing has come of embryonic stem cell research. That is not to say nothing ever will - but that just that nothing has so far.

TF is also correct that there have been treatments and cures found for diseases using adult stem and cord blood cells.

In addition, scientists have since discovered a number of ways to manipulate adult stem cells to become embryonic cells again. Some scientists say that more work is necessary for this to be useful, but it has been done.

So I agree with TF that there is probably another agenda at work here. When Michigan recently had a plebescite on embryonic stem cell research, I was approached a number of times by volunteers seeking my signature to put it on the ballot. When I refused, I was verbally abused and accused of 'wanting people to die'.

I'm not sure I'm against embryonic stem cell research, but it is against my religion (sometimes I go along with my religion and sometimes I don't). I am somewhat suspicious of the motives of those who have pushed this so hard. I don't know what it is they want.

However, apparently the majority of people in the US are in favor of allowing federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.
 

Empty Hands

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why waste money looking into fetal stem cells, which DONT WORK when you can look into adult stem cells, which DO and do not require the destruction of any embryos?

1) totipotency
2) no proliferation limit
3) no immune reaction

Why does it not shock me in the slightest that you haven't reviewed the relevant literature before spouting off? Here is a review discussing ES cell derived endothelial cell therapy for vascular disease. Here is a review discussing the same thing for heart disease. There have also been a variety of promising results in experimental models, which other reviews discuss. You can use that website to search on your own if you like.

Furthermore, ES cells are an important topic of research all on their own, apart from therapeutic purposes. They provide important insights into early cellular development, transcriptional control patterns, differentiation, and far more.

No one is saying that adult stem cells shouldn't be used. However, for some purposes, they will be unsuitable. Don't halt science and medicine for the sake of clumps of cells which haven't even reached the blastula stage, and which will die anyway.

Seriously, this is what is being destroyed. Does it look like a person to you?
embryo1.gif
 

crushing

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Seriously, this is what is being destroyed. Does it look like a person to you?

Looks can be deceiving. My eyes aren't trained, so that might be a dog or mouse rather than a person and I wouldn't know it. A DNA test would tell us more than looking at it.
 

cdunn

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Bill, the problem that the researchers have is this: The underlying science is interconnected. Without the basic research, which typically comes out of academia, we are dealt massive setbacks in the ability to push forward towards the ultimate goal - the in situ cloning of your own, or otherwise immune-compatible flesh as necessary.

I went poking through Google scholar. Well... Take a look for yourself at how the research propagates. That one simple paper was used to build the foundation for eighty four other projects, some of which further extend our knowledge, some of which lead to direct attempts to make treatments. Many of those other extensions will further lead to direct attempts to make treatments. We will learn, and we will do it most quickly and most effectively if we are not hogtied.

This is the essence of the 'agenda'. Many people are confused about the issue, and do not understand the underlying way that the knowledge learned by scientists works together. But, they do understand that there is tremendous promise in the science, and they want it realized as soon as possible. They want themselves and their family and friends relieved of suffering.

As I mentioned above, there is a real ethical question at the root of the debate. At some point, society will have to come to a consensus of what is allowed in the arena, what is disallowed, and much more importantly, why, so that we can apply those ethics.

As a personal opinion, I believe that the research should move forwards. The benefit to society far outweighs the "lives" of unfeeling, unknowing lumps of cells, already ordained to death.

(Cross posted with EH. Thank you, sir.)
 

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