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> Successful Stem Cell Research - From Adult Cells
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CelticCoalition 
Posted: 07-Aug-2005, 10:38 PM
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I wanted to clarify what I said, because your response made me believe, that although unteresing and relevant, that you misunderstood me.

I did not mean do parents have the right to deny their children. I meant do others have the right to deny parents the choice? Do those that disagree with it have the right to take the technology away from those who do believe in it and woulld use it to save these live?


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Sonee 
Posted: 08-Aug-2005, 08:48 AM
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Just for the record, so everyone is clear, I am completely against abortion. For myself or anyone else but I would never force my beliefs on another person. If asked my opinion I would definately give it without question, but it isn't my place to decide that for another, only to guide through my own convictions. However, as against abortion as I am, I don't think we should abandon the research, and possible cures, that could come from fetal/embrionic stem cells. Just because I support stem cell research does not mean I support abortion. But I, grudgingly, accept that abortion will happen no matter how much I oppose it.Do you think that by taking funding away from stem cell research you can stop abortions? They are not interchangeable. Abortions will still happen with or without stem cell research, but cures for certain diseases and injuries can NOT happen without research. In other words, the only thing you hurt by not supporting embryionic stem cell research is the research itself.

I also have to agree with CC. If my child were dying and the only thing that would save him/her life was a cure found by aborted fetuses you bet your ass I would use it. The aborted fetus was lost already, but my child wasn't. A paralell situation is organ donation. The only way to donate an organ is to die. The donar is going to die whether they give their organs or not. Is it right for another person to benifit from this inevitable death? I'm not trying to change the subject here, just show the similarity to something everyone feels is right. In order to remove the healthy organ the donar must, for all intents and purpouses, remain alive. Their hearts must still be beating when that organ is removed. Their brains may not be working, just as an embryos brain isn't functioning, but does that mean they are any less alive than an embryo? Again, I'm not trying to turn the subject to a debate about organ donation, I just don't understand why people argue so hard AGAINST the 'lost' unborn children being used to help someone else and so hard FOR the 'lost' already born being used to help someone else. Both are going to be 'lost' regardless. What makes the difference?


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Sonee 
Posted: 08-Aug-2005, 09:25 AM
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I just realized how similar this thread is to the abortion thread and why. There is NO real discussion to be had over stem cell research. I think everyone, except perhaps certain religious factions who disagree with medicine entirely, would agree that medical research is a good thing and support it completely. What they DON'T agree with is the manner in which that research is conducted. In this case, abortion. As was stated earlier, getting this "research" from a source that doesn't include abortion would be just fine with everyone, so the only arguement I see in THIS particular thread as about abortion. Nobody is discussing stem cell research from adult cells, which was the initial basis for this thread. It's disolved into the pros and cons of abortion, which is on another thread. In an attempt to bring this conversation back to it's original topic:

Is Sweden the only contry that is researching the possible use of adult stem cells? And if so, why isn't the US trying it too? And, if they are, why have we not heard anything about it?

Forget about abortion, and embryonic stem cells for a moment. Let's discuss the possibilities surrounding the use of adult stem cells.
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SCShamrock 
Posted: 08-Aug-2005, 09:40 AM
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Sonee,

That is a very good question. I have been an organ/tissue donor for my entire adult life, and would like to think that should I die healthy, as in a violent accident or something, that doctors would take what they need from my body to help anyone living. That includes any and all cells for research, or therapy, or anything else that promotes advancements in medical technology.

Are there any researchers attempting to make discoveries with adult stem cells in America? I hope so!! Why haven't we heard anything about it? That is an excellent question. Perhaps it is because stem cells, regardless of their source, have failed to live up to the expectation of their most outspoken proponents, and so they are just keeping their mouths shut until they have something substantial to report.


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The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. ~John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 08-Aug-2005, 11:07 AM
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QUOTE (SCShamrock @ 08-Aug-2005, 09:40 AM)

Are there any researchers attempting to make discoveries with adult stem cells in America? I hope so!! Why haven't we heard anything about it? That is an excellent question. Perhaps it is because stem cells, regardless of their source, have failed to live up to the expectation of their most outspoken proponents, and so they are just keeping their mouths shut until they have something substantial to report.

This is a standing problem and has been for many years. Researchers are in a fix sometimes over this, because of the political issues, and because of funding, and also because of the "publish or perish" nature of the academic and scientific community and the hunger of competing media for new stories to break. By and large, most researchers would very happily wait until they have something much closer to a watertight conclusion, but there is pressure from a variety of directions to make announcements as soon as something looks reasonably promising. It's confusing to the public, at the very least, and I think it goes a step further than that into a certain suspiciousness or even an erosion of trust. When you say "stem cells have failed to live up to expectations," it seems like a fair example of that unhappiness the public has with getting whiplashed between promise and disappointment.
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Sonee 
Posted: 08-Aug-2005, 11:25 AM
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QUOTE (stoirmeil @ 08-Aug-2005, 10:07 AM)
By and large, most researchers would very happily wait until they have something much closer to a watertight conclusion, but there is pressure from a variety of directions to make announcements as soon as something looks reasonably promising.

I, personally, don't want them to wait until they have a watertight conclusion. I want to know what kinds of things they find 'resonably promising'. How else are we going to know if we are going in the right direction? Just because scientist say they are making progress in something doesn't, to me anyway, signify an absolute. All it means is that they are at least working on it. For example, I would hope that the US is trying to make adult stem cells work as that would negate the entire embryonic research/abortion debate but by not coming out and publicly saying 'we understand certain people don't agree with embryonic stem cell research and, because of that, we are trying to find an alternative that will effectively be agreed upon by everyone', it appears that the US is isn't trying at all. After all, if Sweden can make adult stem cells work, why can't we. At least Sweden is TRYING.
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 08-Aug-2005, 12:20 PM
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Well, I hear what you are saying, but that's a bit of an example of what I mean by pressure. Nobody thinks research is done in a complete ivory-tower vacuum any more, but public opinion can really yank the progress of the work around in ways that don't help the process. Also -- I know it's a lot to read, but the great informative site that CC provided the link for above helps a lot to sort out why both kinds of research are productive (and why one is not a simple replacement for the other), and why it's totally not a simple matter of "if the Swedes can get that kind of results, why can't America?" And of course American scientists are working on every kind and pursuing every avenue, just as the Swedish researchers are.

I'm not sure what you mean by "Why haven't we heard anything about it?" meaning adult stem cell research in America. You have heard about it, it's been going on for a long time -- this was how they perfected bone marrow transplants for the treatment of leukemia, among many other things. Researchers in the United States have never made a choice to abandon adult stem cell research in favor of the newer embryonic cell type (which is only about 7 or 8 years old). Nor have the Swedes rejected embryonic cell research. At this point, both kinds of research are being conducted. They are not interchangeable, and for now it still seems quite clear that embryonic cells have far more power to transform and therefore represent a greater range of applications, because they never specialized in the first place. It is a separate issue whether we WANT to use them, for whatever the reason. They have more potential regardless; so far that fact has not changed, and I doubt it will.

You see what I mean, though? Look what this single announcement of one Swedish set of results has sparked at this one site that's mainly about Celtic music and culture. smile.gif "Now maybe we can leave the embryos alone." That's the kind of political pressure that people trying to do good science and report results when they solidly have them ( and not before) have very bad dreams about.
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sorbus 
  Posted: 11-Aug-2005, 03:43 PM
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Here `s something not generally known These Anti Aging Lotions contain cells
extracted from human placenta (afterbirth) Ain`nt Science Wonderful laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif rolleyes.gif cool.gif
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Sonee 
Posted: 12-Aug-2005, 09:57 AM
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QUOTE (sorbus @ 11-Aug-2005, 02:43 PM)
Here `s something not generally known These Anti Aging Lotions contain cells
extracted from human placenta (afterbirth) Ain`nt Science Wonderful laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif rolleyes.gif cool.gif

As far as I'm aware, nobody is arguing the use of afterbirth in cosmetics. This thread was, and is, about stem cell research. FYI sorbus, most Americans have been aware for some time now that placenta is being used in numerous products, not just anti aging lotions. oops.gif oops.gif

Back to the subject at hand....

I apologize for my rash statements.

You have heard about it, it's been going on for a long time -- this was how they perfected bone marrow transplants for the treatment of leukemia, among many other things

I was not aware of that. I think perhaps I need to do more research on this subject before I make any further comments. The point of my comments was that public opinion of America is low right now and to have Swedish scientists announce certain breakthroughs while we sit and bicker amongst ourselves over abortion doesn't help that public opinion. Perhaps my views are narrow and short sighted, that will have to be seen with further research. Thanks for the enlightening response stormeil, you have given me "food for thought"!
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SCShamrock 
Posted: 12-Aug-2005, 01:03 PM
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QUOTE (Sonee @ 12-Aug-2005, 09:57 AM)




The point of my comments was that public opinion of America is low right now and to have Swedish scientists announce certain breakthroughs while we sit and bicker amongst ourselves over abortion doesn't help that public opinion.

Personally, I would rather continue to bicker over something as morally divisive as abortion than to just throw caution to the wind, and say "whatever it takes." To me, that is one of the more beautiful things about our country; that we will have these debates as to the rights and wrongs of issues close to our hearts.
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 18-Aug-2005, 09:44 AM
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OK! biggrin.gif
This is potentially wonderful news, and seems to be real progress. Still, everyone in the research community is not in agreement. The point here is that the wonderful news is trumpeted in the headline and beginning of the article, and the warnings are down in the foot of it. As I think we've talked about before, there may be more to that presentation order than just happiness at announcing the breakthrough -- it may be subtle skewing of the reportage, since the demands, by people from both sides of the political debate, on the research people to produce something are so high. The pressure to announce prematurely is good for politics but not good for honest, methodical science, as I said before. But of course, people want to know. . . sad.gif

This is not a position statement on the use or non-use of embryonic cells -- just a reminder that the issue is so non-neutral that it's a good idea to read everything critically and right to the end.

http://www.forbes.com/lifestyle/health/fee...cout527476.html

http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1791412005
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stoirmeil 
Posted: 22-Aug-2005, 01:26 PM
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This is in from today's Scotsman. This is mostly a report on the public demand for more assistance from the national health service in Scotland for fertility treatments, in part in light of Scotland's declining fertility rate. The full article is here:\

http://news.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1818052005


But the thing that jumps out for this discussion is the pro and con dialogue about continuing in vitro fertilization at all, whether or not it is funded by the government:

Should it be made easier to get free IVF fertility treatment on the NHS?YES

Sheena Young
Scottish organiser of the Infertility Network UK

INFERTILITY is a devastating and isolating illness which affects every aspect of a couple's lives.

Their pain and distress is significantly added to when they find themselves unable to access treatment for their illness. Worse still is to find that others in a different health board area can access the treatment you are being denied.

We still have inequality that causes an enormous amount of anger among patients, adding to their pain and misery at what is already a dreadfully emotionally distressing time. This is totally unacceptable and is something that must be rectified.

There is sound medical evidence for making the changes to the current criteria. Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority statistics were originally used when these criteria were set. These statistics showed that after age 38, the chance of conceiving dropped considerably and that after three previous embryo transfers the chance of success also dropped significantly.

The National Consensus Group has since heard new evidence, which showed that these statistics have changed.

Waiting times vary across the country and in some areas couples are waiting four to five years for treatment. For some, by the time they near the top of the list they no longer meet the criteria for treatment.

The definition of a cycle of treatment also varies across Scotland and this, too, must be clearly defined. In some areas we are seeing embryos being created and frozen, but with the health board refusing to pay for the placement of these embryos into the uterus. Couples then are left with two alternatives: pay to have the embryos replaced or allow them to perish. Can you imagine how that feels?

The Scottish Parliament must make sure that when the new recommendations are published, they include waiting time guarantees and that health boards implement them in full within a reasonable timescale. Those providing treatment across Scotland must adhere to the guidelines fully, ensuring every couple in the country is treated equally and fairly. We deserve no less.



NO

Ian Murray
Director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children Scotland

ETHICALLY we oppose IVF treatment due to the loss of large numbers of embryos that are involved in the process. Life begins at conception and these embryos having been created should have the right to life.

Fertility treatment is also not without its dangers. Women risk irreversible damage from the hyper stimulation of the ovaries used to produce eggs. Then there is the psychological pain of undergoing such treatment for the women.

It also puts such a lot of strain on couples. We see a lot of relationships break up after cracking under this pressure.

There are also other things that can go wrong, such as the extremely distressing cases where gametes (sperm or eggs) have been mixed up.

Ultimately the whole issue goes back to how we view childlessness. Having a child isn't necessarily a right and not everyone is entitled to have children. There is a tendency to view childlessness as a disease.

For a procedure with a less than one-in-five success rate, we have to look sensibly at the resources the health service put in. Is it the best allocation of the limited funding available to the NHS when there are other illnesses that can be treated with much greater success?

Ultimately, IVF too often raises false hopes in couples only for them to be taken away when the treatment fails.

As a father of four children, it is easy for me oppose IVF treatment, but it does not mean I don't have sympathy with people who would love to have children but are unable to.

But there are lots of other ways of improving the chances of having children without going down the IVF route too soon and with lots of children just waiting for adoptive parents.



This is another aspect of the whole ethical question that has arisen due to the rise of this available technology. Should medical intervention be creating embryos at all, whether they are going to be used to attempt to treat an infertile couple, or ultimately whether the surplus be used to extract stem cells from? Should anyone who is opposed to embryonic stem cell research also refuse in principle to have in vitro fertility treatments?

And again, the placement of the elements of the article may be politically meaningful. We start out with the testimony of a beaming mother and her beautiful, hard-won baby boy, and we end with the words of a father of four who never had a fertility problem, doesn't approve of the process, and would see all the funding cut from it if he could. wink.gif
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