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    #46
    Originally posted by BigB:

    What are their fears? That science is more powerful and healing than the pulpit?
    Primarily tumor formation. Stem cells growing out of control and causing cancer [see this, which they will probably use]. Stem cells growing the wrong type of cell for the organ being treated [say bone showing up in the heart]. There are a lot of fears.

    The article I linked shows that bone marrow derived stem cells can cause gastric cancer. The anti-stem cell argument will be "If adult stem cells do this, just imagine what all could go wrong with embryonic stem cells. We don't know enough about them to use them safely."

    A proper analysis of the article would be that the reduced number of normal stomach cells is what allows the bone marrow derived stem cells to grow out of control. Normal stomach cells produce the proper cues [proteins] to maintain a roughly homeostatic environment and allow for the proper differentiation and maintenance of endogenous stem cells. Without a certain level of the native tissue type to provide the necessary cues, the stem cells can and will grow out of control.

    The literature Dr. Young references below reinforce the point I am making [or trying to make, I may not be explaining it well enough].

    Faye, you don't think a vote on increasing stem cell research funding levels will reach a vote?

    -Steven
    ...people believe what they want to believe when it makes no sense at all
    ...it's worse than we thought. it turns out the people at the white house are not secret muslims, they're nerds.

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      #47
      A seperate "Basic Research" bill seems more an appeasement bill, that is unnecessary, redundant and most like one that is intended to restrict or clearly outline what specifically scientist will need to study, not based on hypotheses derived a priori , but from politically motivated questions, doubts and criticisms being basis for formulating the hypotheses.

      If "Basic Research" bill is funded along side other stem cell research, it would seem this would only duplicate research - not as part of scientific process which attempts to replicate studies/results found, but duplicate studies as researchers work independently on studying same/similar things simulateneously, making the work redundant and not the best utilizaton of time and funds. Again, it would seem that your talk of basic research is part and parcel of the scientific process and if scientists are not investigating questions, potential dangers/negative effects, etc, then this is a concern that should be raised about scientists/research themselves and their possible motivations (political/religious) for this neglect.

      Comment


        #48
        Two points:

        Redundant? Not necessarily, as people would apply for funds from the NIH to do non-basic research and whatever the proposed bill forms to do basic research, as defined. Also, experiments generally need to be duplicated anyway by separate labs to prove that the results are accurate. The proposed bill would just add more money to the stem cell "pie" and partition it so that more grants proposing advanced research can be funded by the NIH. In short, redundancy isn't always a bad thing.

        Neglect? The system has worked well for years, but it could be more efficient. Researchers are looking into the basic science, but most of them are looking towards therapeutic applications and may skim past or overlook potential hurdles [Vioxx?]. Research funded by the proposed bill would be done with a focus on understanding the underlying fundamental [thanks for the word, btw] characteristics of stem cells. It is important to note that what I am suggesting is not an overhaul of the NIH, but more akin to adding a component to improve it's efficiency [eg, fuel additives, RAM].

        -Steven
        ...people believe what they want to believe when it makes no sense at all
        ...it's worse than we thought. it turns out the people at the white house are not secret muslims, they're nerds.

        Comment


          #49
          So Steven, we already know ESC has some issues and if the basic research leg studied for instance the possibility of tumors, how long will the research last. Long enough to take ESC off the shelf or long enough to work up a solution for the tumors. Who decides mission complete? I think this is dangerous, and motivated to control science.

          Comment


            #50
            Bob, the legislators would draw up a list of their safety concerns [eg, tumors] and a committee of scientists would evaluate their concerns, draft proposals, and set the goals and timelines. ESC will not be off the shelf. Concurrently: at the same time. $24.8 million estimated for ESC FY2005 exists right now. Adding another $5 million or so would be bad how?

            -Steven
            ...people believe what they want to believe when it makes no sense at all
            ...it's worse than we thought. it turns out the people at the white house are not secret muslims, they're nerds.

            Comment


              #51
              In plain English= If they were really for ESC research they would offer more than 24.8 million and wouldn't spend five million to thwart its significance.

              Comment


                #52
                Bob, do you have faith that results from such research would be in the favor of pro-ESC?

                -Steven
                ...people believe what they want to believe when it makes no sense at all
                ...it's worse than we thought. it turns out the people at the white house are not secret muslims, they're nerds.

                Comment


                  #53
                  Depends when Bush decides to use his mission complete statement. Science should be free and not controlled to suit a groups viewpoint. You can't alter science cause it is reality, you can only delay it. after past issues why should I think this is a step in the right direction [img]/forum/images/smilies/frown.gif[/img]

                  Comment


                    #54
                    It will be free, but it can be coordinated to achieve specific goals. Bush would have no sayso over stopping the research [although he could just not sign the bill into law]. His allowing the bill to pass would let him appear to his pace to be proceeding at an ethical, incremental pace, so I think he would pass it. If research is allowed on retrodifferentiation, he can even say that he is exploring a potentially promising "ethical" way to manipulate adult stem cells so that they have as much promise as embryonic stem cells.

                    The bottom line is, Bush may go down in history as the first Preesident who "had the vision to cure diseases by funding embryonic stem cell research." If he does, I have no problem with it [as blatantly false as it is]. I know that more money equates to more funded research projects. More funded research projects equates to quicker development of treatments for us. You say cover every base and don't discriminate against ESCs. What I am suggesting would actually help ESC research by putting more money into it, but you and Faye seem to be against it. Why?

                    -Steven
                    ...people believe what they want to believe when it makes no sense at all
                    ...it's worse than we thought. it turns out the people at the white house are not secret muslims, they're nerds.

                    Comment


                      #55
                      Steven I already tried to explain and I also think that 24million is not an awful lot of funding to divide between a host of conditions as possibly cured by ESC.(Some professional Baseball players make more than that each year) And, in addition even if the additional 5 million was devoted to Cure research, which it isn't,(and it may be a sly way of halting ESC research altogether)it still would be a limited budget. So you have my answer.

                      [This message was edited by BigB on 12-10-04 at 05:58 PM.]

                      Comment


                        #56
                        What is the success story for stem cell transplants? Who, where and when? It would be nice to hear from people who have had success from these procedures, since that is what we're looking for. Who is walking? Who and when and where are people having success form this procedure? I know many people are going to Koreak, Portugal, Argentina to undergo stem cell transplants. Can we have reports of results?
                        Much thanks.
                        Jennifer Richardson

                        Comment


                          #57
                          Originally posted by lukesmom
                          What is the success story for stem cell transplants? Who, where and when? It would be nice to hear from people who have had success from these procedures, since that is what we're looking for. Who is walking? Who and when and where are people having success form this procedure? I know many people are going to Koreak, Portugal, Argentina to undergo stem cell transplants. Can we have reports of results?
                          Much thanks.
                          Jennifer Richardson
                          Jennifer (lukesmom), there have been few or no studies of stem cell transplants in spinal cord injury. The nasal mucosa transplants in Portugal involve transplantation of nasal mucosa and there is no evidence that any stem cells are transplanted. The Argentina studies have been using bone marrow cells to treat diabetes but it is not yet clear how the cells are doing so. One Korean study did use bone marrow cells to treat spinal cord injury but the treatment included a growth factor called GM-CSM to stimulate the cells. Finally, although you did not mention them, the fetal olfactory ensheathing glia used to treat patients in China are not stem cells. Olfactory ensheathing glia are specialized cells that do not make other kinds of cells. While I realize that it may seem like a technicality, but there is no evidence in human studies (or for that matter in animal studies) that stem cells are beneficial in spinal cord injury.

                          Cell transplants serve two potential purposes in spinal cord injury. The first is that they fill the injury site and provide a bridge across which axons can regenerate. The second is that they may replace neurons and oligodendroglial cells that have been damaged. Some animal studies suggest that embryonic or fetal neural stem cells can replace oligodendroglia and neurons in the spinal cord but we (I don't mean just scientists but everybody) don't know whether they will work as stem cells. In my opinion, most of the claims that stem cells will cure spinal cord injury on their own is hyperbole. It is not clear that the injured spinal cord expresses the signals to tell stem cells to do the right thing. I am particularly skeptical about claims that the stem cells can be injected intravenously for spinal cord.

                          There is too much unsubstantiated hyperbole going on regarding stem cells. As you know, I am a strong supporter of both adult and embryonic stem cell research. However, I am perturbed by all the claims being made on behalf of stem cells, whether embryonic, fetal, neonatal, or adult. While stem cells are quite smart, they don't know how to repair spinal cord injury without instruction and modification. The injured spinal cord is not the same as a developing spinal cord. If adult stem cells could repair the spinal cord, why aren't they doing so naturally? Perhaps they are to some extent, particularly in incomplete spinal cord injuries, but the expectation that stem cells know what to do is unrealistic.

                          In 1995, when Christopher Reeve asked me whether there will be treatments for spinal cord injury, we did not even know that is was possible to grow human embryonic stem cells or there were neural stem cells in the brain. The first "stem cell" transplants were not done until 1999. Despite the claims by opponents to embryonic stem cell research that embryonic stem cells have not cured anything, ample animal data suggest that cells derived frmo embryonic stem cells can produce astrocytes, neurons, and oligodendroglial cells in brain and spinal cord. In contrast, there is no data yet indicating that bone marrow stem or umbilical cord blood cells can produce neurons, astrocytes, or oligodendroglial cells in the spinal cord. On the other hand, I believe that it is only a matter of time before this will happen.

                          Wise.

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