Regenerative Medicine

Chicago Woman Is First Adult Cured Of Sickle Cell Disease With Chemo-Free Technique

Ieshea Thomas, a Chicago woman, is the first adult to be cured of sickle cell disease with the chemotherapy-free procedure at UI Hospital. Iesha Thomas has been in and out of hospitals battling sickle cell disease since she was only 8 months old. This summer, 33-year-old Thomas became the first adult to be cured of sickle cell disease with a chemotherapy-free procedure at University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System (UI Health), the University reported. Thomas is one of 12 adult patients cured of sickle cell disease as part of a clinical trial at UI Health that used a unique procedure for stem cell transplantation from healthy tissue matched from a sibling donor. Findings from phase I/II of the clinical trial are published online in the journal Biology of Blood & Marrow Transplantation. A Less Harsh Treatment Stem cell transplants have been used for years as a means of possibly curing sickle cell disease. However, before the stem cell transplant could be completed patients would have to endure a taxing course of drugs to kill the cancer cells, otherwise known as chemotherapy. The more traditional form of stem cell transplant uses chemotherapy to destroy the patient’s own bone marrow, which shuts down their immune system and makes them vulnerable to infections. The new technique – first developed and performed at the National Institutes of Health campus in Maryland – eliminates the need for chemotherapy to prepare the patient to receive the transplanted cells and offers the prospect of cure for tens of thousands of adults suffering from sickle cell disease – many of them Black Americans. According to...

Notes on Cloning by Embryo Splitting (2009)

From the files of Dr Dianne Irving ….. FYI — short list of references from studies recently published in PubMed concerning the endorsement and use of cloning by "embryo splitting" as "infertility treatments, and the push by lawyers to change and deconstruct the critical and accurate scientific terms of human embryology in law for "new practices and new times".  With these new fabricated "scientific" terms, the public won't even be able to tell what kinds of human embryo research, human cloning, human genetic engineering, or "infertility treatments" they are doing any more.  Please pass on to interested others.  The term "abortion" no longer involves only sexually reproduced human embryos, and the term "cloning" no longer involves only the SCNT cloning technique.   In fact, neither have been true for some time now. — DNI     —  “Embryo-splitting” endorsed for “infertility treatments: The American Medical Association has recently renewed its position on the use of "embryo splitting" (i.e., a form of cloning) as infertility treatments.  FYI, I have copied the URL for this latest report, as well as the URL provided there for the original 1994 report which has been serially updated.  — DNI     Code of Medical Ethics (Sept 21, 2009) Opinion 2.145 – Pre-embryo Splitting (a summary) [[note the use of the erroneous scientific term “pre-embryo”]] http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/physician-resources/medical-ethics/code-medical-ethics/opinion2145.shtml This Report provides a hyperlink to the original 1994 report that explains “blastomere separation” and “blastocyst splitting” in IVF facilities for “infertility treatments”: CEJA Report 1-I-94 Recent medical developments have enabled scientific researchers to split human pre-embryos into genetically identical sibling embryos.  …  The first two techdniques involve the...

Egg Harvesting: Threat to Women's Health (3/07)

Egg harvesting and Embryonic Stem-cell Research Pose Serious Threat to Women’s Health A congressional hearing last Thursday raised awareness on the risks to women’s health and fertility by in vitro fertilization (IVF), human cloning, embryonic stem-cell research, where experts testified the techniques and drugs involved posed unacceptable risks to women. Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) co-sponsored the congressional briefing “Trading on the Female Body” March 8, International Women's Day, where health experts, and a mother who lost her daughter from health complications from IVF, testified on the severe dangers to women’s lives posed by fertility and human cloning technologies. "Current practices follow a historical pattern of exposing women to risks that prove ultimately unacceptable," said Diane Beeson, PhD., chairwoman of the group “Hands Off Our Ovaries”, at a Capitol Hill press conference. "The harvesting of multiple eggs often involves the administration of drugs that have not been approved for this purpose," she continued. "Also these drugs have not been adequately studied for their long-term effects on women despite research providing some evidence of significant harm to women in both the short term and long term." A recent study by scientists at the University of Padua found 1 in 10 women undergoing fertility treatment will suffer milder forms of an adverse reaction to the drugs called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), while 1 percent will be at risk for life-threatening blood disorders. Researchers also analyzed doctors' reports since the early 1990s and discovered 60 percent of fertility treatment accidents involved blood clots in the head and neck. The UK Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists also wrote...

Where Will All the Eggs Come From?

Hidden among the promises of cures and hype about the biotech boom is the fact that scores of thousands of women will have to provide millions of human eggs for embryonic stem cell research by a process which can be physically and emotionally damaging. ** Women who volunteer will receive fertility drugs to stimulate their ovaries to produce multiple eggs. ** Some women develop mild to moderate Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome, which leads to abdominal swelling, fluid accumulation, and gastrointestinal distress. ** Another problem is that women are sedated for egg harvesting; in rare cases, this can lead to bleeding, infection, and damage to internal organs or blood vessels. ** A very small percentage of women may develop excessive weight gain, respiratory difficulties, and in rare instances, blood clots and kidney failure. ** Women who donate eggs to infertile couples (17%-25%) later regret donating, or have a negative emotional reaction or depression; some complain of feeling like a commodity. Other proponents of human cloning and human embryo-destructive stem cell research are suggesting that the eggs be harvested from dead women [Loane Skene, Chair, Lockhart committee], while others prefer to harvest eggs from dead female fetuses [Senator Kay Patterson, sponsor, cloning bill]. [LifeNews.com,...

The Corruption of the Science of Human Embryology

by Dr. C. Ward Kischer, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of Anatomy, specialty in Human Embryology, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Arizona I am a human embryologist. I have spent a career in a "publish or perish" profession using a great deal of that time writing grants, hoping to get some funded to keep a research program going, as well as teaching, mostly medical students. But in 1989 I came to the conclusion that the science of Human Embryology was being rewritten according to political correctness. It was then that I decided to try to correct the revisions. Abortion, partial birth abortion, in-vitro fertilization, human fetal research, human embryo research, cloning and stem cell research are all core issues of Human Embryology. Yet, in all of the Supreme Court cases since 1973 and at all of the Congressional hearings on these issues, no human embryologist has been called as a witness and no reference to Human Embryology has ever been made. Further, among the NIH Human Embryo Research Advisory Panel, the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, and President Bush's Council on Bioethics, no human embryologist was appointed as a member, nor called as a witness. Justice Harry Blackmun wrote in the Roe v. Wade decision: "We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins." Blackmun smeared the distinction between the biological (or embryological) meaning with the legal meaning, and conflated the two into his declaration. His inference was that he was talking about biological life without specifically stating so. From this source followed a science of Human Embryology that has been parsed and perverted, revised and redefined, changed...

The Cost of SuperOvulation – Physical and Financial

William Haseltine, CEO of Human Genome Sciences, is a leading advocate of embryonic stem cell research. But, he says results are decades away and his company is not spending money on the unproven cells. “The routine utilization of human embryonic stem cells for medicine is 20 to 30 years hence," Haseltine admits. "The timeline to commercialization is so long that I simply would not invest," Haseltine added. "You may notice that our company has not made such investments.” Kelly Hollowell, Ph.D., a molecular and cellular pharmacologist and a patent attorney, says another problem with embryonic stem cell research is that it requires harvesting so many cells and the process requires women's eggs to create human embryos. "To treat, for example, the 17 million diabetes patients in the United States will require a minimum of 850 million to 1.7 billion human eggs," Hollowell said. "Collecting 10 eggs per donor will require a minimum of 85 to 170 million women." "The total cost would be astronomical, at $100,000 to $200,000 for 50 to 100 human eggs per each patient," Dr. Hollowell explained. She explained at a Heritage Foundation conference that the process of obtaining eggs puts women at risk. "Superovulation regimens for fertility treatments would be used to obtain women's eggs," Hollowell explained. "The risks associated with superovulation regimens or high-dose hormone therapies are debated." She said women who engage in the process can be subjected to a "spectrum of problems including memory loss, seizure, stroke, infertility, cancer, and even death." "The scientific data on embryonic stem cell research simply does not support continued investment in research. Even if the research...

Pressuring Women to Freeze or Donate Their Ova (9/06)

Fears of Exploitation by Biotechnology Mount Women are under increasing pressure to freeze their ova or to donate them for research purposes. Recently a director of a fertility service in West Midlands, England, recommended that women freeze their eggs early so as to avoid problems when trying for a pregnancy in later years. Gillian Lockwood's comments came just prior to a speech she was due to make at a meeting of the British Fertility Society in Glasgow, the Scotsman newspaper reported Sept. 7. "Women in their 30s who may want children in the future should be encouraged to consider freezing their eggs for future use," Lockwood said. While many women who currently freeze their ova do so for reasons related to medical problems such as cancer, Lockwood said she expected the number of "social egg-freezers" to increase. Women are also being asked to donate their ova for research. An English fertility center in the city of Newcastle was given permission by the government to pay women undergoing in vitro fertilization treatment to donate eggs for research using cloning, the BBC reported July 27. The authorization, by the British Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, is important because it marked the first time that payment can be given for IVF eggs used in research. Previously researchers were only allowed to ask women to donate the ova. The go-ahead will enable researchers to offer couples who need IVF, but cannot afford it, the possibility of having some of their costs offset in return for donating eggs for research. The decision brought protests from Josephine Quintavalle, a co-founder of the Hands Off Our...

Research of South Korean Embryo-Destructive Stem Cell Scientist Declared Fabricated

The research of Korean embryonic stem-cell scientist Hwang Woo-suk has been declared “intentionally fabricated” by a panel of scientists at Seoul National University. “Based on these findings, data in the 2005 Science journal cannot be regarded as a simple accidental error but as intentional fabrication made out of two stem cells,” the investigators reported. “This is a serious wrongdoing that has damaged the foundation of science.” The once national hero said, “I sincerely apologise to the people for creating shock and disappointment”… after the announcement [BBC; SEOUL, 23Dec05, LifeSiteNews.com]. Hwang has resigned:  “As a symbol of apology, I step down as professor of Seoul National University.” Despite admissions from Hwang’s colleagues that the embryonic stem cell research was faked and the SNU probe confirmed it, Hwang was still defiant 23Dec saying that he did produce patient-specific cells [LifeNews.com, 24Dec05]. Professor of veterinary medicine Hwang Woo Suk’s unregulated attempts to clone a human being were hit with ethics charges from an American scientist [Dr. Schatten Univ Pittsburgh] who quit Hwang’s team, following disclosure of possible coercion in obtaining eggs for money from young female researchers. Apparently, some of the photos of cell colonies supposedly derived from 11 patients were duplicates. [FRC, 6Dec05] Dr. Schatten demanded that his name be removed from an article he co-wrote with Hwang for the journal Science. The photographs in the article are probably duplicates of one another. Hwang’s associate, Dr. Roh Sung-il, said that Hwang pressured scientists in the lab at Mizmedi Hospital to fake project data. Corruption is an inextricable part of this misguided scheme. [FRC, 15Dec05] South Korean Univ began its investigation into the...

Diabetes Treatments: Embryonic vs. Non-Embryonic Cell Research

From Family Research Council – Washington, DC – www.frc.org – 800-225-4008 Touted ESCR Diabetes Studies, NO CURES: 2001 Media heralded study showed that embryonic stem cells turned into pancreatic cells. In fact, they only produced 1/50th the normal amount of insulin. Lumelsky N. et al., “Differentiation of embryonic stem cells to insulin-secreting structures similar to pancreatic islets,” Science 292, 1389-1394; May 18, 2001.   2002 A study showed embryonic stem cells turned into a kind of insulin-producing cell, not beta cells, that produced 13% of the normal insulin levels. When injected, the mice were kept alive but not enough to cure the diabetes. Hori Y, Rulifson IC, Tsai BC, Heit JJ, Cahoy JD, Kim SK. “Growth inhibitors promote differentiation of insulin-producing tissue from embryonic stem cells.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Dec 10;99(25):16105-10. Epub 2002 Nov 19. PMID: 12441403. 2003 Follow-up study showed that these pancreatic cells did not actually produce insulin (they absorbed it from the culture). 2004 A study showed that embryonic stem cells produced insulin-producing cells, again not beta cells, and they did not cure the mice but formed tumors. Sipione S., et al., “Insulin expressing cells from differentiated embryonic stem cells are not beta cells,” Diabetologia 47, 499-508, 2004 (publishedonline 14 Feb 2004).   ADULT CELLS successfully TREAT HUMANS with diabetes: 2005 A recent report shows that islet cells can now be donated from live donors for patients, opening up many more possibilities for transplants. Using this technique, a mother donated cells for her diabetic daughter, alleviating the diabetic symptoms (Matsumota S et al., “Insulin independence after living-donor distal pancreatectomy and islet...

Heart Treatments: Embryonic vs. Adult Stem Cell Research

From Family Research Council and www.stemcellresearch.org: Touted ESCR Heart Studies—Mixed Results in Animals: 2004 Doctors at the Mayo Clinic transformed embryonic stem cells into fully functional cardiac cells and transplanted them into damaged regions of the hearts of rats. The results showed that the walls of the heart were stronger. Terzic, et al. “Stable benefit of embryonic stem cell therapy in Myocardial infarction,” American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology, August 2004. 2003 Researchers injected mouse embryonic stem cells into the hearts of rats after induced heart attack. The cells turned into heart cells and improved heart function over a period of 32 weeks. Min JY et al. “Long-term improvement of cardiac function in rats after infarction bytransplantation of embryonic stem cells.” The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 125, 361-369 February 2003. 2002 Researchers turned mouse embryonic stem cells into heart-like cells in a Petri dish. Although the cells demonstrated spontaneous electrical activity, they beat irregularly like an arrhythmia. Zhang YM et al. “Stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes demonstrate arrhythmicpotential”; Circulation 106, 1294-1299; September 3, 2002.   Adult Stem Cell Successes in Humans and Animals: 2005 Scientists found that rats injected with cardiac stem cells experienced heart tissue regeneration, with the damaged area decreasing by 29%. Researchers claim these results make cardiac stem cells excellent candidates for cardiac regeneration, and give thepossibility that the patient’s own stem cells could be collected, expanded and stored for subsequent therapeutic repair. Dawn B et al., “Cardiac stem cells delivered intravascularly traverse the vessel barrier, regenerate infarcted myocardium, and improve cardiac function”,Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 102, 3766-3771, March 8, 2005....

Spinal Cord Injury Treatments: Embryonic vs. Adult Stem Cell Research

From Family Research Council & www.stemcellresearch.org Touted ESCR Spinal Cord Injury Studies in Animals: 2005 California researchers used human embryonic stem cells to treat rats with acute but not chronic spinal cord injury. The stem cells were turned into the nerve cells that surround spinal cords, and the rats showed modest functional improvement. The experiment was not continued long enough to test for tumors. Keirstead H et al., “Human embryonic stem cell derived oligodendrocyte progenitor cell transplants remyelinate and restore locomotion after spinal cord injury,” J Neuroscience 25, 4694-4705, May 11, 2005. 2005 Researchers used human embryonic stem cells to remyelinate the protective sheath around injured rat spinal cords. However, there was no test for any functional recovery. Nistor GI et al., “Human embryonic stem cells differentiate into oligodendrocytes in high purity and myelinate after spinal cord transplantation,” Glia 49, 385-396, 2/05. 1999 Researchers used human embryonic stem cells in rats with spinal cord injury. The rats showed some functional improvement. McDonald JW et al., “Transplanted embryonic stem cells survive, differentiate and promote recovery in injured rat spinal cord,” Nature Medicine 12, 1410-1412, December 1999. 1999 German researchers showed that embryonic stem cells could form protective myelin sheaths around nerves in rats with spinal cord injury. There was no test for any functional recovery. Brüstle O et al., “Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Glial Precursers: A Source of Myelinating Transplants,” Science 285, 754-756, July 30, 1999.   Adult Stem Cells Treat Spinal Cord Injury in Humans and Animals: 2005 Extending earlier results, Wisconsin and Swedish researchers injected neural stem cells into rats with spinal cord injury. The study shows reduction of pain,...

Parkinson's Treatments: Embryonic vs. Adult Stem Cell Research

Touted ESCR (Embryonic Stem Cell Research) Parkinson’s Studies—Mixed Results in Animals: 2005 A Japanese team turned monkey embryonic stem cells into neural stem cells. They transplanted these into monkeys with artificially induced Parkinsons’s, and some cells turned into dopamine producing cells. There was mild alleviation of symptoms. YasushiTakagi et al. “Dopaminergic neurons generated from monkey embryonic stem cells function in a Parkinson primate model” The Journal of Clinical Investigation 115 (1): January 2005. 2004 An Israeli team turned human embryonic stem cells into neural progenitors and transplanted these into rats. Some cells made dopamine, but the cells stopped growing at 12 weeks. Rats exhibited a partial improvement in behavioral tests, but it was too early to see if tumors formed. Ben-Hur T, et al. “Transplantation of human embryonic stem cell-derived neural progenitors improves behavioral deficit in Parkinsons rats.” Stem Cells 22 (7): 1246-55, 2004. 2003 Dopaminergic neurons made from mouse embryonic stem cells were transplanted into Parkinson’s mice and provided some decrease in symptoms, but 20% of mice receiving the embryonic stem cells died due to teratoma formation. F Nishimura et al.; “Potential use of embryonic stem cells for the treatment of mouse Parkinsonian models: improved behavior by transplantation of in vitro differentiated dopaminergic neurons from embryonic stem cells”; Stem Cells 21, 171-180; March 2003. 2002 NIH and South Korean researchers used gene engineering to enrich mouse embryonic stem cells for dopamine neurons. The Parkinson’s rats received some benefit up to 8 weeks after injection. J-H Kim et al.; “Dopamine neurons derived from embryonic stem cells function in an animal model of Parkinson’s disease”; Nature 418, 50-56; July 4,...

Embryonic Stem Cells Accumulate Risky Mutations

New Report: EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS PROVIDE NO SUPPORT FOR GOVERNMENT FUNDING OF NEW LINES   A report released by an international scientific team documents that human embryonic stem cells accumulate genetic mutations as they are cultured in the lab (1).   The study compared genetic changes between cells early on in their laboratory growth and those that had been grown for longer periods of time. Like all other cells, human embryonic stem cells accumulated mutations and chromosomal changes, many of which are associated with faster growth and tumor formation.   While some are already “spinning” the facts from the report to call for passage of the Castle/Specter bill and use of federal money to produce new human embryonic stem cell lines, the real lesson is exactly the opposite.   The authors themselves note that their findings do not limit the utility of the cells for basic research or even for possible future applications, but simply draw attention to the need to monitor growing cells closely for genetic changes.   The fact is that any cell in prolonged culture will show changes, but good laboratory practice involves freezing cell samples as a hedge against such genetic changes, so that a pool of frozen cells is always available.   Using such practices, normal human cells have been used for decades for research as well as vaccine preparation; examples include the WI-38 cell line first isolated in 1961 (2), the MRC-5 line isolated in 1966 (3), and the IMR-90 cell line first grown in 1977 (4), still used today. It is inconceivable that those maintaining cell cultures at NIH would not have...

Embryonic Stem Cells Not Needed with Available Alternatives: President’s Council on Bioethics (5/05)

The President’s Council on Bioethics, the body that advises President Bush on issues related to cloning, stem cell research and the new reproductive technologies, has issued a report suggesting that stem cells may not have to be taken from living embryos for research. The report says that it is possible that cells taken from embryos that have died after being formed, from the patient’s own body, and those taken from living embryos without killing them, a process called ‘nondestructive biopsy,’ could be used successfully to replace embryonic stem cells in research. The report, called Alternative Sources of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells, is a summation of the discussions of the Council on stem cell research, cloning and related biotechnologies…………….. Read the full report: http://www.bioethics.gov/reports/white_paper/fulldoc.html WASHINGTON, May 16, 2005...

Lancet Calls For Caution In Touting Potential For Embryonic Stem Cells (6/05)

The Lancet, a prestigious British medical journal calls recent headlines that claim research using embryonic stem cells will lead to cures for an almost unending number of diseases to be “sensationalist” and “hype” even though the journal favors embryo-destructive research. In an editorial in the June 4 edition titled “Stem cell research: hope and hype,” The Lancet noted the findings of a recent meeting of researchers in London, also supportive of embryonic stem cell research, who found that, “no safe and effective stem cell therapy will be widely available for at least a decade, and possibly longer.” Recent news that South Korean scientists successfully cloned a human embryo has increased the visibility of bold claims by those favoring embryo-destructive research that miracle cures for everything from Alzheimer’s to diabetes are around the corner if such research is allowed. Recent debate in the House of Representative over legislation that would provide federal funding for embryo-destructive research was filled with emotional pleas from House members on both sides of the aisle who claimed that such funding offered the best hope for family members struck with a variety of diseases. The Lancet also published a commentary from Neil Scolding, a British neurology researcher at the University of Bristol, highlighting the numerous technical problems with embryonic stem cell research. “[A]n increasing appreciation of the hazards of embryonic stem cells has rightly prevented the emergence or immediate prospect of any clinical therapies based on such cells. The natural propensity of embryonic stem cells to form [tumors], their exhibition of chromosomal abnormalities, and abnormalities in cloned mammals all present difficulties.” Scolding says that the “prospect of...

Women's Health: Consequences of Human Egg Donation

Testimony of Pia de Solenni before the Massachusetts State Legislature’s Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies     FRC’s Director of Life and Women’s Issues Pia de Solenni, Ph.D. gave the following testimony before the Massachusetts State Legislature’s Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies regarding adult stem cell research and embryonic stem cell research on February 16, 2005. I am Dr. Pia de Solenni, director of life and women’s issues at the Family Research Council in Washington, DC. I speak to you today as an ethicist who has researched adult stem cell research and embryonic stem cell research from many perspectives. Let’s take a moment to examine where we’re at in the cloning debate. While reproductive cloning has been removed from center stage, the focus on so-called therapeutic cloning continues to grow. At the same time, little attention has been given to advances in adult stem cell research. I would ask that these two research binders be included in the record of today’s testimony. This one represents a fraction of the advances in human adult stem cell research just for 2004. Over 30 peer-reviewed studies are included. Many more are available. This other binder, you will note, is curiously empty. It contains treatments from human embryonic stem cell research. After more than 20 years, cloning and embryonic stem cell research have not yielded a single cure. The hype is not unlike that surrounding the debates about the rain forest and fetal tissue research during the 1990s. I also include a letter from June 18, 2004, written on behalf of Dr. Elias Zerhouni at the National Institutes of...

Human Embryonic Stem Cells Contain MHC Proteins

HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS NOT SO INVISIBLE OR THERAPEUTIC AFTER ALL — Research by a team at the Hebrew Univ of Jerusalem that contradicts a claim of human embryonic stem cell research (hESCR) proponents was published in recent weeks in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a major scientific journal.  Their experiments show that a previously-touted notion that hES cells can slip under the surveillance of a normal human immune system as if they were invisible is completely false.  They compared hES cells to other cell lines including a non-hES line of cells called HeLa cells, by performing a technique called flow cytometry that utilizes fluorescent-tagged antibodies.  This allowed them to analyze the cells for protein markers called MHC proteins. ...

Get the Facts Right on Stem Cells (11/04)

As a physician, National Institutes of Health-funded researcher and biotech company owner, I would like to address the [newspaper] recent editorial advocating lifting the state ban on embryonic stem cell research (“State must lift stem cell research ban,” Oct. 12). This research has been distorted by offering unrealistic hope, such as remarks by Sen. John Edwards that patients like Christopher Reeve will get out of their wheelchair and walk during John Kerry’s administration if elected.   Putting aside the moral and ethical issues, use of adult stem cells is more attractive from the standpoint of logistics and business economics. Adult-derived stem cells have produced the same types of specialized cells as embryonic stem cells. It would be preferable to use a patient’s own stem cells because it eliminates the risk of tissue rejection. Embryonic stem cell research may lead to cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. This premise is based on science fiction and not scientific principles. Alzheimer’s is a diffuse brain injury, and, at best, stem cell regenerative medicine will be directed toward diseases that reflect local or focal injuries. There is a naivete among the public and scientists that stem cell regenerative treatments are as simple as injecting or transplanting stem cells into damaged organs. The scientific community has a very primitive understanding of how cells prepared in a laboratory will behave in diseased tissue, and it likely could take a lifetime before we can make any conclusions about this type of research. In the meantime, there are more realistic research advances for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases that may lead to treatments sooner in the short-term than...

Bill Gates Contributes to CA Embryonic Stem Cell Campaign (8/04)

Microsoft Corp. chairman Bill Gates contributed $400,000 to the campaign backing a CA ballot measure that would make billions of dollars available for human embryonic stem cell research and cloning projects in the state, public campaign recordsshowed. Gates is the latest billionaire to contribute to a campaign that has amassed more than $12 million in support of Proposition 71, which would have the state borrow $3 billion to fund the controversial research over 10 years. Cloning projects solely for research would be funded, but cloning programs to create babies would be barred. Only 2 CA measures on the Nov. 2 ballot, each related to gambling, have attracted more campaign contributions.Billionaire eBay founder Omar Omidyar and his wife have contributed $1 million in support of Proposition 71, as have billionaire savings and loan executive Marion and Herbert Sandler. Venture capitalists, Hollywood celebrities and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation have also made big contributions to the campaign. A spokesman at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation didn’t return telephone calls. The Yes on 71 campaign declines as a matter of policy to discuss individual campaign contributions. The $27 billion Gates Foundation is one of the world’s largest philanthropic organizations dedicated to curing diseases.The campaign to defeat Proposition 71 has garnered just $15,000 in contributions.Human embryonic stem cells are created in the first days after conception and turn into all the cells, tissues and organs that make up a human body.  Stem cells – both embryonic and adult –  can potentially grow into any type of human tissue and scientists hope to be able to direct the cells to grow into specific...

Scientists Advance Unethical Embryonic Research Despite Adult Stem Cell Success (5/04)

Scientists Advance Destructive Research Despite Adult Stem Cell Success — Despite the fact that embryonic stem cell research offers little chance of success, researchers around the world are apparently prepared to gamble on it, according to a survey conducted by the Boston Globe newspaper. The newspaper found that 128 lines of human embryonic stem cells have been created since August 9, 2001. That’s the day that new cell lines became ineligible for federal research money in the United States. President George W. Bush put the ban in place in an effort to stem the tide of scientific research which results in the destruction of human embryos — unborn children in their earliest stages of life. Of the new embryonic stem cell lines, 94 were created abroad while 34 were created in the U.S. As a result of the Bush Administration’s policy, the new cell lines cannot be used by American laboratories that receive federal funding. However, U.S. researchers are free to use the cell lines if they raise private money and build separate laboratories for the experiments.[http://www.lifenews.com/bio315.html,...