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Stem Cell Injections Pioneering Step Forward? 359

sanspeak writes "Indian Doctors at All India Institute of Medical Sciences have performed a radical new operation of sorts by pioneering the method of stem cell injections. Ishika Gupta, a seven month old girl child who was suffering from cardiac myopathy, was treated by injecting stem cells into her heart from bone in her own leg. AIIMS has marked a global first in pioneering stem cell medicine by the "injection method''." From the article: "There will now be a national stem cell centre at AIIMS which will coordinate the research and its applications. The statistics speak for themselves. After six months, 56% of the affected (dead muscle) area injected with these cells had shown improvement." Additional details on this therapy available from the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel and Medical News Today.
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Stem Cell Injections Pioneering Step Forward?

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  • by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Friday February 25, 2005 @11:58AM (#11777705) Homepage Journal
    The attractive thing about these results to many is that is identifies a built in population of stem cells in adult individuals that could be harvested for some applications which gets around certain issues related to the Bush administrations religiously imposed dogma on science and progress.

    The problem with this approach is that often, they really do not know what cells they are injecting. Sure they are harvesting cells from the bone marrow which do contain some stem cell populations. But here is the deal: These cells are already partially differentiated. They are not totipotent. Certainly there will be some applications where you can take partially differentiated cells and inject them into some systems that will show positive results, such as the cardiac improvements observed in these studies. However, this will not be generalizeable to other disorders such as vision loss or other degenerative diseases.

    • by Corporate Drone ( 316880 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @12:06PM (#11777819)
      Sure they are harvesting cells from the bone marrow which do contain some stem cell populations

      Although the U.S. article identified the applicability of stem cells harvested from (adult) bone marrow and other sources, the Indian article discusses the successes achieved from utilizing umbilical cord stem cells...

      • Although the U.S. article identified the applicability of stem cells harvested from (adult) bone marrow and other sources, the Indian article discusses the successes achieved from utilizing umbilical cord stem cells...

        I'm not sure the point you're trying to make, but the only restrictions in the US are on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Not adult or umbilical. And even embryonic research is still allowed without federal funding.
        • I'm not sure the point you're trying to make, but the only restrictions in the US are on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

          umm... you may be unsure of the point I'm trying to make, if you assume that I was addressing the funding of stem cell research. I wasn't.

          You're correct in pointing out the nature of the federal funding restrictions. However, I wasn't addressing that issue. The OP framed up the issue in terms of adult stem cells; I pointed out that the Indian articles weren't discuss

        • but the only restrictions in the US are on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

          as far as I know, such research cannot be done in ANY FACILITY THAT RECEIVES FEDERAL FUNDING at all whatsoever.
      • the Indian article discusses the successes achieved from utilizing umbilical cord stem cells...

        They (umbilical cord cells) are also partially differentiated stem cells and are likely very close to those cell populations that are found in bone marrow.

    • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Friday February 25, 2005 @12:10PM (#11777871)
      - This article isn't talking about embryonic stem cells, so any references to the Bush administration embryonic stem cell policy are utterly irrelevant

      But for those who still don't get it:

      - There isn't a "ban" on any kind of stem cell research in the US. There is a restriction on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research - entities are still free to perform embryonic stem cell research (see California's recent US$3 billion bond initiative to support such research in the state)

      - The Bush administration is the first administration to allow any federal funding at all for embryonic stem cell research. Granted, this is partly due to timing, but it's still a point of information.

      - When is an embryo "life"? At some arbitrary time? When it's in a woman's womb? When it's "wanted" by someone as the product of actions to create a child? When and how does it become life? What's the magic cutoff? When and why is it ok to destroy it? When it can exist on its own? What does "exist on its own" mean? I'm not saying any of these things necessarily should preclude embryonic stem cell research, and indeed, federal funding for it. But doesn't it seem that those ethical questions should be addressed or at least considered? It may well be that society collectively decides that the benefit outweighs ethical concerns. But bear in mind, too, that farming more developed human life for research would no doubt yield untold answers to questions that might hold great benefit. Does that mean we should do it? If not, why is that any different? Scientifically, it would seem clear that it's a life the second the embryo comes into being...
      • Exactly. Certain Questions need to be asked and answered before we just leap willy nilly into embryo harvesting. Any one who can't say for certain when life actually begins has no business deciding when its ok to destroy a living embryo. That's like a man taking a gun with one bullet and him firing it at someone without knowing if the bullet is in the chamber. It's irresponsible. And saying I didn't know when the bullet would come up is no excuse.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          before we just leap willy nilly into embryo harvesting.

          People can't even be bothered to donate their organs for transplants. You think that people who would never have had an abortion otherwise are going to line up to give up their embryo?

          It doesn't matter if its "music makes people kill people" "video games makes people kill people" or "stem cell research makes people kill people" it still shows a serious disconnect with reality, whether through ignorance or through pushing an agenda (religious or not)
          • Embryotic stem cells don't come from aborted fetuses, they come from fertility clinics.

            At any rate, if an embryo were human life, every bit as valuable as our own, and killing them were legal (as it is now), I can see how a lot of people would have qualms about havesting aborted fetuses for "scrap parts."

            Donating your organs is done by your consent. And, presumably, either you died by natural causes or an investigation to bring the responsible party to justice has begun.

            Anyways, this issue has nothing t

        • by Anonymous Coward
          uhmm... you do realize that the process of in-vitro fertilization requires the use and eventual destruction of dozens of embryos right? the majority of stem cells used in research have come from these fertilization centers with the full consent of the couple trying to have a baby. if they aren't used for research they are a) stored for potential siblings or b) destroyed.

          seems to me the question has already been answered decades ago. stem cell research, just like gay marriage, is nothing more than a buzzwor
      • > When is an embryo "life"?

        Peter Singer addresses these concerns in some of his books, including the excellent `the president of good and evil` (about Bush) and `Writings on an ethical life`. His conclusion in the former is that Bush is inconsistant - he seems to value the `life` of an embryo above the lifes of Iraqi civilians, for instance.
        • So an opinion piece by an anti-Bush activist is making the final declaration on when life starts. Something that most doctors and scientist can't agree on?
        • I was going to mod, but someone should point out that Peter Singer is so infamously consistant that he's advocated post-birth abortions.

          He's said that people aren't people until after they've experienced life. And indeed, what's the difference between the 7-month fetus inside and the 7th month early birth outside?

      • by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Friday February 25, 2005 @12:34PM (#11778158) Homepage Journal
        - This article isn't talking about embryonic stem cells, so any references to the Bush administration embryonic stem cell policy are utterly irrelevant

        Actually, this is absolutely relevant given the Bush administrations limits on funding for stem cell research. Research laboratories are leaving the US to establish themselves in other countries so that they may continue and the science in this country is suffering because of it.

        - There isn't a "ban" on any kind of stem cell research in the US. There is a restriction on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research - entities are still free to perform embryonic stem cell research (see California's recent US$3 billion bond initiative to support such research in the state)

        I have news for you: Most biomedical research funding for basic science comes from the Federal government and is taxpayer supported. Thus, elimination of funding is a tacit ban.

        - The Bush administration is the first administration to allow any federal funding at all for embryonic stem cell research. Granted, this is partly due to timing, but it's still a point of information.

        Not true. The bush administration is the first administration that has said anything specific about it. Stem cell research has been going on for quite some time. It has just not been an emotional or religious issue until it became politicized.

        But doesn't it seem that those ethical questions should be addressed or at least considered?

        I absolutely agree with you here as will most scientists. But the solution is not to prevent progress by placing arbitrary, political and religiously motivated limits on scientific progress. People are dying today and living compromised lives because of diseases that may be helped by stem cell research. And no, embryonic stem cell research is not about killing babies or farming developed humans.

        • I have news for you: Most biomedical research funding for basic science comes from the Federal government and is taxpayer supported. Thus, elimination of funding is a tacit ban.

          Being at a large public research university, I'm more than aware of the status of federal funding.

          But to say it's "banned" is still inaccurate, number one, and number two, this article wasn't talking about anything related to embryonic stem cell research. (Yes, I realize the detached effect it can still have on the establishment o
        • There is no ban on stem cell research or even funding stem cell research - there is a ban on funding /embryonic/ stem cell research which has nothing to do with the original article - which people have pointed out over and over again.

          The value of adult stem cells has been shown over and over again. The value of embryonic stem cells has never been shown and, in fact, embryonic stem cells cause all sorts of havoc when injected into another individual. Havoc like sudden cancers caused by the embryonic cells n
          • there is a ban on funding /embryonic/ stem cell research which has nothing to do with the original article

            Not true. There's a restriction on funding to the lines that are already there. The federal government still pours millions, maybe even billions, of dollars every year into embryonic stem cell research through NIH grants, CDC grants, and even Department of Defense and US Army grants.
      • Notice that this is an exact copy of this other comment here [slashdot.org] which was posted 8 minutes before this one. I don't know if this is a case of plaguerism on one person's part, two people's part, or no people's part, but it sure is fishy.
        • It's not plagiarism. It's my feeble and futile attempt to address this completely irrelevant and unrelated issue in an article that is about adult stem cell research, on which there are no restrictions of any kind in the US.

          But I guess I should know better.

          And yeah, two responses posted to something in a slashdot thread? Wow, sure is fishy! That must invalidate the argument!

          ...

          • It is a word for word copy. Yours was later. Either you posted both, or at least one of you is a plagiarist.
            • Um. I thought I made it clear, but let me spell it out: I posted both. No plagiarism. And there's actually one or two more that I believe got moderated down to -1; they were all posted in DIRECT RESPONSE to what I initially thought were going to be a couple of idiots drawing unrelated conclusions about US embryonic stem cell policy in an article that had NOTHING TO DO with embryonic stem cells. Unfortunately, it appears that the entire article has been taken over with idiotic Bush bashing on an utterly unre
      • by shaitand ( 626655 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @01:09PM (#11778693) Journal
        "- There isn't a "ban" on any kind of stem cell research in the US. There is a restriction on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research - entities are still free to perform embryonic stem cell research (see California's recent US$3 billion bond initiative to support such research in the state)"

        No, no institute which recieves federal funding FOR ANYTHING can conduct such research. There are not many research facilities that aren't recieving federal funding for at least ONE project. This is effectively a ban.

        "- The Bush administration is the first administration to allow any federal funding at all for embryonic stem cell research. Granted, this is partly due to timing, but it's still a point of information."

        It is called a Red Herring, it is a rhetorical device along similar lines to the subject at hand (that Bush has banned embryonic stem cell research in any facility that receives federal funding for ANY type of research) designed to distract you from the actual topic and lend pseudo-logical strength to an argument.

        "- When is an embryo "life"? At some arbitrary time? When it's in a woman's womb? When it's "wanted" by someone as the product of actions to create a child? When and how does it become life? What's the magic cutoff? When and why is it ok to destroy it? When it can exist on its own? What does "exist on its own" mean? I'm not saying any of these things necessarily should preclude embryonic stem cell research, and indeed, federal funding for it. But doesn't it seem that those ethical questions should be addressed or at least considered? It may well be that society collectively decides that the benefit outweighs ethical concerns. But bear in mind, too, that farming more developed human life for research would no doubt yield untold answers to questions that might hold great benefit. Does that mean we should do it? If not, why is that any different? Scientifically, it would seem clear that it's a life the second the embryo comes into being..."

        Scientifically the cells are alive before they ever join to become a fertilized egg. Scientifically each of the millions of skin cells each of us has die everyday are life. We kill living cells when we mow our lawns or take anti-biotics.

        Scientifically moral and ethical issues do not exist, it is people who create these artifical constructs. Humans attribute a uniqueness or addional value to their own lifeform.

        However, since this ignorance is not likely to change soon we can consider natures answer. Nature has created a reference point for us, it exists in all complex lifeforms. It is at this point that multiple simple lifeforms can be considered a complex lifeform. It is called birth. Of course if something is raised entirely artifically (which we can't do now with humans) we can roughly call it at a full development term (9months for humans).
        • No, no institute which recieves federal funding FOR ANYTHING can conduct such research. There are not many research facilities that aren't recieving federal funding for at least ONE project. This is effectively a ban.
          That's and out and out lie.

          Fact: Researchers at mixed funding facilities only have to properly account for federal funds according to normal guidelines. There is no extra baggage at all. Here is a link for you to read, from the NIH, who is responsible for this policy [nih.gov].

          Fact: Virtually all embryonic stem research going on in the country currently operates in partically federally funded scenarios. There is no "effective ban".

          Fact: The Bush administration is the only administration to fund any embryonic stem cell research. Period.

          As far as the rest of your post, you are using classic red herrings which is not surprising.

          Scientifically the cells are alive before they ever join to become a fertilized egg. Scientifically each of the millions of skin cells each of us has die everyday are life. We kill living cells when we mow our lawns or take anti-biotics.
          Yes, however, none of those killed cells are capable of developing into a fully seperate heathly human life. They are *part* of our body, but they are not *our entire body*. Embryo's are entirely capable of developing into fully heathly living beings, while skin cells, liver cells, and blood cannot.

          Scientifically moral and ethical issues do not exist, it is people who create these artifical constructs. Humans attribute a uniqueness or addional value to their own lifeform.
          Yes, of course they. We are the only species who can question our own existenance. Provably, we are a unique lifeform within our realm of knowledge. It is at least reasonable to *think* and *question* what makes us unique, and whether that is worth protecting.

          It is called birth. Of course if something is raised entirely artifically (which we can't do now with humans) we can roughly call it at a full development term (9months for humans).
          Finally, this is extremely poor reasoning. A baby child can live without life support outside the womb well before 9 months. It depends on the baby, but some premature babies have survived as early as 30 weeks (7 1/2 months) and others with life support as early as 26 weeks (6 1/2 months). Scientifically, there is no difference between a baby that is two days from delivery from one that is two days past delivery. As a lifeform, each is equally developed. Science coldly is incapable of handling the emotional difference between the unborn and born.

          I am not arguing one or another, but you are clearly distoring the facts and ignoring complex non-religious facts that science is incapable of addressing.
      • It was entirely relevent. Read his post, before coping a canned response [slashdot.org]. His main points were:

        1) Usefull because it gets around Bush restrictions, by not using embryonic stem cells.
        2) But not a general purpose solution, since adult stem cells are partially differentiated.

        He pointed out himself that this would not have been affected by the Bush policy - you didn't need to remind him. But he reitterated the fact that while there is much possible use for adult stem cells, there is much more potential for e
        • I didn't copy a "canned" response. I wrote that response myself. You'll find no previous references to that response anywhere else, because I wrote it. (Yes, I realize I can't prove that, and since some people seem more interested in duplicate posts than in actually talking about the content of the post, I initially posted a couple of responses as AC, so the rest of my morning wouldn't devolve into me justifying why I was trying to correct the utterly irrelevant references to Bush policy, since the Indian r
    • You're a retard...

      a) Bush Administration is the first administration to Federally fund stem cell research

      b) This is further proof that the Bush Administration's stance was correct, fetal stem cell research is not necessary. In fact, every success I have read about in the past year has been non-fetal stem cells.

      c) Please go educate yourself....thank you.

      d) your point on them not knowing is potentially accurate and a good point, although it's very likely they "extracted" "tested" "re-inserted"
      • Whats really amazing is that this is research done in India, which is totally non affected by the US federal resistrictions. So to make any comment on how federal resistriction are hampering this research and how it could have been done better with embryonic cells is just saying that they are smarter than these scientist. While yes maybe india also has a similar ban, there are places in the world that don't, but yet more and more these operations being don't with adult or umbilical cells.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      "...religiously imposed dogma on science and progress."

      One does not have to be religious to be concerned with the harvesting of embryos to gain use of their stem cells.
    • by Orne ( 144925 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @12:20PM (#11777990) Homepage
      I can't let this one go.

      (1) The Bush Administration does not have a "religiously imposed dogma on science and progress". There is a significant segment of the American population that is concerned about scientists initiating the process of conception for the sole purpose of ripping apart the component stem cells while receiving federal funding to do so. Corporations and universities are welcome to continue studying embryonic stem cells, just not while using federal research grants.

      (2) Unlike the aformentioned Embryonic Stem Cells, this process is another form of Adult Stem Cell research, which is using the patient's own stem cells to culture and augment existing organs. There has never been any political problems with this branch of stem cell research, and the Bush Administration has advanced this research alternative several times as the preferred path.

      (3) Bone Marrow has long been known to be a source of red blood cells as well as muscle stem cells. If they are partially differentiated as marrow cells, they are still in the same family as cardiovascular muscles, and thus are a prime candidate for this type of injection research. It would be like taking neurons from the brain and injecting them into the spinal column, to see if the cells can merge and augment the spinal tissues.

      Part of the problem of degenerative diseases is that there is a genetic problem with the adult, so transplanting cells with the same genetic makeup within the same adult will not magically create a missing protein... that is where we need to initiate aditional research with inter-adult stem cell research, and proceed from there.
      • (1) The Bush Administration does not have a "religiously imposed dogma on science and progress".

        Ummmm. A significant portion of the population would disagree with you here.

        There is a significant segment of the American population that is concerned about scientists initiating the process of conception for the sole purpose of ripping apart the component stem cells while receiving federal funding to do so.

        I understand and respect that concern. What we need is discourse and education on the part of the
      • There is a significant segment of the American population that is concerned about scientists initiating the process of conception for the sole purpose of ripping apart the component stem cells while receiving federal funding to do so.

        Oh, really? [news-medical.net]

        A strong majority of Americans support Nancy Reagan's call for the Bush White House to lift restrictions on stem cell research that might help to find cures for such ailments as the Alzheimer's disease that afflicted the recently deceased President Ronald Reagan,

    • by Hentai ( 165906 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @02:04PM (#11779410) Homepage Journal
      Okay. I have mod points today. I have a personal, stated policy: Never mod *DOWN*, only mod *UP*. And especially never mod down a potentially legitimate discussion, no matter how inciteful or off-topic it might be.

      I have come very close to breaking this rule in this threat, and modding as many root posts as I can 'off-topic'. Instead, I am going to post the following little diatribe:

      We're witnessing a medical miracle here, guys - and all you asshats can do is argue politics! Bush this, bush that, fetus this, abortion that - sort it out on Usenet, or on some YRO thread. Can we please talk about the technology, here? This is an amazing triumph of technology over the limitations of nature; something that can potentially save millions of lives - and just as importantly, restore millions more to full capacity from severely disabled states! We're talking longevity, health, disease eradication, all the quality-of-life improvements that have allowed further progress in the past two centuries. We're talking about influences over the next MILLENIUM of human prograss, and all we're doing is squabbling about politics that are potentially irrelevant in 4 years, and almost certainly irrelevant in 20. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!?

      This is future-of-humanity stuff, here. This political whining is about minor details in the grand scheme of things, and we'll work them out sooner or later. Get a grip and get a little perspective.
      • Because the politics is relevant to the technology here. Specifically, politics may be standing in the way of this future-of-humanity stuff, and, well, that makes people kind of mad.

        And IMO one's side's arguments (because stem cell research hasn't TOTALLY STOPPED that means the arbitrary restrictions must be OK) spur a lot of responses.
  • stem cell harvesting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lecithin ( 745575 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @11:59AM (#11777712)
    My wife is pregnant right now and we are going to have to make the choice if we want the 'stem cells' harvested from the cord after birth. I realize that there are costs involved, but is it worth it? Gut feeling says that if I don't I could regret it later. Any thoughts?
    • I look at it like this - the odds are you'll never use it. But if something comes up (child has a sibling with leukemia and needs a transplant or scientists eventually figure out how to do amazing things with these cells), you'd be willing to pay any price to go back in time to get the cells. Go for it!
    • by beacher ( 82033 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @12:17PM (#11777943) Homepage
      There's a post on fat wallet [fatwallet.com] that goes into this topic a bit. Basically it's a waste if you're only going to have one child because the defect will be present in the cord blood as well. Cord blood storage is discussed as well as pricing and previous user's experiences with them. The American Red Cross donation program is also mentioned as well. Interesting read for those of you who are passing your slashdot genes along ;)
      -B
    • If you have plenty of money, I would go ahead and do it. However, if you're not rich, I think you'd be better served putting the money in a college fund. Then the money will almost certainly be of use to your child. The cord blood might help if your child gets a certain disease and if that disease is treatable with cord blood cells and if the disease responds to the treatment, and if this company hasn't gone out of business. Too many ifs for me.

      The companies harvesting cord blood are doing so beca
    • by PortHaven ( 242123 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @12:23PM (#11778023) Homepage
      Nothing wrong with having stem cells harvested from the cord. The only issue with stem cell harvesting is when it involves the loss of life.

      Human life should not be saved at the cost of human life....(lest one day poor humans will be harvested to keep the powerful immortal)
      • Human life should not be saved at the cost of human life....

        So, then committing troops to battle, no matter for what cause, shouldn't be done?

        I'm not a supporter of the current administration's colonial policies, but what about WWII?

        Should we not have intervened to stop the Nazi domination of Europe and the wholesale slaughter of Jews, Slavs and Gypsies?

        Your comment is just wrong and ill-informed.
  • Preemptive strike (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 25, 2005 @12:02PM (#11777761)
    Directly on-topic? Well, no, but I guarantee there will be several positively moderated messages in this thread that don't get it right.

    - This article isn't talking about embryonic stem cells, so any references to the Bush administration embryonic stem cell policy are utterly irrelevant

    But for those who still don't get it:

    - There isn't a "ban" on any kind of stem cell research in the US. There is a restriction on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research - entities are still free to perform embryonic stem cell research (see California's recent US$3 billion bond initiative to support such research in the state)

    - The Bush administration is the first administration to allow any federal funding at all for embryonic stem cell research. Granted, this is partly due to timing, but it's still a point of information.

    - When is an embryo "life"? At some arbitrary time? When it's in a woman's womb? When it's "wanted" by someone as the product of actions to create a child? When and how does it become life? What's the magic cutoff? When and why is it ok to destroy it? When it can exist on its own? What does "exist on its own" mean? I'm not saying any of these things necessarily should preclude embryonic stem cell research, and indeed, federal funding for it. But doesn't it seem that those ethical questions should be addressed or at least considered? It may well be that society collectively decides that the benefit outweighs ethical concerns. But bear in mind, too, that farming more developed human life for research would no doubt yield untold answers to questions that might hold great benefit. Does that mean we should do it? If not, why is that any different? Scientifically, it would seem clear that it's a life the second the embryo comes into being...

    (Note: No, I am not anti-abortion, but do think we should acknowledge that abortion isn't just a "woman's choice" or a "medical decision" (unless it is a decision in relation to the safety of the mother). It is, essentially, the state sanctioned ability to end a life when it is not wanted by the mother. Let's at least acknowledge what we're doing instead of hiding it under the blinders of "choice" or "scientific progress".)
    • Re:Preemptive strike (Score:5, Informative)

      by magefile ( 776388 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @12:19PM (#11777976)
      There isn't a "ban" on any kind of stem cell research in the US. There is a restriction on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research - entities are still free to perform embryonic stem cell research (see California's recent US$3 billion bond initiative to support such research in the state)

      But this kind of cutting edge research needs gov't funding for several reasons: it's very expensive; it's long term (too much so to attract enough private money); and the federal government can make a big difference in funding if it chooses to.

      The Bush administration is the first administration to allow any federal funding at all for embryonic stem cell research. Granted, this is partly due to timing, but it's still a point of information.

      Wrong. Here's citation #1 [msn.com] about Clinton's support of stem cell research, and here's citation #2 [cnn.com] and #3 [mediamatters.org]. I think that Slate, CNN, and ABC are generally trustworthy.

      And it would be nice if people stopped clouding the issue with abortion arguments. While there are some similarities, the analogy breaks down very quickly, and argument by analogy is generally suspect. Oh, and BTW, here's an ABC article [go.com] with some interesting statistics on ESR, including about 60% support for both ESR and federal funding of it by US citizens.
      • Yes, Clinton "supported" stem-cell research. But the support never came into effect. During the 2000 campain I believe the rules were adjusted and funding became available, though I believe that no funding actually was given during this short amount of time. One could even argue that such a policy was implemented so that actual funding wouldn't happen until 2001, thus passing the buck to Bush.
        • I disagree. He was pro-choice, and didn't have to worry about reelection. Allowing stem cell research (for which federal funding had previously been unavailable) was a major step forward. If Bush had left it alone, he would have been relatively safe, as he could have blamed Clinton; instead, he did everything he could to reverse the decision.
    • Re:Preemptive strike (Score:4, Informative)

      by uujjj ( 752925 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @12:20PM (#11777981)
      The ban is just a bit broader than you imply: there is a ban on embryonic stem cell research using new stem cells at any institution that receives federal funding, e.g. universities or drug companies with NIH funding.

      Were the ban merely on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, it would not be such a problem. The problem is that universities and many drug companies are prevented from doing such research even with independent funding.
    • some points (Score:5, Insightful)

      by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <circletimessquar ... m ['gma' in gap]> on Friday February 25, 2005 @12:49PM (#11778379) Homepage Journal
      if women laid eggs and then walked away from them, never to return, then the anti-abortion crowd would be 100% ethical and moral in their stance

      however, mother nature has designed us mammals so that for a moment in time, 2 lives are interconnected biologically, and then, 2 lives are socially connected for years

      what this means is that you can not consider either the rights of the fetus or the rights of the mother in a vacuum and consider yourself to be moral or ethical

      therefore, to fall 100% on the side of fetal rights is to basically consider a woman to be nothing but a breeding pod chamber

      and to fall 100% on the side of maternal rights is tantamount to considering infanticide reasonable

      but, of course, exactly where you draw the line, exactly when you draw the line: 3 months old fetus... 3 day old fetus... whatever, that becomes the critical question

      and the problem is that no outside panel of people, no matter how reasonable or passionate about the issue, can decide the issue to satisfaciton on each individual case

      there is, however, one person who can make such a passionate, reasonable decision: the mother

      it seems that the anti-abortion crowd thinks women are all out having one night stands at raves and then aborting a month later and going to another rave to have one night stands the same night

      as if women don't have any feelings about the fetus?! why do anti-abortionists have such a dim view of women?

      so let the mother decide, and the mother ALONE decide, and all of us hyperconcerned but UNINVOLVED third party members should learn to BUTT OUT

      this is the ONLY moral and ethical stand you can take on abortion: the mom decides, no one else can possibly have a say

      is it superior to force a woman to have a child she does not love with no father there to support it?

      are we only in the business of punishing women for acts of sex outside of marriage? what about the man's responsibilty?

      the more you examine the issue, the more you realize anti-abortion stances are simply anti-women

      let the mother decide, it's her body, and you cannot assume she doesn't care about the fetus, unless you have some sort of psychological problem with women
      • that is the best position I have ever heard. Thanks for the meme, can't wait to share it.
      • Re:some points (Score:3, Insightful)

        Well, there is the argument that women who don't want to have a baby could give the baby up for adoption. In which case, the "rights" of the fetus and the "rights" of the mother are not impugned too greatly.

        I think moral questions shoud be answered without the word "rights" because generally it's a question of whether or not a person or group should be granted the "right" to commit some act.

        If it's morally acceptible, one should be allowed to do it. If it's morally unacceptible, then the government has

    • But for those who still don't get it:

      - There isn't a "ban" on any kind of stem cell research in the US. There is a restriction on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research - entities are still free to perform embryonic stem cell research (see California's recent US$3 billion bond initiative to support such research in the state)

      ...and for those of you who still refuse to acknowledge it:

      Saying that there is no ban on embryonic stem cell research is like saying the federal government didn't requi

      • Technically, it's true--technically, states were free to set the drinking age to whatever they saw fit, and technically, research labs are free to conduct embryonic stem cell research on new cell lines.

        [...]

        There exist only a bare handful of labs who can afford to lose government funding. When the government says "Do this or you'll lose your federal funding", a PI can either do what the government says or close up shop--which means losing years of research, losing his livelihood, and firing a group of hig
    • This is myt view on your questions:

      1. When is an embryo "life"? Moral Question
      2. At some arbitrary time? Repeat of qustion 1
      3. When it's in a woman's womb? Repeat of question 1
      4. When it's "wanted" by someone as the product of actions to create a child? Repeat of question 1
      5. When and how does it become life? Repeat of question 1
      6. What's the magic cutoff? Repeat of question 1
      7. When and why is it ok to destroy it? Legal Question
      8. When it can exist on its own? Irelivent or just another repe
  • by null etc. ( 524767 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @12:08PM (#11777845)
    This reminds me of Smallville, where one guy would get bitten by a bug who ate meteor rock, and the guy would develop bug powers. Another guy would fall on a hot meteor rock, and would develop heat powers. I can't wait for the stem cell meteor rock episode.
  • personal experience (Score:5, Informative)

    by alw53 ( 702722 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @12:19PM (#11777974)
    I did a stem cell donation for my brother last week. It cost about $6000 and involved hooking up veins in both arms to a continuous centrifuge that pumped blood out of one arm, centrifuged it to remove the stem cells, and then injected the plasma and red cells back into the other arm. I had to get injections of Neupogen for four days prior to what the docs called the "harvest".
    I didn't have to have long needles stuck into my bone marrow. The worst part was not being able to move my arms for 5 1/2 hours for any reason because of the needles in veins in my elbows.

    They got 3 times as much material as they need and I am trying to arrange to have the rest stockpiled in case I need them at some later date. They needed 8 million cells per kilo of body weight for a cross donation, but only 4 million for self-donation.
  • Somebody actually noticed that non-embryonic stem cells are being used to treat diseases today. Kind of ironic that while adult stem cell therapies are being tested in clinical trials, the Bush administration is taking heat because they didn't fund ethically suspect embryonic stem cell research - research which has yet to produce even a single cure.
  • Royal Oak, 2003 (Score:4, Informative)

    by wren337 ( 182018 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @12:53PM (#11778435) Homepage
    There was a case in Royal Oak MI where a 16 year old with severe heart damage was treated with stem cells from his bone marrow. This was almost 2 years ago and seems to have been a complete success, but you never read about it. It saved the kid from needing a heart transplant.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/03/06/tech/m ai n542962.shtml

    or google for royal oak heart stem cell

  • by hung_himself ( 774451 ) on Friday February 25, 2005 @01:56PM (#11779299)
    This is getting ridiculous with all the posts trying to use this to justify the effective ban on embryonic stem cell research. IF you belIeve that this research is immoral that's fine - I do understand your opinion and I have no problem with it though I disagree.

    BUT stop claiming that the denial of federal funds doesn't make embryonic stem cell research in the US very difficult. Stop claiming that there is no merit to embryonic stem cell research - that is just patently untrue (yes I am a scientist and I have worked with EC but not ES cells). Look up Parkinson's and Diabetes and get a developmental biologist to explain to you why embryonic stem cell research provides hope for a cure to these diseases. Or read NIH's own summary on stem cell research

    http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/basics1.asp [nih.gov]

    Like I said if you have strong opinions that embryonic cell research is immoral - stand up for yourself and just say so. I respect that much more than trying to trick other people into accepting your agenda with naked FUD.

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