[ExI] Foes of stem cell research now face tough battle

spike spike66 at att.net
Tue Nov 25 02:20:20 UTC 2008

 > ...On Behalf Of Damien Broderick
> >
> >Claudia Castillo who has received the world's first 
> tailor-made trachea transplant grown using her own stem cells
> This is a terrible example, however; Prof. Paolo Macchiarini, 
> M.D. et al used Castillo's own adult stem cells, NOT embryonic cells:
> "We removed cells and MHC antigens from a human donor 
> trachea, which was then readily colonized... This graft was then used to
replace the recipient's left main bronchus."... Damien Broderick

Ja, a terrible example of stem cell research but a perfect example of the
fact that stem cell research has become a political football, which always
casts doubt on the science, much as the global warming notion is more about
politics than thermometers, and produces mountains of sloppy research on
both sides.

Look at the title itself: Foes of stem cell research...

There are no foes of stem cell research, only foes of embryonic cell
research.  Some articles will say "embryonic stem cells" but of course this
is redundant, as an early stage embryo is entirely stem cells.  I still hear
people say "Bush outlawed stem cell research..." but he did nothing of the
kind.  He put some restrictions on government funding of embryonic cell
research, but private industry is always free to do what private industry
does so very well.  

I find it telling that private industry chose not pour a lot of funding into
embryonic cell research, but put plenty of funding into developing adult
stem cell therapy.  We are starting to see the payoff.  Just from an
non-biologist point of view and ignoring the ethical considerations, it
looks to me as though it is just crazy to put an embryonic cell into another
person's body, a cell which is nearly assured to explode into countless
daughter cells at its first opportunity, especially when the patient needs
to take immune system supression drugs.  That approach just doesn't sound
too promising to me.  It sounds more like inviting a huge medical
malpractice suit when the thing becomes a wildly growing tumor.  Were I a
CEO of a medical research company, I wouldn't give much money to that area,
but I would spend plenty of money on stem cell research.  This position has
nada to do with ethics, but merely expected payoff.

As a test, notice if any given article or commentator carefully
differentiates between adult stem cells and embryonic cells, and
demonstrates knowledge of the difference.  If not, the article is likely
politically influenced and is of little value.



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