NEW! Former Head of NIH: Unethical Embryonic Stem Cell Research Prospects Are Diminished Now Because of Already Successful, Ethical Adult Stem Cell & iPSC Treatments and Trials
New Administration Rescinds Bush-Era Executive Order That Encouraged Successful Ethical Stem Cell & iPS Cell Research
U.S. Administration Unleashes Taxpayer Funds for Unsuccessful Embryo-Destructive Research
Report Details How Fetal Stem Cells Triggered Brain Tumors in Ill Boy
NEW! IPS Cells, An Embryonic Stem Cell Research Alternative, Make Major Advance
Scientists Bring Back Extinct Animal for the First Time Using Cloning Technology
New Research Study Challenges Effectiveness of Human-Animal Hybrid Cloning
ADULT STEM CELL SUCCESS STORIES – 2008 UPDATE: JULY-DECEMBER
NEW! SPINAL CORD INJURY TREATMENTS: Adult Stem Cells vs. Embryonic Stem Cells — Facts and Implications about FDA Approval of Geron Safety Trial
NEW! Adult Stem Cells Successfully Reset Immune System for Multiple Sclerosis Patients
NEW! Scientists Say First Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Trial Has Problems
Adult Stem Cells in Nose May Hold Key to Repairing Spinal Cord Injuries / UPDATE: Adult Stem Cells Already Help Spinal Cord Patients, FDA Human Embryonic-Destructive Trials Not Needed
Single Adult Stem Cell Can Self Renew, Repair Tissue Damage in Live Mammal
Ethical Adult Stem Cells May Cure Blindness
Ethical Adult Stem Cell Therapy may Treat AIDS
NEW! Canadians Make New Adult Stem Cell Breakthrough
NEW! Embryonic Stem Cell Alternative Has Another Advance: IPS Cells Yield Nerve Cells
Miracle Cells. The Real Success Stories…
Former Head of NIH: Unethical Embryonic Stem Cell Research Prospects Are Diminished Now Because of Already Successful, Ethical Adult Stem Cell & iPSC Treatments and Trials.
Obama may win applause from some in the scientific community for his expected decision on Monday to overturn President Bush's limits on embryonic stem cell research funding. But some scientists say the controversial
research is no longer the hot prospect for patients.
Bernadine Healy, the former head of the National institutes of Health and the American Red Cross says the remarkable advances of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) are beginning to subsume embryonic stem cells.
She wrote in U.S News and World Report that IPSC and adult stem cell research successes have "diminished" the prospect that ESCR is the future of regenerative medicine.
"Even for strong backers of embryonic stem cell research, [Obama's decision] is no longer as self-evident as it was, because there is markedly diminished need for expanding these cell lines for either patient therapy or basic research," Healy explains.
"In fact, during the first six weeks of Obama's term, several events reinforced the notion that embryonic stem cells, once thought to hold the cure for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and diabetes, are obsolete," she adds.
She points to the news in February that embryonic stem cells injected into a patient in Israel caused disabling if not deadly tumors.Healy says that the news should cause Obama to instruct the Food and Drug Administration to "take
another look" at its decision to approve a trial sponsored by the biotech firm Geron to use embryonic stem cells in a clinical trial involving human patients.
"The FDA should now be compelled to take another look: Are eight to 10 patients enough, or one year of monitoring sufficient, to assess safety?" she asks.
While embryonic stem cells are no further along in providing real help to patients, there are ethical alternatives, that don't involve the destruction of human life, that are ready to go or quite close.
"Even as the future of embryonic stem cells has dimmed, adult stem cell research has scored major wins evident just in the past few months. These advances involve human stem cells that are not derived from human embryos," Healy says.
;In fact, adult stem cells, which occur in small quantities in organs throughout the body for natural growth and repair, have become stars despite great skepticism early on. Though this is a more difficult task, scientists have learned to coax them to mature into many cell types, like brain and heart cells, in the laboratory," she adds.
According to Healy, patients who want the best hope for cures should look to adult stem cells rather than their embryonic counterparts."To date, most of the stem cell triumphs that the public hears about involve the infusion of adult stem cells.
We've just recently seen separate research reports of patients with spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis benefiting from adult stem cell therapy," she writes. "These cells have the advantage of being the patient's natural own.
They do not have the awesome but dangerous quality of eternal life characteristic of embryonic stem cells."
Healy also says the iPS cells that have been the latest buzz are also outpacing embryonic ones.
"Already these reprogrammed cells have eclipsed the value of those harvested from embryos," she explains, "because of significantly lower cost, ease of production, and genetic identity with the patient."
"They also bring unique application to medical and pharmaceutical research, because cells cultivated from patients with certain diseases readily become laboratory models for developing and testing therapy. That iPS cells overcome ethical concerns about creating and sacrificing embryos is an added plus," she continues.
Healy concludes that Obama and people who support his decision ought to be careful to understand that his move isn't really the best for patients.
"Obama stands for transparency, and it's important for him to make sure the public understands his decision, including that all stem cells are not the same or created equally," she concludes.[8March09, Ertelt www.LifeNews.com, DC, http://www.lifenews.com/bio2778.html]
Obama Also Rescinds Bush-Era Executive Order Pushing for More Ethical Stem Cell Research. Besides removing all restrictions on using taxpayer funds for embryo-destructive research yesterday, Obama also formally rescinded a Bush-era executive order pushing for more research into the most promising and ethical forms of stem cell research.
The executive order signed yesterday by Obama specifically rescinded Executive Order 13435 of June 20, 2007.
Executive Order 13435 pushed the Secretary of Health and Human Services to "conduct and support research" on stem cells that "may result in improved understanding of or treatments for diseases and other adverse health conditions, but are derived without creating a human embryo for research purposes or destroying, discarding, or subjecting to harm a human embryo or fetus."
The NIH subsequently drew up a plan for implementing the president's order (See the plan here:
http://stemcells.nih.gov/staticresources/policy/eo13435.pdf). That plan admitted that, "Adult stem cells, such as blood-forming stem cells in bone marrow … are currently the only type of stem cell commonly used to treat human diseases."Adult stem cell research has so for yielded a host of treatments for a plethora of ailments, while embryonic stem cell research has yet to produce a single practical cure.
The NIH plan promoted further research into sources of stem cells such as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which are considered to be one of the most promising areas of research.
Conservative bioethicist Wesley J. Smith today criticized Obama's decision to rescind the Bush order as putting politics over science. "I can think of only two reasons for this action," he said, "for which I saw no advocacy either in the election or during the first weeks of the Administration: First, vindictiveness against all things 'Bush' or policies considered by the Left to be 'pro life;' and second, a desire to get the public to see unborn human life as a
mere corn crop ripe for the harvest."
He concluded, "So much for taking the politics out of science!"
To Respond to Obama's decision: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
[10March09, John Jalsevac, D.C., www.LifeSiteNews.com]
Obama Unleashes Taxpayer Funds for Unsuccessful Embryo-Destructive Research. As promised, Obama today signed an executive order opening up the restrictions on taxpayer funding for embryo-destroying stem cell research (ESCr).
Obama had toyed with the idea of opening ESCr funding though the legislative process before settling on the use of executive order.
"In recent years, when it comes to stem cell research, rather than furthering discovery, our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values," said Obama.
"In this case, I believe the two are not inconsistent. As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering. I believe we have been given the capacity and will to pursue this research – and the humanity and conscience to do so responsibly."
The president also signed a memorandum directing the development of a strategy "for restoring scientific integrity to government decision making" and "to ensure that in this new Administration, we base our public policies on the soundest science."
Obama also said that cloning "for human reproduction" would not be allowed by the government, saying that it is "dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society, or any society."
(To view the executive order, go to:
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. government's medical research agency, is expected to provide final guidelines for the research within 120 days, after which point funding may begin.
The executive order came only days after nine Congressmen urged congressional leaders to abandon embryonic stem-cell research, which has proved dangerous and yielded no therapeutic results.
Instead, they said, the government should invest in adult stem cells, a field that has shown enormous potential and already cured or treated scores of ailments.
"Why persist in the
dehumanizing of nascent human life when better alternatives exist, alternatives that work on both ethics grounds and efficacy grounds?" asked Rep. Chris Smith, R-NJ, on the House floor Wednesday.
A chorus of religious, bioethics, and pro-life leaders condemned today's order for ignoring both ethical concerns and sound science.Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America, called the move "politics at its worst."
"Embryonic stem cell research is a destructive and outdated method that has become a holy grail to political and scientific activists who seek no moral restraints on their work," said Wright. "President Obama's order places the worst kind of politics above ethics – politics driven by hype makes overblown promises, fuels the desperation of the suffering, and financially benefits those seeking to strip
morality from science."
Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, accused Obama of ignoring social justice and human rights: "Medical science has confirmed that an embryo is human life regardless of President Obama's lack of education and understanding of the issue."Mr. Obama has said in the past it is 'above his pay grade' to know when human life begins," said Mahoney.
"I would suggest as part of the billions spent on the stimulus package that the President's salary be raised so he could further his adult education to understand the basic facts of biology and social justice."Related:Obama to Sign Executive Order Monday Opening Public Funding of Embryonic Stem Cell Research
Destroying Human Embryos Not Only Unethical, but Unnecessary: Congressmen
"Embryos are Humans" Says U.S. Government Report on Stem Cell Research
Adult Stem Cell Treatment Leaves College Student Free of Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms
Fetal Stem Cell Injections Create Brain Tumors in Israeli Boy
Amid Media Excitement, Embryonic Stem Cell Trial Far Behind Adult Stem Cells, Says Expert
[9March09, Kathleen Gilbert, D.C., www.LifeSiteNews.com]
Report Details How Fetal Stem Cells Triggered Brain Tumors in Ill Boy. A new report in a medical journal details how the use of fetal stem cells in the treatment of a boy from Israel caused brain tumors. The report highlights the problems of using cells obtained from destroying unborn children, such as embryonic stem cells, and the problems they create for patients.
The report covers a family who was desperate to save their child, who suffered from a lethal brain disease called ataxia telangiectasia, or A-T. It involves degeneration of certain portions of the brain leading to the child being unable to move and a deterioration of the immune system.
The family turned to scientists in Russia who injected, on various occasions, the neural stem cells obtained from unborn children. They eventually caused a benign, slow-growing brain tumor three years later when the boy complained of headaches. The cell injections also created a second tumor on his spinal cord, which doctors have removed. The growth on the spine has not reappeared but the mass in the brain has continued to grow slowly. The researchers, from Tel Aviv University, published a report about the problems associated with the fetal
cell injections in the Tuesday issue of Public Library of Science Medicine.
They say the cells were to blame for the tumor growths.
Dr. Ninette Amariglio of Sheba Medical, the lead researcher, also said using cells from more than one unborn child contributed to the problems and "may have created a high-risk situation where abnormal growth of more than one cell occurred."
Dr. John Gearhart, a stem cell scientist at the University of Pennsylvania who was not involved in the boy's treatment or the subsequent study, talked with AP about the news. "Patients, please beware," he said. "Cells are not drugs. They can misbehave in so many different ways, it just is going to take a good deal of time" to see if they can ever work.
While this is the first documented case of a human developing tumors after receiving neural fetal stem cell therapy, there have been reports of rats developing tumors after being injected with embryonic stem cells.
The study is cited as: Ninette Amariglio, Abraham Hirshberg, Bernd W. Scheithauer, Yoram Cohen, Ron Loewenthal, Luba Trakhtenbrot, Nurit Paz, Maya Koren- Michowitz, Dalia Waldman, Leonor Leider-Trejo, Amos Toren, Shlomi Constantini, Gideon Rechavi. PLoS Med Vol. 6, No. 2, e1000029, published online 17 February 2009. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000029 [18Feb09, Ertelt, www.LifeNews.com, DC]
Report: Fetal stem cells trigger tumors in ill boy
By LAURAN NEERGAARD – 2 days ago (17Feb09)
WASHINGTON (AP) — A family desperate to save a child from a lethal brain disease sought highly experimental injections of fetal stem cells — injections that triggered tumors in the boy's brain and spinal cord, Israeli scientists reported Tuesday.
Scientists are furiously trying to harness different types of stem cells — the building blocks for other cells in the body — to regrow damaged tissues and thus treat devastating diseases. But for all the promise, researchers have long warned that they must learn to control newly injected stem cells so they don't grow where they shouldn't, and small studies in people are only just beginning.
Tuesday's report in the journal PLoS Medicine is the first documented case of a human brain tumor — albeit a benign, slow-growing one — after fetal stem cell therapy, and hammers home the need for careful research. The journal is published by the Public Library of Science.
"Patients, please beware," said Dr. John Gearhart, a stem cell scientist at the University of Pennsylvania who wasn't involved in the Israeli boy's care but who sees similarly desperate U.S. patients head abroad to clinics that offer unproven stem cell injections.
"Cells are not drugs. They can misbehave in so many different ways, it just is going to take a good deal of time" to prove how best to pursue the potential therapy, Gearhart said.
The unidentified Israeli boy has a rare, fatal genetic disease with a tongue-twisting name — ataxia telangiectasia, or A-T. Degeneration of a certain brain region gradually robs these children of movement. Plus, a faulty immune system leads to frequent infections and cancers. Most die in their teens or early 20s.
Israeli doctors pieced together the
child's history: When he was 9, the family traveled to Russia, to a Moscow clinic that provided injections of neural stem cells from fetuses — immature cells destined to grow into a main type of brain cells. The cells were injected into his brain and spinal cord twice more, at ages 10 and 12.
Back home in Israel at age 13, the boy's A-T was severe enough to require that he use a wheelchair when he also began complaining of headaches. Tests at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv uncovered a growth pushing on his brain stem and a second on his spinal cord. Surgeons removed the spinal cord mass when the boy was 14, in 2006 and they say his general condition has remained stable since then.
But was the boy prone to tumors anyway or were the fetal stem cells to blame? A Tel Aviv University team extensively tested the tumor tissue and concluded it was the fetal cells. Among other evidence, some of the cells were female and had two normal copies of the gene that causes A-T — although that boy's underlying poor immune function could have allowed the growths to take hold.
Using stem cells from multiple fetuses that also were mixed with growth-spurring compounds "may have created a high-risk situation where abnormal growth of more than one cell occurred," wrote lead researcher Dr. Ninette Amariglio of Sheba Medical. She urged better research to "maximize the potential benefits of regenerative medicine while minimizing the risks."
This brain disease wasn't conducive to stem cell therapy in the first place, said stem cell specialist Dr. Marius Wernig of Stanford University, who said it's unclear exactly what was implanted.
"Stem cell transplantations have a humongous potential," Wernig said. But "if people rush out there without really knowing what they're doing … that really backfires and can bring this whole field to a halt."
IPS Cells, An Embryonic Stem Cell Research Alternative, Make Major Advance. Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPS cells) have made yet another advance as they continue to become a second alternative to embryonic stem cell research. Yesterday, scientists in Canada and England published a paper showing they had turned skin cells into iPS cells.
The article, in the prestigious scientific journal Nature saw the research teams announce how they had successfully reprogrammed ordinary skin cells into iPS cells without the use of viruses to transmit the reprogramming genes to the cell.
Using a “piggyBac” system scientists were able to insert DNA where it could alter the genetic makeup of the regular cell before being harmlessly removed. The lab trick enabled the researchers to transform the skin cells of mice and humans into the iPS cells without the cancer risk associated with the original research on the fascinating cells in 2006. Shinya Yamanaka, the Japanese scientist who pioneered the use of the cells, had to rely on the viruses to make them.
The big news is that the breakthrough means the iPS cells are a huge step closer to being safely used in humans in clinical trials — something that only adult stem cells, not embryonic ones, had been able to do.
The lead scientist from Canada, Andras Nagy, told the Washington Post, "It's a leap forward in the safe application of these cells…We expect this to have a massive impact on this field."
Even George Daley at Children’s Hospital in Boston, a big embryonic stem cell proponent, admitted, "It's very significant…I think it's a major step forward in realizing the value of these cells for medical research." The breakthrough is also important because it shows how scientists are advancing the use of iPS cells and
adult stem cells and moving away from embryonic stem cell research.
The lead scientist from the UK team told the BBC: "It is a step towards the practical use of reprogrammed cells in medicine, perhaps even eliminating the need for human embryos as a source of stem cells."
Nagy also told the Post that his study showed that iPS cells “had many of the properties of embryonic stem cells” and that his study should work with adult cells and scientists may no longer have to rely on fetal cells to generate iPS cells, which had given pro-life advocates pause in supporting the use of the cells. As a result of the success, more scientists are expected to begin working with iPS cells and embryonic stem cell research may become even less popular than it is now.
Finally, Yamanaka, who is a researcher at Kyoto University in Japan, said he was impressed by the new findings. [2March09, Ertelt, www.LifeNews.com, DC]
Scientists Bring Back Extinct Animal for the First Time Using Cloning Technology
The Pyrenean ibex, a form of wild mountain goat, was officially declared extinct in 2000 when the last-known animal of its kind was found dead in northern Spain. Shortly before its death, scientists preserved skin samples of the goat, a subspecies of the Spanish ibex that live in mountain ranges across the country, in liquid nitrogen. Using DNA taken from these skin samples, the scientists were able to replace the genetic material in eggs from domestic goats, to clone a female Pyrenean ibex, or bucardo as they are known. It is the first time an extinct animal has been cloned. The newborn ibex kid died shortly after birth due to physical defects in its lungs. Other cloned animals, including sheep, have been born with similar lung defects. But the breakthrough has raised hopes that it will be possible to save endangered and newly extinct species by resurrecting them from frozen tissue. It has also increased the possibility that it will one day be possible to reproduce long-dead species such as woolly mammoths and even dinosaurs. [2Feb09, Madrid, Spain www.LifeNews.com #4528]
New Research Study Challenges Effectiveness of Human-Animal Hybrid Cloning
For pro-life advocates, there is little ethical reason to support hybrid cloning that involves the infusion of animal and human DNA together to create a two-species embryo to be killed for research purposes. Now, a new study finds there is little efficacy of such research, which sounds more like a bad sci-fi movie.
Cloning backer Robert Lanza, a controversial lead scientist at the biotech firm Advanced Cell Technology, authored the study, which appears to give pro-life advocates more ammunition.
The study found eggs from animals are not a good source for creating the embryonic stem cells that some researchers want to use in experiments.
In the study, Lanza attempted to replace the nucleus of both human and animal embryos and advance them to a later stage of development. The experiment went awry and the nuclei of rabbit, mice and cow embryos were replaced with a human nucleus.
"We would get these beautiful l
ittle embryos but it wouldn't work: instead of turning on the right genes the animal eggs would turn them off," Lanza told AFP.
The importance of the failure is that researchers were not able to get the cloned animal eggs to yield human embryonic stem cells for further study.
Ian Wilmut, a prominent British scientist who created Dolly the sheep, the first cloned mammal, and has now backed away from cloning technology to focus on (iPS) cells, talked about the failure.
He says the "very important paper" makes it clear that animal cells "are extremely unlikely to be suitable as recipients for use in human nuclear transfer," he said. "This is very disappointing because it would mean that production of patient-specific stem cells by this means would be impracticable."
Alan Trounson, president of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, also admitted that hybrid cloning is less likely to be helpful to patients down the road compared to IPS cells, which pro-life advocates have hailed because they can create embryonic-like stem cells without destroying human life.
"Most people are working on IPS cells (stem cells derived from skin) rather than nuclear transfer because it's so difficult to get human eggs," Trounson said.
Zeki Beyhan of Michigan State University, who was not involved in the study, also said the results put hybrid cloning in doubt.
"We biologists refrain from using terms like 'impossible', 'inconceivable', but it seems an extremely remote possibility to establish embryonic stem cells using (cloned) embryos unless the two species are close relatives," he said.
Scientists who favor hybrid cloning are not backing down despite the failure.
Lanza told AFP that he believes it is too soon to give up on hybrid cloning and embryonic stem cell research, even though it has never helped any patients like the use of adult stem cells.
And Stephen Minger of King's College London, who has received permission from the British government to engage in hybrid cloning there, tells AP that, "The idea that this is the nail in the coffin for hybrids is grossly overstated."
The study was published in the Cloning and Stem Cells journal. [2Feb09, Ertelt, www.LifeNews.com Boston, MA, http://www.lifenews.com/bio2723.html]
Adult Stem Cells Already Help Spinal Cord Patients, FDA Embryonic Trials Not Needed
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of embryonic stem cells in human trials for the first time. While the trials involve controversial embryonic cells that have problems with tumors and immune system rejection, the use of adult stem cells has already proven safe for spinal cord patients. Despite grave concerns that problems such as the causing of tumors and immune system rejection issues haven't been solved, the FDA approved the trials last week. It gave Geron Corp., based in California, permission to conduct the first-ever human trial for a treatment derived from the controversial cells. The trials will involve 10 spinal cord patients. However, the safety of adult stem cell transplants in spinal cord injury patients has already been proved in two clinical trials involving studies in Australia and Portugal. [27Jan09, Washington, DC www.LifeNews.com]
ADULT STEM CELL SUCCESS STORIES – 2008 UPDATE: JULY-DECEMBER
Research using adult stem cells continues to yield successful treatments for many human diseases and injuries. In this update we highlight some of those treatment successes from the last six months. This update follows on our previous releases of adult stem cell success stories from the first half of 2008, as well as from 2007 and 2006, and our pamphlet with stories and pictures of patients successfully treated with adult stem cells.
[http://www.frc.org/insight/adult-stem-cell-success-stories-2008-update-july-december by David Prentice, PhD, William L. Saunders, JD, Jan Ledochowski, and Lukas Lucenic]
SPINAL CORD INJURY TREATMENTS: Adult Stem Cells vs. Embryonic Stem Cells
Facts and Implications about FDA Approval of Geron Safety Trial
News reports note that the FDA has approved a Phase I Clinical Trial for safety using human embryonic stem cells—those approved under the Bush Policy—for newly-injured spinal cord patients.
This is not a treatment, but approval to begin experiments with humans to test for safety. A 2005 paper that showed some improvement in animals and a 2006 paper that showed no harm to animals were submitted for evidence in the FDA application.
However, this news should be met with caution because numerous studies in animals have shown that embryonic stem cells tend to form tumors.
Patients will need to be monitored for the rest of their lives for potential tumors or other negative outcomes.
Additional caution is warranted. These experiments will require immunosuppressive drugs because the stem cells are not genetically matched to the patients. Patients may also experience increased spinal inflammation or neural pain.
If shown to be safe in the future, this trial would demonstrate that the Bush approved embryonic stem cell lines are NOT worthless due to contamination or age.
Even Dr. Tom Okarma, CEO of the stem cell company Geron, says: “So the stuff you hear published that all of those lines are irrevocably contaminated with mouse materials and could never be used in people – hogwash. If you know how to grow them, they're fine.” (Steven Edwards, “Scrutinizing A Stem Cell Trial,” Wired News, 3/29/06)
Therefore, funding for new human embryonic stem cell lines are unnecessary.
Adult Stem Cells Already Improve Spinal Cord Patients
Adult stem cell studies have already shown safety and improvement of patient function for spinal cord injuries.
A recent study by Australian researchers showed modest improvement in a patient. “Autologous olfactory ensheathing cell transplantation in human paraplegia: a 3-year clinical trial,” Mackay-Sim A et al. Brain 131: 2376 – 2386, Sept 2008.
Another study showed 7 patients improved after an adult stem cell transplant. “Olfactory mucosa autografts in human spinal cord injury: a pilot clinical study,” Lima C et al. Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine 29, 191-203, 2006.
Additional Studies Comparing Embryonic and Adult Stem Cells:
ESCR Spinal Cord Injury Studies in Animals:
2006 California researchers showed that human embryonic stem cells in spinal cord-injured rats did not cause a decline in locomotion in the injured rats. No evidence of improvement was reported. Cloutier F et al., “Transplantation of human embryonic stem cell-derived oligodendrocyte progenitors into rat spinal cord injuries does not cause harm,” Regenerative Medicine. 1, 469-479, 2006.
2005 California researchers used human embryonic stem cells to treat rats with new but not long-term 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 at Washington University, St. Louis, found that transplanting embryonic stem cells
into rat spinal cord gave no improvement, and caused tumors in a number of animals. Howard MJ et al., Transplantation of apoptosis-resistant embryonic stem cells into the injured rat spinal cord, Somatosensory and Motor Research 22, 37-44, March/June 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, February 2005.
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:
2006 Toronto researchers found that transplanting adult neural stem cells into rats up to 8 weeks after spinal cord injury resulted in significant improvement and recovery. Karimi-Abdolrazaee S et al., Delayed transplantation of adult neural precursor cells promotes remyelination and functional neurological recovery after spinal cord injury, J Neuroscience 26, 3377-3389, 29 March 2006.
2006 University of Louisville scientists turned nasal stem cells into specialized cells that could insulate neurons, and showed repair of spinal cord damage in rats. Zhang X, et al., Role of transcription factors in motoneuron differentiation of adult human olfactory neuroepithelial-derived progenitors, Stem Cells 24, 434-442, March 2006.
2006 Adult stem cell studies showed safety for use in human patients with spinal injury. Callera F et al., “Delivery of autologous bone marrow precursor cells into the spinal cord
via lumbar puncture technique in patients with spinal cord injury: A preliminary safety study.” Experimental Hematology 34, 130-131, 2006. Park HY et al. “Treatment of Complete Spinal Cord Injury Patients by Autologous Bone Marrow Cell Transplantation and Administration of Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony Stimulating Factor,” Tissue Engineering 11, 913-922, 2005.
2005 Treating spinal cord injured rats with umbilical cord blood stem cells gave moderate recovery in mobility and function. Kuh S-U et al., “Functional recovery after human umbilical cord blood cells transplantation with brain-derived neurotrophic factor into the spinal cord injured rat,” Acta Neurochir (Wien) 147, 985-992, 2005.
2005 Extending earlier results, Wisconsin and Swedish researchers injected neural stem cells into rats with spinal cord injury. The study shows reduction of pain, and increased recovery of function and feeling. Hofstetter CP et al., “Allodynia limits the usefulness of intraspinal neural stem cell grafts; directed differentitation improves outcome,” Nature Neuroscience 8, 346-353, March 2005.
2004 Japanese scientists found that injecting bone marrow adult stem cells into spinal cord-injured rats promoted their recovery and improved movement. Ohta M et al., “Bone marrow stromal cells infused into the cerebrospinal fluid promote functional recovery of the injured rat spinal cord with reduced cavity formation,” Experimental Neurology 187, 266-278, 2004.
2004 Ohio State researchers transplanted bone marrow stromal cells into rats that had contusive spinal cord injuries, and found that the adult stem cells provided a protective environment that preserved spinal cord tissue and helped guide nerve regeneration. Ankeny DP et al., “Bone marrow transplants provide tissue protection and directional guidance for axons after contusive spinal cord injury in rats,” Experimental Neurology 190, 17-31, 2004.
2004 Japanese scientists tested the effects of bone marrow stromal cells on repair of injured spinal cord. The study demonstrated that the adult stem cells promoted both tissue recovery and behavioral improvements in rats. Ohta M et al., “Bone marrow stromal cells infused into the cerebrospinal fluid promote functional recovery of the injured rat spinal cord with reduced cavity formation,” Experimental Neurology 187, 266-278, 2004.
2003 University of South Florida and Korean researchers used human umbilical cord blood stem cells to treat rats with spinal cord injuries. They found that the cord blood stem cells migrated to areas of injury, and the rats showed significant behavioral improvements even when treated several days after the injury. Saporta S et al., “Human umbilical cord blood stem cells infusion in spinal cord injury: Engraftment and beneficial influence on behavior,” J Hematotherapy Stem Cell Research 12, 271-278, 2003.
2002 A collaboration between researchers at Tulane and in Sweden found that adult bone marrow stromal cells promote healing of spinal cord injuries, and that the cells produced significant functional improvement. The study concluded that bone marrow stromal cells are an accessible, expandable source of cells that offer a promising future for spinal cord repair. Hofstetter CP et al., “Marrow stromal cells form guiding strands in the injured spinal cord and promote recovery,” Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 99, 2199-2204, February 19, 2002.
[David Prentice, PhD., 1/09, Family Research Council]
Adult Stem Cells Successfully Reset Immune System for Multiple Sclerosis Patients. Adult stem cells continue to outpace their embryonic counterparts by successfully treating patients with a variety of diseases and conditions.
Now, the use of adult stem cells from bone marrow has helped patients suffering from the early stages of multiple sclerosis.
A new study shows a research team appears to have reversed the neurological dysfunction of early-stage multiple sclerosis patients by transplanting their own immune stem cells into their bodies and thereby "resetting" their immune systems.
Dr. Robert Burt, the lead researcher on a team from Northwestern University conducted a study using hematopoietic, or blood-forming, stem cells
extracted form a patient's bone marrow.
Three years after treatment, 17 of the 21 patients involved in the study saw improvement and none of the patients involved saw their MS conditions worsen during the follow-up time period.
"This is the first study to actually show reversal of disability," Burt an associate professor in the division of immunotherapy at Northwestern, said in the study published in the British medical journal Lancet.
"Some people had complete disappearance of all symptoms."
"This is the first time we have turned the tide on this disease," Burt continued.
Edwin McClure, a 24-year-old graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University is one of the patients treated in the study and he told Bloomburg News that he hasn't needed any drugs since the treatment.
"It's a blessing," h
e said. "My disease has been halted."
The adult stem cells appear to help patients better when given during the earliest onset of the disease. Burt and his team had given patients with more advanced MS the cells and saw no effect.
"I called it a failure," he said. "When you do it in late-stage patients, they don't improve."
Burt is now putting together a larger study with more patients from the United States as well as Canada and Brazil.
"If the results of today's study are borne out in the new one, I think we can really change the way this disease is approached," Burt said.
The study will be published online January 30 and in the March issue of The Lancet Neurology. [29Jan09, Ertelt, www.LifeNews.com, Chiacgo, IL http://www.lifenews.com/bio2717.html]
Scientists Say First Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Trial Has Problems. Last week (January 2009), the Food and Drug Administration suddenly reversed course following the inauguration of President Barack Obama and approved the use of embryonic stem cells for human trial. Now, some scientists say the research is not yet ready for prime time.
Embryonic stem cell research has never cured or helped any patients to this point. Only the use of adult stem cells and treatments derived from them have cured or reduced the effects of any diseases or conditions afflicting patients.
The Food and Drug Administration has given biotechnology company Geron Corp., based in California, permission to conduct the first-ever human trial for a treatment derived from the controversial cells.
But Evan Snyder, a neuroscientist who heads up the stem cell research center at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in San Diego warns that the research, which involves, 10 spinal cord patients with injuries the company hopes to treat with an experimental drug containing embryonic stem cells, may not be ready for humans.
"There's a lot of debate among spinal cord researchers that the pre-clinical data itself doesn't justify the clinical trial," Snyder, who is working on using neural stem cells himself, says.
Snyder says the mice Geron used to conduct pre-human trial research had more excessive injuries that scientists would normally prefer to see prior to trying the procedure on human patients.
He suggests that Geron should have done experiments involving larger animals before seeking FDA permission to use the controversial embryonic stem cells in humans.
Those concerns existed as early as 2005 and may not have been addressed.
Snyder said then that Geron should do more animal testing first to make sure the tests would be on the same injuries humans have.
"I'm not convinced they have done that yet," Snyder said.
Jerry Silver, a neuroscience professor and stem-cell researcher at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, told Knight Ridder back in November 2005 that geron was moving too fast and needd to do more tests on animals before seeking human patients.
"Frankly, I cannot conceive of a human trial with the use of human embryonic stem cells following immediately from experiments in rodents only," he said then. "Many treatments that work in rodents to alleviate disease fail miserably in humans."
Bioethicst Wesley J. Smith says he's concerned the FDA didn't make Geron offer more proof its experiments were ready for human trials.
"Why wouldn't the FDA require such work as they usually do in approving new drugs? Indeed, when the FDA said no to Geron last year, I expected successful larger animal work would be a necessary precondition to obtaining the FDA's approval," he said.
Smith is worried the decision may have been made for political rather than scientific reasons — ironic given Obama's complaint that the Bush administration did the same thing.
He said some noted the decision may have been political "coming as it did within days of the change of the presidential guard."
"I wasn't among those, but perhaps I should have been more cynical," he says. "The FDA should be above politics. I hope that it was in this case. Otherwise, if things go wrong, the moral consequences will be on the commissioners' heads."
[29Jan09, Ertelt, www.LifeNews.com, Washington, DC, http://www.lifenews.com/bio2719.html]
ADULT STEM CELLS IN NOSE MAY HOLD THE KEY TO REPAIRING SPINAL CORD INJURIES. The key to fixing spinal cord injuries could be in front of a patient’s face as adult stem cells taken from a patient’s nose could help them regain movement according to new research.
Scientists at the University of New South Wales in Australia are carrying out new studies showing tests on paralyzed rats have been able to help them move their hind legs just six weeks after an injection of the nose cells.
They hope the successful results will soon be able to be replicated in humans in clinical trials. The researchers used special cells, called olfactory ensheathing glia cells, to help regenerate nerves in the spine. These cells normally help with the growth of fibers linking the lining of the nose with the brain.
The scientists chose them because the cells have the ability to help spinal cord nerve fibers grow. Dr. Catherine Gorrie, who led the university research team, told the London Daily Mail that the cells “are very accessible. It's a relatively simple procedure to take them from the patient, grow more of them in the laboratory and then insert them back into the same person.”
They presented the results, which showed the rats injected with the cells having more limb function than those without the injections, at a recent Society for Neuroscience conference in Washington. [19Dec08, www.LifeNews.com, #4497, Sydney, Australia]
Single Adult Stem Cell Can Self Renew, Repair Tissue Damage in Live Mammals. The first demonstration that a single adult stem cell can self-renew in a mammal was reported at the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) 48th Annual Meeting, Dec. 13-17, 2008 in San Francisco. The transplanted adult stem cell and its differentiated descendants restored lost function to mice with hind limb muscle tissue damage.
The ability to isolate and then transplant skeletal adult muscle stems cells could have a wide impact in treating not only a variety of muscle wasting diseases such as muscular dystrophy but also severe muscle injuries or loss of function from aging and disuse.
The adult stem cells used in the study, conducted at Stanford University, were isolated from a mixed population of satellite cells in the skeletal muscle of mice.
The skeletal adult muscle stem cells (MusSC), which live just under the membrane that surrounds muscle fibers, normally respond to tissue damage by giving rise to progenitor cells that become myoblasts, fusing into myofibers to repair the tissue damage.
The scientists transplanted the MusSC into special immune-suppressed "nude" mice whose muscle satellite cells had been wiped out in a hind limb by irradiation.
The mice would only be able to repair injury if the transplanted MuSC "took." The scientists, Alessandra Sacco and Helen Blau, had genetically engineered the transplanted MusSC to glow under ultraviolet light, making it easy to trace.
"To be able to detect the presence of the cells by bioluminescence was really a breakthrough," says Blau. "It taught us so much more. We could see how the cells were responding, and really monitor their dynamics."
Sacco and Blau tracked each transplanted stem cell as it rapidly proliferated and engrafted its progeny into the irradiated muscle tissue. The scientists then injured the regenerated tissue, setting off massive waves of muscle cell growth and repair, and subsequently showed that the MuSC and descendents rescued the second animal's lost muscle healing function.
After isolating the luciferase-glowing muscle stem cells from the transplanted animal, the scientists duplicated, or cloned, the cells in the lab. Like the original MuSC, the cloned copies were intact and capable of self-renewal.
"We are thrilled with the results," says Sacco. "It's been known that these satellite cells are crucial for the regeneration of muscle tissue, but this is the first demonstration of self-renewal of a single cell."
In other experiments, the researchers transplanted between 10 and 500 luciferase-tagged MuSC into the leg muscles of mice.
These cells also proliferated and engrafted, forming new myofibers and fusing with injured fibers.
Unlike tumor cells, the transplanted stem cells achieved homeostasis, growing to a stable, constant level and ceasing replication. The formation of tumors has plagued attempts to use embryonic stem cells for similar cures, but appears to largely be avoided when using adult stem cells.
After demonstrating that the transplanted stem cells proliferated and fully restored the animal's lost function, Sacco and Blau recovered new stem cells from the transplant with full stem cell potency, meeting the final "gold standard" test for adult multipotent stem cells.
[December 15, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com]
Adult Stem Cells May Cure Blindness. At the same time that Britain’s embryo researchers are complaining of budget cuts to their research, experiments with adult stem cells continue to bear fruit, with a possible cure for blindness on the near horizon.
The UK Stem Cell Foundation and Scottish Enterprise, in partnership with the Chief Scientist Office, have been given the green light to begin trials this month using adult stem cells that could potentially restore vision to patients with corneal blindness. The planned clinical trial with around 20 patients represents a major step forward for stem cell therapies that often take years of animal testing to bring to human trials.
The treatment involves the transplantation of stem cells on to the surface of the cornea to replace diseased cells in the eye of a patient with chronic corneal disease. Lead researcher Professor Bal Dhillon, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion in Edinburgh, said, “This study is the first of its kind in Scotland and it is exciting to be involved in such ground-breaking work.
“Piloting the use of limbal stem-cell transplantation is a great landmark in the treatment of patients suffering from corneal blindness.”
At the same time, other researchers are complaining that after years of lobbying the government for laws allowing it, embryonic research, including the creation and use of human/animal hybrid clones, is having its funding cut. Some scientists are accusing funding bodies of holding vestigial moral objections to the idea of creating cow/human or rabbit/human chimeras in their funding decisions.
Professor Stephen Minger of King's College London, one of three licence holders in the UK allowed to create animal-human hybrid embryos for the creation of stem cells, told the Independent, “People reviewing grants may be looking at this from a completely different moral perspective and how much that has influenced people's perception about whether this should be funded, we don't know.”
Professor Minger said his work has not started a year after receiving a license to proceed by the British Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).
“The problem has been a lack of funding. We haven't been able to buy equipment, £80,000 to £90,000-worth. We put in a grant proposal last year but it wasn't successful and we're dead in the water. We're discussing whether it is worth the time to re-submit our application,” he said.
The Independent reports that some research projects have “ground to a halt” due to lack of funds. Two research councils, the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), have refused applications for funding to do research that has been licensed by the HFEA.
Read related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
Embryo Research May Never Produce Cures: Head of UK Stem Cell Network
Adult Stem Cell Breakthroughs Exciting Interest from Private Investors
Embryo Research Oversight Agencies Ruled by Utilitarian Eugenic “Ethics”
[19January2009, Hilary White, London, www.LifeSiteNews.com]
Adult Stem Cell Therapy may Treat AIDS. Research will be presented this week at the Stem Cell World Congress in Palm Springs, California, that purports to show that AIDS might be treated using stem cells taken from the patient’s own body. The researchers say they hope that a single transplant treatment would be available that would permanently prevent the immunodeficiency that is a result of HIV infection.
Dr. David DiGiusto, director of haematopoietic cell therapies at City of Hope Medical Centre in Duarte, California, said that although the possibility of a widespread treatment halting the progression of the disease is still at least a decade away, “we hope that eventually we will be able to give AIDS patients just one transplant and that would then protect them for life.”
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a sexually-transmitted infection that attacks the white blood cells which play a central role in the immune system by fighting other forms of infection. Over time the number of these cells in the body decreases as the virus spreads and the immune system stops working. Most patients are rendered unable to fight off infections themselves and usually die of opportunistic illnesses such as pneumonia or cancers such as lymphoma.
The study showed that three genes that protect cells against attack from HIV can be imported into stem cells taken from bone marrow, which are capable of forming all types of blood cells, including the white blood cells. The patient’s bodies then begin to produce new white blood cells that carry these anti-HIV genes that are resistant to attack from HIV.
A trial of the therapy was car
ried out in patients with AIDS-related lymphoma. Dr. DiGiusto said, “What we are doing is genetically modifying a fraction of the patient's stem cells with genes that target three different aspects of HIV that allow it to get into the immune cells and replicate.
“When those stem cells are transplanted into patients, they create mature immune cells that circulate in the patient and protect against HIV.”
[20 January 2009, Hilary White, www.LifeSiteNews.com]
Canadians Make New Adult Stem Cell Breakthrough: Canadian researchers have discovered a new way to turn skin cells into stem cells. Their work removes two huge barriers to using stem cells, which have an endless capacity for self-renewal, in new medical therapies for people with spinal cord injuries or diseases like diabetes or Parkinson's.
“We hope these stem cells will form the basis for treatment of many diseases and conditions that are currently considered incurable,” says Dr. Andras Nagy, of Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital. He is the lead author of a ground-breaking paper published online Sunday by the journal Nature.
Dr. Nagy and 10 colleagues in his lab have been working full-out for a year on a novel approach to make stem cells less risky for human patients. They were building on a breakthrough reported by Japanese and American researchers in Nov. 2007.
The Japanese took skin cells from the face of a 36-year-old women and turned them into cells that look and acted like embryonic stem cells. The Americans did the same with skin cells from infant foreskins.
In the developing embryo, stem cells give rise to every type of cell in the body – skin, muscle, bone, heart, liver, kidney, brain and 250 other types of specialized cells. Many scientists believe that the flexibility and regenerative power of stem cells hold great promise in the treatment of many diseases, including Alzheimer's, and that one day they may be used to repair damaged hearts, kidneys, livers or other tissue, or even to grow new organs for transplant.
The 2007 advance made headlines because it allowed scientists to side-step the ethical debates over getting stem cells for medical research from aborted fetuses.
But there were two major problems with the technique.
Both the Japanese and American teams used viruses to insert four genes that are active in stem cells into the genome of the mature skin cells. Viruses can damage healthy DNA. Some of the genes that orchestrated the transformation back to an embryonic-state can also cause cancer.
Dr. Nagy and his colleagues have developed a technique to make stem cells without either of these drawbacks.
Without using a virus, they were able to slip four genes into skin cells that reprogrammed them to an embryonic-like state.
They were also able to then get rid of the genes with the potential to cause cancer.
How did they do it? The team used a jumping gene, a mobile piece of DNA also known as a transposon. In moths, corn and other species, these genes hop from chromosome to chromosome, inserting themselves randomly into the genome. They give rise to the kind of genetic variability that can help species adapt to changing conditions.
First, Dr. Nagy and his colleagues inserted the four reprogramming genes into a jumping gene from a moth. Then they put the jumping gene and its cargo into a skin cell.
The jumping gene cut and pasted the stem cell genes into a chromosome in the skin cell. The scientists were then able to coax the skin cell back to its embryonic state, giving it the super-hero like ability to turn into many types of cells.
In many cases, they found that the jumping gene then took a second leap to another chromosome. But 60 per cent of the time, the second cut-and-paste operation wasn't successful. This meant the four genes were not re-inserted back into the genome of the skin cell, and disappeared, as did the jumping gene.
“It goes back to the original,” says Dr. Nagy.
The Canadian researchers were able to easily identify the stem cells that were no longer carrying the four genes.
The work is a “great advance,” says the University of Ottawa's Michael Rudnicki, a leading stem cell researcher who is not involved in the study.
These will be relatively pristine cells that can certainly be exploited therapeutically and will be useful for research purposes,” he says.
Dr. Nagy's team performed the experiments on both mouse and human cells, and he and his colleagues are the first to reprogram human skin cells to an embryonic state without using a virus.
They are now using their technique to grow stem cells from the mature cells taken from patients suffering from a variety of diseases, including cystic fibrosis.
One day, the work could allow patients to be treated with their own, reprogrammed stem cells. But Dr. Nagy says it is difficult to predict how soon that could happen. [March 1, 2009, Globe and Mail Update, Anne McIlroy, Toronto, globeandmail.com]
Embryonic Stem Cell Alternative Has Another Advance: IPS Cells Yield Nerve Cells. One of the alternatives to the use of embryonic stem cells has made another advance and, this time, induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, have yielded nerve cells. Researchers made a type of nerve cells from the iPS cells, which are embryonic-like cells reverted from their adult state.
The cells are hailed by pro-life groups as an ethical alternative to the use of embryonic stem cells, which can only be obtained by destroying human life.
A team at the University of California Los Angeles was able to make motor neurons out of the induced pluripotent stem cells and the scientists hope to make cells tailored to specific diseases for therapy.
BY converting the iPS cells into motor neurone cells, scientists may be able to better treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.
"IPS-derived cells appeared to follow a normal developmental progression associated with motor neuron formation," they wrote in the journal Stem Cells.
The researchers added that the new cells they created look just like embryonic stem cells, yet they didn't have to destroy days-old human embryos, or unique human beings, to get them.
The researchers at UCLA plan to attach the new cells to muscle cells to determine if they will contract and they hope to eventually be able to take a skin cell sample from a patient to generate a tissue transplant or build a stem cell bank for other patients.
Adult stem cells have also been helpful in dealing with ALS.
Last year, a unique pilot study established a safe pathway for using bone-marrow stem cells to slow down and potentially treat Lou Gehrig's disease.
Dr. Neil Cashman, professor of neurology at the University of British Columbia and director of the ALS program at Vancouver Coastal Health and VCH Research Institute, headed the study.
He published the results in the medical journal Muscle & Nerve and he and his colleagues tested the use
of a growth factor stimulant in ALS patients and found that bone-marrow stem cells became activated with no adverse effects to patients.
“Our idea was to use a growth factor stimulant to increase the number of circulating stem cells from within the body’s bone marrow where they would have the potential to travel to the site of injury and begin repair, slowing down the progression of ALS,” he said. [25Feb09. Ertelt, Los Angeles LifeNews.com]
Regarding the following:
You can bet your bottom dollar that if and when the Mainstream Media does report on a story such as below, it will just state "Stem Cells" caused the cure, leading people to think that it was Embryonic Stem Cells, as the country is completely clueless regarding Adult Stem Cells and their miraculous cures.
Frank Joseph M.D.
Miracle Cells. The Real Success Stories
Many who listened to President Obama’s inaugural address believe he means to spend taxpayer money on research that destroys human embryos. Before he does, I hope somebody brings to his attention the story I’m about to tell.
A few years ago, a Texas teenager named Laura Dominguez lost control of her car when she hit an oil spill on the road. The accident left Laura paralyzed from the neck down. “You’ll never walk again,” doctors told her.
Laura refused to accept this prognosis. She and her mother met with experts on spinal cord injuries. They learned about an exciting new treatment being performed in Portugal. The procedure is known as olfactory mucosa transplantation. Surgeons take adult stem cells found in the nasal region and transplant them into the injured area.
Laura underwent this treatment — and her spinal cord began to heal. She gained upper body agility, and, in time, she learned to walk with the use of braces and outside help. Laura is determined to walk unassisted by her 21st birthday.
Miracles like this have been repeated many times as researchers bend their attention to the uses of adult stem cells. Writer Bradley Hughes describes many of them in his article “Real-World Successes of Adult Stem Cell Treatment.”
To date, Hughes writes, these “miracle cells” are providing hope for patients with Crohn’s disease, lupus, heart disease, blindness, Parkinson’s, and sickle-cell anemia. And according to biotech writer James P. Kelly, umbilical cord blood stem cells are already being used to treat 70 forms of blood and bone marrow cancers.
And just a few days ago, there was a report at Northwestern University. Twenty-one patients with multiple sclerosis were stabilized following treatment with adult stem cells removed from each patient’s bone marrow. In some patients, the disease was reversed.
But because much of the mainstream media refuses to report on this, many Americans remain unaware of it. Ignorance about these cures may be driving the public’s demand for embryonic stem-cell research, which kills human beings at the embryonic stage.
Americans also seems unaware that not a single clinical success has resulted from treatments using embryonic stem cells. None!
So why do researchers and the biotech industry push so hard for public funds for embryo-destructive research? Because science wants science for science’s sake and, incidentally, because they stand to make huge profits through potential patents. It’s potentially far more lucrative than research involving adult stem cells.
You and I need to spread the word about the miracle cures being found through the use of adult stem cells. They’re a far superior alternative to embryonic stem cells — and nobody is killed in the process of retrieving them.
As science demands unfettered research in the future, we need to be encouraging ethically challenged reporters, researchers, and politicians to take a look backwards for a grim reminder of what happens when science is divorced from morality — euthanasia, gas chambers, and Nazi experiments on children.
Do we really want to start down that terrible road again?
[18Feb09, BREAKPOINT DAILY TRANSCRIPT, http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=8999]