Thanks for your input and honest answer.
My question is not primarily about which embryo stage is used, if they were created in a dish, if they were aborted, etc.
My questions would be better phrased like this:
Why is there such a push for embryonic stem cell research when the evidence thus far seems to point to an "iffy" future as noted by many leading researchers in the field?
Further, why is there not more of a push for adult stem cell research specifically when that area of research is producing wonderful outcomes?
Originally Posted by duckheads
Right.....my field is far form socialized and I would hope it remains that way. What fool in the business would want socailzed medicine, there is not much money in it as it is and there would be a lot lees if it was soooooo...you still don't know what your talking about;-)
BTW- No government money supports my livelyhood thank you very much..When I was in research full time the government did not support my research except when I worked for a state agency that was funded, but I was never directly funded in any way
Originally Posted by Keith Farmer
It is not that simple. There are not really readily available “adult” stem cells. For this discussion we would have to go into the whole what are stem cells and where do they come from. I don’t have time for that right now, but I will be happy to discuss it with you the next time I see you. It is actually very fascinating. Even having a source for stem cells does not mean you will have a “line” of cells that will continue to grow in the laboratory it is a difficult process to create a line of stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are but a small part of stem cell research and many other sources are being explored, however, because embryonic stem cells are totally undifferentiated in any way they are an excellent source. They come from embryos created in an IVF lab for the purpose of getting the couple from who the gametes came from pregnant. Sometimes there are excess embryos left after the couples have achieved their desired families.
A couple come in for IVF and we retrieve 12 ooctyes, Out of these 8-10 may be healthy and available for insemination. We inseminate 10 and out of that 10, 8 fertilized normally. Now those 8 are left to grow in culture for 5 days. Out of the 8 lets say 7 grow to nice embryos and the other arrest and is discarded. We transfer 2 into the woman and she gets pregnant (hopefully) or not. We are now left with 5 embryos that we freeze for the patient to use in the future, either after she has had the child(ren) she is pregnant with from the transfer or in a month or two after it is determined she did not get pregnant. Either way they come back for more children and we have 5 embryos in the liquid nitrogen. I thaw 3 and of that 2 survive and are transferred into the woman. She becomes pregnant for the second time and delivers. She now has two children (maybe more if she had twins one of the two times) and they decide that is all the children they want. They are now left with 2 embryos frozen. They now are left with a choice of what to do with them. As I said before we do not allow them to simply destroy them so they can give them to our lab for use in training, they can donate them to a needy couple (this is our biggest push and we are a leader by far in embryo donation), or they can donate them to stem cell research. Again there are numerous reason why a lot of folks just do not want to donate their embryos to others to have children with.
As far as the “iffy” research, again that is but a small part of the research. I caution you to be careful of what you read and who is publishing it. Of course some things will never pan out, but that is part of research, try and fail, try again and maybe fail or maybe succeed. The article you posted is only a tiny bit of information and it is about something that may or may not work and probably will not work. However, the same Harvard researcher mentioned in the article is working on growing cells that control diabetes. It has nothing to do with injecting stem cells into anyone, it is about actually making these cells, specifically embryonic stem cells, differentiate into specific cells that do a specific function, in this case prevent diabetes. Similarly the same thing is being done in regard to creating liver cells, skin cells, brain cells, neurons…. The possibilities are infinite. Think about being able to grow skin in a lab that could be placed on a little girl who was badly burned. This skin would not be rejected because they body would not recognize it as foreign. The same could be true with liver cells or any other organ. Need a kidney transplant? Not a problem we will be able to grow a new one that your body will accept and rejection will not be an issue. Spinal cord injury….neurons are the slowest growing cell in your body. Sure would be nice to be able to grow them and transfer them, again without fear of rejection. All research is “iffy”. I would bet that you have washed out a few dogs that you may have once had hoped were gong to be good prospects. Same is true of research, you have to try and if you try enough you will fail, but if you try enough you will also succeed.
Thanks, Corey. I have a little bit better understanding of the issue.
I to welcome stem research. There are so many possibilities for cures and treatments for spinal cord damage, diabetes, osteoarthritis (my personal favorite, to be able to grow cartilage), alzheimer's the list goes on and on.
Hell I guess it could turn into a cat or a puppy...You being an expert...what would those 64 or cells turn into?
Originally Posted by badbullgator
Cheap drugs, Hope and Change Regards
Once again thanks for your input. We seem to keep coming back to the ethical/moral questions rather than sound scientific data so I will throw out my two cents worth in that area.
#1) Obama's lift on the research ban does not restrict creating stem cell lines in labratories that do not receive federal funding (in other words, privately funded labs can do whatever they want). The idea that only left over embryos from family planning will be used, in my opinion, is a smoke and mirrors trick (much like an out of order double in a derby) to quell any opposition of the research...dangerous road to travel down...even with one step!
#2) Obama's statement that we in this country will no longer have to be faced with a decision between moral values and sound science is perhaps the most dangerous statement ever uttered by an elected official. He has basically said to me that my moral values are of no issue in the face of science that as of yet does nothing of what he or others report. In fact, the data suggests the possibilities are again "iffy". Here again is the position of knowledgeable researchers on this issue:
But scientists have said they don't think embryonic stem cell research will lead to a cure for Parkinson's.
University of Melbourne Emeritus Professor of Medicine Thomas Martin told Australian lawmakers recently that he did not think that embryonic stem cell research would even lead to cures for major diseases such as diabetes or Parkinson's.
This does not stipulate what methodology the researchers are applying. It rather states that embryonic stem cell usage as a whole does not hold the future value being touted by the leadership of our country.
#3) Obama's horrendous record of being the only elected official to stand on a senate floor in opposition to the babies born alive protection act should be a gigantic red flag to anyone who looks at this latest effort as extremely dangerous...here is why:
"Obama, the sole opponent ever to speak against BAIPA, stated on the Illinois Senate floor on March 30, 2001" By Jill Stanek
"Number one, whenever we define a previable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we're really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a – child, a 9-month-old – child that was delivered to term. …"
It appears that Obama's definition of a child is much different than mine or even yours Corey...much different. In the case above the "child" at topic was delivered to term, was alive, was allowed to die without medical attention, and Obama defended that act as what?...good science? Morally sound? You tell me.
#4) (and this is really nifty)- Obama's definition of "cloning" is not what most American's understand cloning to be. The eugenicist in Obama cannot help but rear its head...and often. The clinical definition of cloning, and correct me if I am wrong here, is that it is not cloning unless there is implantation...right/wrong? IOW's, There is no cloning if the cells are duplicated and not implanted. However, we, America, can export those cells to countries with no ban on implantation for creation of embryos for further usage...ie being destroyed for other purposes.
Here is an old quote from someone who dabbled with similar issues:
"The most dangerous thing is for us to cut off the natural process of selection and thereby rob ourselves of the possibility of acquiring able people. The first born are not always the most talented or strongest people… As a result of our modern humanitarianism we are trying to maintain the weak at the expense of the healthy.”
I suppose one could say that the holocaust was valuable since good scientific data came from some of the research?...nah, that is just not the case.
I will try and hold my moral ground. I hope you can too Corey. Don't loose sight of your values for the wave of this tide.
The cost of drugs is driven by the FDA, specifically all the hoops that companies have to jump through to bring a drug to market. It's miles away from the free market.
Originally Posted by badbullgator
Jmtc, but the only "federal funding" should be a tax deduction & capital gains exemption for those who would choose to invest in that type of research. You believe in it, you get to put your money where your mouth is and you either benefit/lose according to what that company does with the money. People could then decide the morals/ethics for themselves .
This would also eliminate all the wasted time & effort of govt mandated accounting & reporting, as well as any need for a stem cell 'czar' that would surely be appointed for oversight of federal monies spent.
I have the feeling that your issues with embryonic stem cells are founded in religion and by extension your moral beliefs. I respect your point of view and those of anyone. While I do not agree with BHO’s every word on the topic and I don’t agree with many of his parties view on many issues, I do feel strongly that this is not in any way a religious, moral, right to life, or any other such issue. That is just me and it is an opinion I have formed form the work I do. Other feel strongly that even IVF, you know retrieving eggs, making embryos, transferring them, is wrong from a religious or moral stand point. All I can say to those folks is thank God that they cannot outlaw IVF over fears similar to yours about embryonic stem cells or there would be many unhappy couples out there who could not know the joy of having their own children.
I kind of feel for me to continue on with the thread would be a losing battle because your convictions are deep rooted and it is not my goal or even desire to change you beliefs in this regard. I would never try or even care to try to change someone’s religious or moral beliefs and we will just have to somewhat agree to disagree on some things. We could play tit for tat and I can post all the research that is going positively and you can post more things that someone thinks will not work. I tried to make it clear that of course not all research works and that is why you keep trying using similar but different approaches. Some of the greatest discoveries have come from previously failed research.
I would really like to go into the feeling that you have that stem cells will be used from aborted fetuses, but I am afraid that nothing I could say would convince you or some of the others differently. You are right about smoke and mirrors in this regard, however, I see them on your side of the argument as a means to influence people away for the use of embryonic stem cells over unfounded fears that somewhere, some evil scientist is wringing his hands in anticipation of the next delivery form the abortion clinic. All I will say is that it is not a possibility – trust me.
Don’t worry about my moral values Keith. I think you know me well enough to know who I am and what I am about. I share many of the same beliefs as you and understand you concerns, but I assure you they are unfounded