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  1. #65
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Re: Stem Cell Research

    Indie and Ian-

    Fair enough. He did speak as though he has authority on the issue, I have never heard of these enhancers that he talks about. I was just pointing out the fact that the debunkers of something, such as global warming or stem cell research for example are generally the only ones that get their credentials questioned by the "true believers" as if something has to be disproven by a qualified person or else it's assumed true. That's not how science works.
    I'd rather be an Elephant than a Jackass

  2. #66
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Re: Stem Cell Research

    Quote Originally Posted by workathomepro
    As someone who is involved in the field, and with a company that just introduced the first patented, all natural stem cell enhancer (in capsule form and taken daily and it helps to increase the body's production of its own stem cells), let me clear up the debate, especially for those of you who are opining based on what you have heard or read, often from those with a hidden agenda..

    1) Embryonic stem cell research has not produced a single, significant breakthrough in the treatment of various diseases and medical conditions!
    2) Embryonic stem cells pose a moral and ethical dilemna.
    3) Use of embryonic stem cells have produced negative side effects, namely tumors.
    4) Initially, many "experts" were of the opinion that embryonic stem cells had more potential than adult stem cells (from bone marrow for example), or from the blood from umbilical cords of newborn babies, and that adult stem cells or those from the umbilical cords would not have similar capabilities as embryonic stem cells. We now know that they were wrong, that in fact, adult stem cells and those from umbilical do have similar capabilities as embryonic stem cells, and without the moral and ethical issues, and without the potential for side effects such as tumors.
    5) Every major breakthrough that has occurred to date has been with adult stem cells, not embryonic stem cells.
    6) President Bush was the first president to provide funding for embryonic stem cell research, but limited it to existing lines, and with good reason
    7) If you are going to spend money on research, and your funds are limited, then would you prefer the government to spend your money on a) something that has not demonstrated results-namely embryonic stem cell research, or b) something that has produced results, in this case, adult stem cells and those from the umbilical cords of newborn babies, none of which raises no moral or ethical issues, and has not produced negative side effects to date such as tumors like embryonic stem cells have.

    Michael J. Fox is either being disingenuous, has been given intentionally misleading information to read in the commercial but he should know better and should have examined Senator Talent's stance prior to filming, or is outright lying in the commercial he is in as Senator Talent is for stem cell research, just not destroying human embryos in order to create new lines for embryonic stem cell research, which is a reasonable position to take in lieu of the fact that he would rather see the research dollars spent on adult stem cell research for example..But, like Cindy Sheehan, he gets a pass because of his condition, which he admits he intentionally makes worse prior to doing tv interviews or attending various functions by not taking his medication, so that he can make a more dramatic impact...

    There, the debate made simple, so simple that any moron could see why adult stem cell research and that of stem cells from the umbilical cords of newborn babies should be the primary focus, and why Michael J. Fox, like Cindy Sheehan, has become a pawn of the radical liberal left wing of the democratic party...
    Don't mind me. Workathomepro is an expert on many things, and he has begun to annoy me!

    It is not accurate. There has been so much poorly informed rhetoric around the intended uses of embryonic stem (ES) cells. First off, adult stem cells (including cord blood cells) are very useful for therapy though in a limited set of diseases at present. The biggest hurdle with their use is that there are not nearly enough genetically-matched tissue donors for those patients in need of a transplant. Most people simply go without the cells they need and may die as a result. Researchers hope that one way to ease this donor shortfall is to use ES cells to make adult stem cells in the laboratory. After all, adult stem cells form in nature from cells like embryonic stem cells. This gets to the first point about tumors. No scientist is suggesting that ES cells should be injected into patients. The point is to direct ES cells to mature into blood, heart, pancreas, or nerve cells (among others) and then inject THOSE mature tissue cells where they are needed. Next, ES cells don't "destroy tissue." I simply don't understand what your Congressperson is referring to there. Finally, the point of rejection is an important one. All transplanted tissues run a great risk of being rejected if they are not a close enough match to the patientadult, cord blood, and ES-derived cells included. That is why transplant donors are most often from the patient's own family and also why transplant recipients take drugs to suppress their immune system. However, ES-derived cells may one day have an advantage. Scientists think that they may be able to make customized ES cells from the patient's own DNA that will be an exact genetic match and thus, not be rejected. The process to do this is called "nuclear transfer" and is a controversial area of research as some fear that it will lead to reproductive cloning of people. I've never met a scientist that wanted to clone people, but I have met many that want to clone individual cells to make tissues that will not be rejected in a transplant.

  3. #67
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Re: Stem Cell Research

    British scientists grow human liver in a laboratory

    By FIONA MacRAE, Science Reporter Last updated at 12:32pm on 31st October 2006

    British scientists have grown the world's first artificial liver from stem cells in a breakthrough that will one day provide entire organs for transplant.

    The technique that created the 'mini-liver', currently the size of a one pence piece, will be developed to create a full-size functioning liver.

    Described as a 'Eureka moment' by the Newcastle University researchers, the tissue was created from blood taken from babies' umbilical cords just a few minutes after birth.

    As it stands, the mini organ can be used to test new drugs, preventing disasters such as the recent 'Elephant Man' drug trial. Using lab-grown liver tissue would also reduce the number of animal experiments.

    Within five years, pieces of artificial tissue could be used to repair livers damaged by injury, disease, alcohol abuse and paracetamol overdose.

    And then, in just 15 years' time, entire liver transplants could take place using organs grown in a lab.

    The development provides fresh hope for the hundreds of Britons in dire need of a new liver each year.

    There are currently 336 patients waiting for a liver transplant - the type of operation performed on George Best. However, in 2004, 72 people died waiting for a suitable donor.

    The liver tissue is created from stem cells - blank cells capable of developing into different types of tissue - found in blood from the umbilical cord.

    Working in collaboration with experts from the US, the Newcastle scientists succeeded in separating out the stem cells from blood removed from the umbilical cord minutes after birth.

    They are then placed in a 'bioreactor' - a piece of electrical equipment developed by NASA to mimic the effects of weightlessness. Inside this, the freedom from the force of gravity allows them to multiply more quickly than usual.

    Then, various hormones and chemicals are added to coax the stem cells into turning into liver tissue.

    So far, tiny pieces of tissue, less than an inch in diameter have been created.

    However, in time, it should be possible to create larger and larger pieces of tissue, eventually creating sections capable of being transplanted into sick patients.

    The Newcastle scientists believe that within two years the tissue could be used to test new drugs.

    Currently, new drugs are tested in the test tube, before being tried out first on animals and then on humans.

    However, the procedure is not foolproof, as was made painfully clear by the Northwick Park drugs trial earlier this year in which six healthy young volunteers were left fighting for their lives.

    Using lab-grown human tissue could iron out any difficulties before new drugs are given to humans.

    Colin McGuckin is professor of regenerative medicine at Newcastle University. He said: "We take the stem cells from the umbilical cord blood and make small mini-livers.

    "We then give them to pharmaceutical companies and they can use them to test new drugs on.

    "It could prevent the situation that happened earlier this year when those six patients had a massive reaction to the drugs they were testing."

    Using mini-livers could also cut down on the number of animal experiments.

    Within five years, the artificial liver could be used to directly benefit people's health.

    The researchers envisage sections of artificial liver being used to keep patients needing liver transplants alive - in much the same way as a dialysis machine is used to treat kidney failure.

    This technique would take advantage of the liver's remarkable ability to quickly regenerate itself.

    The patient would be hooked up to an artificial liver which would take over all the functions usually carried out by their own liver.

    With several 'dialysis' sessions a day over a period of several months, the patient's own liver would be afforded enough resting time to regenerate and repair any damage.

    Alternatively, vital months could be bought in search for a suitable donor for transplant.

    It is hoped that within 15 years, it will be possible to create sections of liver suitable for transplant into the body of those whose livers have been damaged beyond repair.

    In many cases, this would replace the need for an entire liver transplant.

    However, it would then be several more years before whole livers could be created in a lab for transplant.

    While other researchers have created liver cells from stem cells from embryos, the Newcastle team are the first to create sizeable sections of tissue from stem cells from the umbilical cord.

    They believe their technique is better suited to growing larger sections of tissue.

    Use of cord stem cells is also more ethically acceptable than the use of embryonic stem cells - a process that leads to the death of the embryo.

    The Newcastle researchers foresee a time when cord blood from millions of babies born each year is banked, creating a worldwide donor register for liver dialysis and transplant.

    Computerised registers could then be created to match the cord blood with tissue type or immune system of patients with liver problems.

    Already used to treat leukaemia, more than 11,000 British parents have so far chosen frozen their children's cord blood in a dozen such banks around the UK.

    Prof McGuckin said: "One hundred million children are born around the world every year - that is 100 million different tissue types.

    "With that number of children being born every year, we should be able to find a tissue for me and you and every other person who doesn't have stem cells banked."

    Co-researcher Dr Nico Forraz said: "Our dream is that every metropolitan city would have such a bank.

    "If you could type the blood all, you would have to do is dial it up on your computer and fly it from Bristol to Newcastle or even Newcastle to Kuala Lumpur."

    The breakthrough has been welcomed by liver experts. However, they caution much more work is needed before the research is transferred from the lab to the operating theatre.

    Professor Nagy Habib, of London's Hammersmith Hospital, said: "The stem cell is going to change the way we deliver treatment. However, it won't happen tomorrow."

    Alison Rogers, Chief Executive of the British Liver Trust, said: "Stem cell technology represents a huge leap forward in treating many diseases. "With liver disease in particular it has the potential for tremendous advances."

    A spokesman for UK Transplant, which runs the country's organ donor register, said: "There is lots going on in research that may have benefits for transplant patients.

    "But, in the here and now, the obvious way to help these people is by more people adding their names to the organ donor register and to make their wishes known to their family."

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