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Posted: 2/22/2006 6:41:05 PM EDT
The topic of Stem Cell Research was brought up in the "Abortion is not Murder" thread, and seemed deserving of its own topic.

I chose the religion board because this topic will eventually go there. I'm not trolling for a fight, I genuinely believe stem cells could revolutionize medicine.

My position: Donated fetuses are already dead. Research away. Selling fetuses should not be legal, it would create a black market.

Please keep this civil, we're doing alright so far in "abortion".

Link Posted: 2/22/2006 6:47:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/22/2006 6:50:37 PM EDT by Rodent]
Concur. It's the biological breakthrough of the century. America had the lead, and we gave it away because of the misguided ignorance of those who would rather see embryos thrown away than used to help living, sentient people. We're not even talking fetus's here, we're talking pinhead-sized clusters of undifferentiated cells.
Link Posted: 2/22/2006 7:19:39 PM EDT
Well, it seems to be a much more popular opinion than I would have thought.

They must have all seen that South Park episode.

Link Posted: 2/22/2006 8:49:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/22/2006 8:50:54 PM EDT by WildBoar]
I dont see why stem cell research and abortion have to go hand in hand like some wish it too. I have seen some good stuff on stem cells from adults.

As far as infants? I guess if the mother wished it to be an organ donor. If thats possible, then I dont have a problem with them using a miscarried child to further medical research. The fetus is not an organ and is not a part of the mother, its a separate entity. I guess that will make the whole organ donor thing tricky. I wonder if parents can pick if their children can be organ donors?

If one of my children died and if they can save the life of another child with his organs, by all means take them.

As far as using aborted fetuses? I am against it. Plenty of miscarries infants to be used
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 3:06:52 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 8:05:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By VA-gunnut:
Not my area of expertise at all, but wouldn't a miscarried fetus indicate something was wrong with the fetus? Since the mothers body refected the fetus, isn't it possible that the stem cells wouldd be useless?



I'm not sure. I think the whole idea of a stem cell is that it's a pure cell, it hasn't turned into a specialized one yet. Even if other cells were damaged or useless, I think a stem cell by its nature is pretty worry-free?

Link Posted: 2/23/2006 12:02:50 PM EDT
We have to distinguish between what kind of stem cells we're talking about.

To date, as of 3:53pm February 23, 2006 there has not been a SINGLE cure brought about by any embryonic stem cell line. NOT ONE.

But there has been dozens of diseases and maladies cured outright by ADULT stem cells (harvested from a sick person's own body) and umbillical cord blood (from a delievered baby).

For example, my newest son was born about a year ago. We harvested his stem cells present in his umbillical cord - a mass of tissue that up to only a few years ago was regarded as useless waste.

Those cells are now in Liquid nitrogen storage... they're 100% matches to his DNA and 25% matches to his siblings.... i.e. the likelihood of rejection is reduced.

Whereas harvesting a dead persons' stem cells, especially from someone NOT RELATED TO YOU is the chief hurdle all embryonic stem cell researchers are facing because of the body's natural rejection reflex.

For example - organ receipiants must take immune suppressing drugs for a long time post surgery because the donated organs aren't their own and aren't thus DNA matches. Obviously with your immune system down you are susceptible to other bugs.

So here's the final analysis.... adult and umbillical cord blood stem cells don't involve killing anyone and they are CURRENTLY CURING PEOPLE.

But embyronic stem cells are not - which is why there's no PRIVATE SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR THIS TYPE OF RESEARCH AND HENCE IT NEEDS GOVERNMENT MONEY.

Doesn't it ever occur to you that oil or energy or pharma companies have no problem getting billions of dollars for their various projects? It's not like there isn't money out there for medical research. It's that the private funders want results and EMBRYONIC stem cell lines are LONG SHOTS - not profitable at all.

In other words, it's pie in the sky promises with little basis for immediate hope and thus no profit motive.

Oh and also naturally the Abortion lobby is heavily involved in getting these dollars.
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 12:04:42 PM EDT
Correction... My son's stem cells are 100% matches to himself (duh), 50% matches to his siblings and 25% matches to me and my wife - so if we had any illness his stem cell lines could be used. No one need get killed for these currently useful stem cells.
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 1:37:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JusAdBellum:
We have to distinguish between what kind of stem cells we're talking about.

To date, as of 3:53pm February 23, 2006 there has not been a SINGLE cure brought about by any embryonic stem cell line. NOT ONE.

But there has been dozens of diseases and maladies cured outright by ADULT stem cells (harvested from a sick person's own body) and umbillical cord blood (from a delievered baby).

For example, my newest son was born about a year ago. We harvested his stem cells present in his umbillical cord - a mass of tissue that up to only a few years ago was regarded as useless waste.

Those cells are now in Liquid nitrogen storage... they're 100% matches to his DNA and 25% matches to his siblings.... i.e. the likelihood of rejection is reduced.

Whereas harvesting a dead persons' stem cells, especially from someone NOT RELATED TO YOU is the chief hurdle all embryonic stem cell researchers are facing because of the body's natural rejection reflex.

For example - organ receipiants must take immune suppressing drugs for a long time post surgery because the donated organs aren't their own and aren't thus DNA matches. Obviously with your immune system down you are susceptible to other bugs.

So here's the final analysis.... adult and umbillical cord blood stem cells don't involve killing anyone and they are CURRENTLY CURING PEOPLE.

But embyronic stem cells are not - which is why there's no PRIVATE SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR THIS TYPE OF RESEARCH AND HENCE IT NEEDS GOVERNMENT MONEY.

Doesn't it ever occur to you that oil or energy or pharma companies have no problem getting billions of dollars for their various projects? It's not like there isn't money out there for medical research. It's that the private funders want results and EMBRYONIC stem cell lines are LONG SHOTS - not profitable at all.

In other words, it's pie in the sky promises with little basis for immediate hope and thus no profit motive.

Oh and also naturally the Abortion lobby is heavily involved in getting these dollars.



This is the kind of educational stuff I was hoping for here.

I was under the impression that embryonic stem cells were great because you didn't have to worry about rejection from immunity, it would seem that I'm incorrect?

Can corporations currently research fetal stem cells if they wish, or is it illegal?
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 3:04:54 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 3:24:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dino:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stem_cell



Very informative. I now especially feel my position is correct.
Link Posted: 2/23/2006 3:37:39 PM EDT
Just another thought along the lines of the umbilical cord blood...

When my oldest daughter was born we did an cord blood donation. If more families knew that donating the cord blood was an option, instead of it just being disposed of, imagine the impact. There was no cost to us and no inconvenience to the medical staff.

-Mrs.Monk
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 12:45:34 PM EDT
Verticalagain...re-read the wiki article again, closely....

It doesn't say that EMBRYONIC stem cells have no problem with immunity issues.... indeed that's the chief "technological hurdle" facing scientists, who have all the technology needed already to handle "adult" stem cells (pluripotent).

IOW, the claim that EMBRYONIC stem cell lines are the cure for everything is still pie-in-the-sky 'theoretical'... which is why little PRIVATE FUNDING is seeking that avenue - hence the push for Tax dollars for research...

It's only theoretical that such cells are indeed totipotent, in that they are the first cells of the new human individual (*called 'embryo) they're going to grow into everything in the human body.... but their DNA, blood type, genetic make up is for THAT individual's body, not ANY individual's body. If you cultivate that cell into organs or skin or bones, those organs, skin and bone will still retain the DNA, genetics (with all the good and bad) and predisposition for a given blood type of the "donor" - which may or may NOT match the receiver.

None of this type of problem is evident in ADULT stem cells harvested from the sick person's own body or from a relative's umbillical cord blood.

In short, there is alot of people making alot of self serving claims (for huge dollars) by fudging their language. It's very similar to the people who - for the sake of getting certain "contraceptive" pills legalized claim that Pregnancy only starts at implantation, not conception.... because if they admit what has always been accepted - that a woman is pregnant from the moment of conception - those "morning after pills" would be abortifacient, not "contraception" since CONCEPTION already took place - or potentially took place...

Link Posted: 2/24/2006 3:42:29 PM EDT
[heston]Stem cells are made of people....PEOPLE![/heston]
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 7:54:45 PM EDT
I went back and re-read the article, very carefully, and here's why I continue to hold that research should be greenlighted privately:


Embryonic stem cells are cultured cells obtained from the undifferentiated inner mass cells of an early stage human embryo (sometimes called a blastocyst, which is an embryo that is between 50 to 150 cells).

Embryonic stem cell research is "thought to have much greater developmental potential than adult stem cells," according to the National Institutes of Health.

However, embryonic stem cell research is still in the basic research phase, as these stem cells were first isolated in 1998 (at least for humans), whereas adult stem cells have been studied since the 1960s.[3]

Research with embryonic stem cells derived from humans is controversial because, in order to start a stem cell 'line' or lineage, it requires the destruction of a human embryo and/or therapeutic cloning, which some believe is a slippery slope to reproductive cloning and tantamount to the objectification of a potential human being.

In an attempt to overcome these moral, political and ethical hurdles, medical researchers have been experimenting with alternative techniques of obtaining embryonic stem cells by extraction, which does not involve cloning and/or the destruction of a human embryo.



Adult stem cell research is 38 years ahead of the relatively young and restricted fetal stem cell camp. That doesn't mean they won't catch up.
Link Posted: 2/24/2006 8:22:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By WildBoar:
I dont see why stem cell research and abortion have to go hand in hand like some wish it too. I have seen some good stuff on stem cells from adults.

As far as infants? I guess if the mother wished it to be an organ donor. If thats possible, then I dont have a problem with them using a miscarried child to further medical research. The fetus is not an organ and is not a part of the mother, its a separate entity. I guess that will make the whole organ donor thing tricky. I wonder if parents can pick if their children can be organ donors?

If one of my children died and if they can save the life of another child with his organs, by all means take them.

As far as using aborted fetuses? I am against it. Plenty of miscarries infants to be used



+1 I agree

Alvin
Link Posted: 2/25/2006 12:12:54 AM EDT
Here is something to consider. I won't take a stand either way here, but these are facts. Draw your own conclusions. The Nazis did a lot of medical research during the war. This research was done on prisoners in concentration camps, and needless to say, the prisoners didn't volunteer and often died horribly and painfully from the experiments. The Nazis did get a lot of extraordinary data from these experiments. After the war, these results were used by Americans to cure and treat many, many diseases and conditions. Does this make those who are using those results as bad as the Nazis? Should we voluntarily give up these medical advances because they were discovered by some admittedly very evil people?

I think the same issue applies to fetal stem cell research. My opinion of abortion is that it is the termination of a human life, and a lot of times this occurs in situations that would be considered first degree homicide if it were not for the legal status of abortion. But, it occurs. Babies are aborted every day, and once this happens, they are dead and nothing will bring them back. In light of this and the potential fetal stem cell research offers for medical advancements, does making use of the stem cells of already-aborted babies make the researchers as guilty as those who get the abortion or perform the abortion? It is the same kind of problem as above, but the line is drawn a lot thinner in this second case.

What do people think about this?
Link Posted: 2/25/2006 12:16:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JusAdBellum:
We have to distinguish between what kind of stem cells we're talking about.

To date, as of 3:53pm February 23, 2006 there has not been a SINGLE cure brought about by any embryonic stem cell line. NOT ONE.

But there has been dozens of diseases and maladies cured outright by ADULT stem cells (harvested from a sick person's own body) and umbillical cord blood (from a delievered baby).

For example, my newest son was born about a year ago. We harvested his stem cells present in his umbillical cord - a mass of tissue that up to only a few years ago was regarded as useless waste.

Those cells are now in Liquid nitrogen storage... they're 100% matches to his DNA and 25% matches to his siblings.... i.e. the likelihood of rejection is reduced.

Whereas harvesting a dead persons' stem cells, especially from someone NOT RELATED TO YOU is the chief hurdle all embryonic stem cell researchers are facing because of the body's natural rejection reflex.

For example - organ receipiants must take immune suppressing drugs for a long time post surgery because the donated organs aren't their own and aren't thus DNA matches. Obviously with your immune system down you are susceptible to other bugs.

So here's the final analysis.... adult and umbillical cord blood stem cells don't involve killing anyone and they are CURRENTLY CURING PEOPLE.

But embyronic stem cells are not - which is why there's no PRIVATE SOURCE OF FUNDING FOR THIS TYPE OF RESEARCH AND HENCE IT NEEDS GOVERNMENT MONEY.

Doesn't it ever occur to you that oil or energy or pharma companies have no problem getting billions of dollars for their various projects? It's not like there isn't money out there for medical research. It's that the private funders want results and EMBRYONIC stem cell lines are LONG SHOTS - not profitable at all.

In other words, it's pie in the sky promises with little basis for immediate hope and thus no profit motive.

Oh and also naturally the Abortion lobby is heavily involved in getting these dollars.



There are a lot of long-shot ideas being funded by private foundations and corporations right now, especially in biology and genetics. I think most of the problem with non-governmental funding is that no one wants to get caught up in the debate and suffer the backlash for a long-shot idea, not that the idea is long-shot alone.
Link Posted: 2/25/2006 10:47:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Big_Louie:
Here is something to consider. I won't take a stand either way here, but these are facts. Draw your own conclusions. The Nazis did a lot of medical research during the war. This research was done on prisoners in concentration camps, and needless to say, the prisoners didn't volunteer and often died horribly and painfully from the experiments. The Nazis did get a lot of extraordinary data from these experiments. After the war, these results were used by Americans to cure and treat many, many diseases and conditions. Does this make those who are using those results as bad as the Nazis? Should we voluntarily give up these medical advances because they were discovered by some admittedly very evil people?

I think the same issue applies to fetal stem cell research. My opinion of abortion is that it is the termination of a human life, and a lot of times this occurs in situations that would be considered first degree homicide if it were not for the legal status of abortion. But, it occurs. Babies are aborted every day, and once this happens, they are dead and nothing will bring them back. In light of this and the potential fetal stem cell research offers for medical advancements, does making use of the stem cells of already-aborted babies make the researchers as guilty as those who get the abortion or perform the abortion? It is the same kind of problem as above, but the line is drawn a lot thinner in this second case.

What do people think about this?



The Nazis experimented on the living and the dead, using captives who were under their control. I feel fetal stem cell research should only use donated subjects, aborted or otherwise, as this eliminates the conflict of interest that arises when the scientist also supplies the subject.
Link Posted: 2/27/2006 11:40:44 PM EDT
Now I'm no scientist by any means, and I can't bring up any hokey websites to back my position, however...

If I heard correctly there are particular cells in the body (nerve cells especially) that cease production after a very young age, and these are the cells important to fetal stem cell research.

If I have also heard correctly we are a LOOOOOOOOOOONG way away from any solid reason to experiment on human fetuses for this purpose. We currently know very little about our nervous system let alone how to fix it even if we did have the proper tools and materials to do so.

Please correct me if I'm wrong...
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 8:35:25 AM EDT
Government tax dollars shouldn't go to fund ethically bad research but also it shouldn't go where private funding (or lack thereof) shows that there's not much real potential.

To date few people in favor of killing an embyro today on the hope of one day, maybe, maybe coming up with a cure for some ghastly disease a decade from now, have yet to show any science pointing to a way to overcome the DNA problem of that stem cell producing organs or specialized cells with hard wired DNA, genetics and blood type specific to one person, not everyone.

I.e. those cells aren't 'blanks'. Much is science-fiction and wishful thinking and a post hoc reach to justify current abortions - again, pie-in-the-sky hopes that adult and umbilical cord blood stem cell lines ARE CURRENTLY ADDRESSING WITHOUT ANY ETHICAL PROBLEMS AT ALL.

Follow the money.... there is a huge abortion industry and burgeoning IVF industry that seeks to justify themselves and maintain their bottom lines long after abortion itself is sidelined... claiming to hold the holy grail for all disease is their "end" that justifies all their means.
Link Posted: 2/28/2006 10:36:54 PM EDT

Much is science-fiction and wishful thinking and a post hoc reach to justify current abortions


I agree. Many so-called supporters of stem cell research are akin to radical environmentalists that would have you believe we are all doomed if we don't appropriate billions immediately towards fixing a problem that won't affect us for hundreds of years.

Now where did I put my Chicken Little Smiley....
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 11:30:33 AM EDT

Why does the argument exist if there are plenty of untapped stem cells available in cord blood and afterbirth? With the birth of my baby, I was told that no organization in our state was accepting donations on any large scale,which seemed very odd when everyone is in an uproar over this issue. We could bank them at our own cost, but no one was willing to take the afterbirth in the same manner as say, blood donation.
The only answer I can find is that embryonic cells are somehow different than cord blood cells and are incompatible for reasearch purposes. Does anyone have any information on that?
If they are indeed compatible,then I would wonder why the pro-embryonic stem cell folks are making an issue over nothing.


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