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Thread: Doctors inject potential cure for paralysis into patient

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by badbullgator View Post
    These embryo are NEVER going to become children, they are going to be destroyed anyway you look at it. I can wash them down the drain or I can use them to train other people in the lab, and about 2% of the people who have them will donate them to other couples OR I can send them to one of the universities we work with for stem cell research. With the exception of donating them to other couples they are all destroyed. Personally I prefer donation to others OR embryonic stem cell research.
    Let me tell you, I work with these every day. They are not “children”, they are a mass of cells with the potential to become children…key word potential. Embryos deserve a higher level of respect than say kidney cells, skin cells…but not the same level as a human. Even in nature far more embryos are created (sperm fertilizes egg) that do not attach then do attach (implant and gestate). The universities we work with also accept abnormal embryos that would NEVER be used for anything at all.
    This is a topic, like so many others (oil spills, national security, economy…) that everyone becomes an expert on even though they know absolutely NOTHING about what they speak.


    http://articles.cnn.com/2006-07-19/p..._s=PM:POLITICS

    What about kids mentioned in this article? Is it not the norm? Are they really a very small percrntage?

  2. #42
    Senior Member YardleyLabs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hew View Post
    To play devil's advocate ...

    I would think a cell is a cell is a cell, and as you've pointed out, a cell is not a human. However, once you start assigning higher values to some cells over other cells then logically your argument isn't a whit different than Ducknwork's...you're just differing on where each of you draws the line as to when life begins and what constitutes a human.

    Personally, I think what ultimately happens to unused fertilized embryos is between the donors and their doctor. I would rather them be used for science than disposed, but I can understand and respect the arguments of those who are against that. To me, the slippery slope in the IVF process is not the fertilzation and storage of eggs, but "selective reduction." Now that's were some gut-wrenching, life/death decisions are made.
    A life is a life is a life. So logically the slippery slope begins the moment you point a gun at a duck. Before you know it, you will be shooting a Ducknworth (nothing personal intended). There is a huge difference between a piece of medical waste and a human. If I cut off my finger, I am destroying living human cells. I am not destroying a human. There is no difference between that and the cells left over from an in vitro procedure. What we are doing is creating a situation where we value life so little that we would rather wash those cells down the drain rather than use them in a way that might save lives in the future. It makes no sense at all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by YardleyLabs View Post
    A life is a life is a life. So logically the slippery slope begins the moment you point a gun at a duck. Before you know it, you will be shooting a Ducknworth Whew! Glad I'm safe, but I'd hate to be that guy!(nothing personal intended). There is a huge difference between a piece of medical waste and a human.Your opinion... If I cut off my finger, I am destroying living human cells.Are embryos not human cells? If not, what kind of cells are they? I am not destroying a human.But what if you destroy the human cells necessary for your survival, not just a measly finger? What if we cut off your brain, after all we're just destroying human cells, not a human, right? There is no difference between that and the cells left over from an in vitro procedure. What we are doing is creating a situation where we value life so little that we would rather wash those cells Nobody has said that is right either...down the drain rather than use them in a way that might 'Might' is a big word...save lives in the future. It makes no sense at all.to you.

    Just curious, how many embryos are typically left over after IVF? Why are so many more than necessary created?

    And what can embryonic stem cells do that others can't? Amniotic stem cells seem interesting...Gonna have to read more...

  4. #44
    Senior Member badbullgator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dixidawg View Post
    http://articles.cnn.com/2006-07-19/p..._s=PM:POLITICS

    What about kids mentioned in this article? Is it not the norm? Are they really a very small percrntage?
    Yes less than 2% of patients donate their embryos to others. Not everyone is comfortable with having their "children" go to someone else.
    The article you link to is the begining of a world of politics in this matter.
    Views and opinions expressed herein by Badbullgator do not necessarily represent the policies or position of RTF. RTF and all of it's subsidiaries can not be held liable for the off centered humor and politically incorrect comments of the author.
    Corey Burke

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    Old article. I'm curious what new info is out there...

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...010700674.html

    Scientists See Potential In Amniotic Stem Cells
    They Are Highly Versatile And Readily Available


    By Rick Weiss
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Monday, January 8, 2007

    A type of cell that floats freely in the amniotic fluid of pregnant women has been found to have many of the same traits as embryonic stem cells, including an ability to grow into brain, muscle and other tissues that could be used to treat a variety of diseases, scientists reported yesterday.

    The cells, shed by the developing fetus and easily retrieved during routine prenatal testing, are easier to maintain in laboratory dishes than embryonic stem cells -- the highly versatile cells that come from destroyed human embryos and are at the center of a heated congressional debate that will resume this week.

    Moreover, because the cells are a genetic match to the developing fetus, tissues grown from them in the laboratory will not be rejected if they are used to treat birth defects in that newborn, researchers said. Alternatively, the cells could be frozen, providing a personalized tissue bank for use later in life.
    The new cells are adding credence to an emerging consensus among experts that the popular distinction between embryonic and "adult" stem cells -- those isolated from adult bone marrow and other organs -- is artificial.

    Increasingly, it appears there is a continuum of stem cell types, ranging from the embryonic ones that can morph into virtually any kind of tissue but are difficult to tame, up to adult ones that can turn into a limited number of tissues but are relatively easy to control.

    The newly analyzed fetal stem cells, scientists said, have many of the advantages of both.

    "They grow fast, as fast as embryonic stem cells, and they show great pluripotentiality," meaning they can become many kinds of tissues, said study leader Anthony Atala, director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C. "But they remain stable for years without forming tumors," he added, something that embryonic cells are not very good at.

    Atala and other scientists emphasized that they don't believe the cells will make embryonic stem cells irrelevant.I am curious why. I can't find anywhere that says what the ESCs can do better.

    "There's not going to be one shoe that fits all," said Robert Lanza, scientific director at Advanced Cell Technology in Worcester, Mass. "We're going to have to see which ones are most useful for which clinical conditions."

    George Daley, a Harvard stem cell researcher, echoed that sentiment. "They are not a replacement for embryonic stem cells," he said.

    But in the past, even hints that non-embryonic cells might have medical potential similar to embryonic ones have complicated the political push to expand federal funding for the controversial field. And accordingly, opponents quickly pounced on the new results.

    "This is wonderful news," said Richard Doerflinger, deputy director of pro-life activities at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which opposes research that depends on embryo destruction. "It doesn't require harming anyone or destroying life at any stage."

    Last year, President Bush vetoed a bill that would have allowed federal funding of research on stem cells from embryos discarded by fertility clinics. The newly Democratic Congress has promised to send the same or a similar bill to Bush's desk with even greater majorities early this term, with the House slated to vote on the matter this week.

    The new work, described in yesterday's online edition of the journal Nature Biotechnology, shows that "amniotic fluid-derived stem cells" can be isolated as early as 10 weeks after conception from fluid extracted during tests widely done to detect birth defects.

    In the laboratory, the amniotic cells can mature into all of the major types of cells, dividing at the impressive clip of once every 36 hours yet never showing signs of aging and never becoming tumors -- even after living for more than two years in the lab.

    With co-workers from Wake Forest and from Children's Hospital in Boston, Atala coaxed the cells to become brain cells and injected them into the skulls of mice with diseased brains. The new cells filled in diseased areas and appeared to make new connections with nearby healthy neurons.

    When coaxed to become bone cells and seeded onto a gelatin scaffold that was then implanted in a mouse, the cells calcified and turned into dense, healthy bone.

    Under other conditions they became muscle, fat, blood vessel and liver cells.

    Atala said that if 100,000 women donated their amniotic cells to a bank, that would provide enough cells of sufficient genetic diversity to provide immunologically compatible tissues for virtually everyone in the United States. With more than 4 million U.S. births a year, it would not take long to collect that many specimens, he said -- especially because the cells can be found not only in amniotic fluid but also in the placenta, which is discarded after birth.

    The rights to certain patent claims relating to the cells have been licensed to Plureon Corp. of Winston-Salem, a privately held company on whose board of directors Atala sits.

    Although several stem cell experts applauded the work, some questioned the novelty of the newly described cells. Similar cells have been under study for years with little fanfare, they noted. And though Atala's careful characterization of them is better than any previously done, they said, it is not clear that his cells are truly different than ones others have in hand.

    At Children's Hospital in Boston, for example, Dario Fauza, a pediatric surgeon, has been cultivating similar cells and getting them to grow into cartilage, which he has used to repair defective windpipes in newborn sheep. He has also grown the cells into tendon tissue that was used to repair defective diaphragms in sheep.

    Fauza is seeking Food and Drug Administration permission to try the method in children diagnosed with birth defects while in the womb. He hopes to grow replacement tissues from their own amniotic cells and use those tissues to repair their defects after birth.

    "Typically, you don't do anything until the child is born, and then you are scrambling to fix it," Fauza said. "Why not take out some amniotic fluid, which we do routinely anyway, and engineer a tissue in parallel during the remainder of gestation so he or she will have a tissue by the time he or she is born?"

  6. #46
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    Newer article.

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/171992.php

    For the first time, scientists have demonstrated that stem cells found in amniotic fluid meet an important test of potential to become specialized cell types, which suggests they may be useful for treating a wider array of diseases and conditions than scientists originally thought.

    Reporting in Oncogene, a publication of Nature Publishing Group, the research teams of Anthony Atala, M.D., director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and Markus Hengstchläger, Ph.D., from the Medical University of Vienna, have shown that these amnion stem cells can form three-dimensional aggregates of cells known as embryoid bodies (EBs). It is believed that cells at this stage of development can be directed to become virtually any cell in the human body.

    "This finding suggests that the amnion cells have greater potential than we originally thought and may be able to form many cell types," said Atala. "This could expand the number for diseases and conditions that they may be helpful for."

    Atala's team is currently evaluating the cells for their potential to treat diabetes and kidney disease. They were the first to report success (Nature Biotechnology, Jan. 2007) in isolating stem cells from placenta and amniotic fluid, which surrounds the developing fetus. The current research is one of several projects designed to determine the potential of this new type of stem cell.

    For the study, scientists generated two additional lines of stem cells from amniotic fluid using the same protocol developed by Atala's lab. They then investigated the incidence of EB formation in all three lines.

    "Performing many independent experiments using different approaches, we demonstrate in the report that human amnion stem cells … can indeed form embryoid bodies," write the researchers in Oncogene. "Amnion cells are on the way to become an important source for both basic science and regenerative medicine."

    In addition to the finding about EBs, the scientists identified a protein found inside cells (mTOR) as the regulator of EB formation. Hengstshläger, whose team was the first to provide evidence for the existence of stem cells in amniotic fluid, said that this finding may allow for new insights into the molecular mechanism of EB formation.

    He said the cells may be a useful source for generating disease-specific stem cell lines for studying the differentiation process to determine what goes wrong in genetic diseases.

    "These stem cells allow for studying the effects of mutations causing human genetic diseases on specific cell differentiation processes," he said.

    Other potential advantages of the cells are that they can be grown in large quantities and are readily available during gestation and at the time of birth. "Whether these cells are as versatile as embryonic stem cells remains to be determined," said Atala, "but the current finding is certainly encouraging."

    Atala stopped short of calling the cells pluripotent, which means the ability to form many cell types. He said while the cells meet some of the characteristics of pluripotency, such as versatility, they do not form tumors when implanted in animals, which is also considered a characteristic. The fact that the amnion cells are less likely to form tumors may be one advantage that they have over embryonic stem cells in their potential for clinical use.

    Co-researchers were Alessandro Valli, Ph.D., Margit Rosner, student, Christiane Fuchs, MSc., Nicol Siegel, MSc., and Helmut Dolznig, Ph.D., from the Medical University of Vienna, Colin E. Bishop, Ph.D., from Wake Forest, and Ulrike Mädel, student, and Wilfried Feichtinger, M.D., from Wunschbaby Zentrum, in Vienna, Austria.

    Source: Karen Richardson
    Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center

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    Even newer...

    http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2010...6171268667226/

    NEW YORK, March 15 (UPI) -- Scientists at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York say they've found skin cells in human amniotic fluid can become embryonic-like stem cells.

    The researchers led by Assistant Professor Katalin Polgar found when compared to cultured adult skin cells, the amniotic fluid skin cells formed stem cell colonies in about half the time and yielded nearly a 200 percent increase in number.

    "There remains today a need in stem cell research for an easily reprogrammable cell type," Polgar said. "Our study shows that reprogramming of cultured, terminally differentiated amniotic fluid cells results in pluripotent stem cells that are identical to human embryonic stem cells, and that it is much easier, faster and more efficient than reprogramming neonatal and adult cells."

    Amniotic fluid skin cells can be safely obtained from pregnant women undergoing amniocentesis at about 15 weeks of pregnancy as part of a diagnostic workup for chromosome aberrations and other genetic diseases, the researchers said. About 99 percent of cells found in amniotic fluid are terminally differentiated cells mostly from fetal skin, which are shed into the amniotic fluid as a fetus develops.

    Such cells, they said, could become an important source for generating stem cells for basic research and future therapies.

    The study appears in the ahead-of-print online edition of the journal Cellular Reprogramming (formerly Cloning and Stem Cells),

  8. #48
    Senior Member badbullgator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ducknwork View Post
    I don't believe I said anything that was wrong. Maybe some things that were against the opinion of others, but not factually incorrect.

    I am trying to read some stuff on it right now. Other than the ease of reproduction of the cells, the limited vs unlimited number of times each can reproduce, and the differentiation issues (which seems solvable) what can embryonic stem cells do that others can't? From what I have read so far, stem cells from amniotic fluid seems to have as much potential as ESCs, without the controversy.
    My problem with what you posted is that too many people want to make regulations based on opinions and beliefs rather than facts. You can have your opinion, I have mine, but to try to influance others in something you (not you personally) don't fully comprehend is a problem.
    embryonic stem cells have much more potential meaning they are far less programed than other adult stem cells. As far as amniotic cells go, they are not as abundant nor as easy to get.
    I really don’t have time for this now as I am busy making embryos, but here is an example for you to think about. This is an actual example of a recent patient who donated their remaining embryo to stem cell research. The male partner in this case had cancer at age 19. He had his semen frozen prior to radiation and chemotherapy to preserve his fertility in the future should he survive (Chemo and radiation very often leaves both men and women infertile). At age 26 he and his wife decided to begin a family. We retrieved 6 eggs form her. 5 of the eggs were mature and able to be inseminated. Four of those actually fertilized and grew. On the third day of culture one embryo arrested (happens often with sperm issues). On day 5 we transferred 2 of the 3 remaining embryos into the female. One implanted and she delivered a boy. The one remaining embryo was frozen of day 5 for future use. For whatever reason (I cannot recall if it was a female health reason or what) they decided they were through with building a family. Now the dilemma of having one frozen embryo….what to do? They did not want to donate this to others and they did not want it destroyed with no benefit what so ever. They offered it to my lab, but my opinion on that is that it is a waste of a good embryo, I can use mouse embryos for training and QC. The option that was chosen was to donate it to stem cell research. Now are you going to tell me this was a bad thing? Should they have been forced to use this embryo themselves? Should they have been forced to give this to someone else? Are they/we bad for helping this couple have a family? Was this not a good use of all the embryos that were created?
    Keep in mind, for those who believe that “life” begins at fertilization (BTW- I consider conception to be an embryo that has implanted and is growing not a fertilized egg floating around waiting to implant because many, many fertilize in nature (not IVF) and never implant). What about the embryo that arrested on day 3? How would you feel if I froze that and sent it for research (we can do that)? Another thing to keep in mind is that the average number of embryos I send from a donor is 2. We are not talking about 10’s or 20’s per patient, we are talking about 2. In nature and IVF the implantation rate of an embryo is about 35-40% meaning that about 60% of all embryos never become anything.
    Views and opinions expressed herein by Badbullgator do not necessarily represent the policies or position of RTF. RTF and all of it's subsidiaries can not be held liable for the off centered humor and politically incorrect comments of the author.
    Corey Burke

  9. #49
    Senior Member dnf777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badbullgator View Post
    In nature and IVF the implantation rate of an embryo is about 35-40% meaning that about 60% of all embryos never become anything. [/FONT]
    I have read even higher numbers, but either way, the point remains.

    As for the reprogramming of terminally differentiated cells into pluripotent stem cells, that is adding numerous steps to the mix, and introducing multiple opportunities for error. Dedifferentiation is exactly what happens to cancer cells, and amongst other things, they lose their ability to regulate cell growth and division.

    It would be like asking: if you want to train a dog to be successful, would you rather start with a pup, or start with an adult dog that's layed around a farm all its life and never had to do anything but eat and sleep, and you have to "untrain" its bad habits and start all over?

    It really all comes down to when you feel that life begins. Being that is a religious/spirutual question, there can be no "right" answer, and we must just respect each other's view, and not infringe upon each other's rights and actions.
    God Bless PFC Jamie Harkness. The US Army's newest PFC, but still our neighbor's little girl!

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    Quote Originally Posted by badbullgator View Post
    My problem with what you posted is that too many people want to make regulations based on opinions and beliefs rather than facts. You can have your opinion, I have mine, but to try to influance others in something you (not you personally) don't fully comprehend is a problem. I agree with you, to a point. It's difficult to 'make regulations' based on facts and not involve any opinions, because there is usually so much gray area. That's why I started trying to learn more about the subject. I wanted to try to find scientific facts to back up my opinion.
    embryonic stem cells have much more potential meaning they are far less programed than other adult stem cells. As far as amniotic cells go, they are not as abundant nor as easy to get. I guess I'll have to take your word for that, because you have first hand knowledge and I only have what I have read on the internet...But what is your response to the last article I pasted that says ASCs are being made identical to ESCs? And everything that I have read makes it seem as though ASCs are quite abundant (every pregnant woman has them and they can be easily acquired during a prenatal test that is already common).
    I really don’t have time for this now as I am busy making embryos, but here is an example for you to think about. This is an actual example of a recent patient who donated their remaining embryo to stem cell research. The male partner in this case had cancer at age 19. He had his semen frozen prior to radiation and chemotherapy to preserve his fertility in the future should he survive (Chemo and radiation very often leaves both men and women infertile). At age 26 he and his wife decided to begin a family. We retrieved 6 eggs form her. 5 of the eggs were mature and able to be inseminated. Four of those actually fertilized and grew. On the third day of culture one embryo arrested (happens often with sperm issues). On day 5 we transferred 2 of the 3 remaining embryos into the female. One implanted and she delivered a boy. The one remaining embryo was frozen of day 5 for future use. For whatever reason (I cannot recall if it was a female health reason or what) they decided they were through with building a family. Now the dilemma of having one frozen embryo….what to do? They did not want to donate this to others and they did not want it destroyed with no benefit what so ever. They offered it to my lab, but my opinion on that is that it is a waste of a good embryo, I can use mouse embryos for training and QC. The option that was chosen was to donate it to stem cell research. Now are you going to tell me this was a bad thing?That's a tough situation and I'm sure I'll get blasted for my opinion. I would hate to be in a situation like that... Should they have been forced to use this embryo themselves? Should they have been forced to give this to someone else? Are they/we bad for helping this couple have a family? Was this not a good use of all the embryos that were created? I don't think that you were bad for helping them...I don't think they should be forced to do anything...I don't know what the right answer is, but I still feel that they had a child that was, for lack of better terms, killed...I can't admit that killing a child is right in any way.
    Keep in mind, for those who believe that “life” begins at fertilization (BTW- I consider conception to be an embryo that has implantedInteresting concept...never thought about that... and is growing not a fertilized egg floating around waiting to implant because many, many fertilize in nature (not IVF) and never implant). What about the embryo that arrested on day 3? Nature took care of that one...nobody did anything wrong there.How would you feel if I froze that and sent it for research (we can do that)?No problem since it was already dead and could not become a baby. Another thing to keep in mind is that the average number of embryos I send from a donor is 2. We are not talking about 10’s or 20’s per patient, we are talking about 2. just to lighten the mood a tad...your last two sentences reminded me of this gem... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frsId3goYYE In nature and IVF the implantation rate of an embryo is about 35-40% meaning that about 60% of all embryos never become anything.
    ..................

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