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Ballet Mom
10-18-2010, 04:01 PM
Scientists overcome hurdles to stem cell alternatives

By Rob Stein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 30, 2010; 10:51 PM

Scientists have invented an efficient way to produce apparently safe alternatives to human embryonic stem cells without destroying embryos, a long-sought step toward bypassing the moral morass surrounding one of the most promising fields in medicine.

A team of researchers at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute in Boston published a series of experiments Thursday showing that synthetic biological signals can quickly reprogram ordinary skin cells into entities that appear virtually identical to embryonic stem cells. Moreover, the same strategy can then turn those cells into ones that could be used for transplants.

"This is going to be very exciting to the research community," said Derrick J. Rossi of the Children's Hospital Boston, who led the research published in the journal Cell Stem Cell. "We now have an experimental paradigm for generating patient-specific cells highly efficiently and safely and also taking those cells to clinically useful cell types."

Scientists hope stem cells will lead to cures for diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injuries, heart attacks and many other ailments because they can turn into almost any tissue in the body, potentially providing an invaluable source of cells to replace those damaged by disease or injury. But the cells can be obtained only by destroying days-old embryos.

The cells produced by the Harvard team, known as induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, would avoid that ethical objection and could in some ways be superior to embryonic stem cells. For example, iPS cells could enable scientists to take an easily obtainable skin cell from any patient and use it to create perfectly matched cells, tissue and potentially even entire organs for transplants that would be immune to rejection.

'Game changer'

While cautioning that the work needs to be repeated elsewhere and explored further, other researchers said the technique appears to represent a major development in the promising field of "regenerative medicine," which aims to create treatments tailored to individual patients.

"All I can say is 'wow' - this is a game changer," said Robert Lanza, a stem cell researcher at Advanced Cell Technology in Worcester, Mass. "It would solve some of the most important problems in the field."

The results were so striking that the Harvard Stem Cell Institute where Rossi works had already ordered every scientist working on iPS cells to switch to the new process.

"This paper is a major paper, in my view, in the field of regenerative medicine," said Douglas A. Melton, a leading stem cell researcher who co-directs the institute.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/30/AR2010093003211.html?hpid=topnews

mamamax
10-19-2010, 06:45 AM
A "game changer" indeed! Looks like we are not too far from discovering how to harness the human potential for self healing through regeneration (without ethical issues). Fascinating article, thanks for posting Balletmom :-)

Karen Ocker
10-19-2010, 08:58 AM
A friend's daughter was cured :)of the horrible disorder, sickle cell anemia after matching umbilical cord blood stem cells were used. There has to be a donor match though. Many hospitals are saving umbilical cord blood.

I know of one center in NJ and another in NY doing this procedure.

titaniumed
10-20-2010, 12:36 AM
Placenta also.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090623091119.htm
Ed

Pooka1
10-20-2010, 06:25 AM
Well with all these other potential sources of useful stem cells, I guess now we can "ethically" if not ceremoniously just discard the 400,000 to 500,000 IVF embryos presently in deep freeze.

Because that is their fate absent research use, it is perverse to argue against embryonic stem cell research. It is also unconscionable to spend a single penny on these non-embryo sources for stem cells unless they truly hold a better hope for sick folks.

Thinking souls live in petri dishes only appears sane in the US because so many people think that is the case despite a vacuum of evidence for it. Other countries will take the lead in many scientific areas as we fret over imaginary problems.

CHRIS WBS
10-20-2010, 10:57 AM
Thinking souls live in petri dishes only appears sane in the US because so many people think that is the case despite a vacuum of evidence for it.

Is that a misquote or the truth leaking out?

Pooka1
10-20-2010, 12:24 PM
Is that a misquote or the truth leaking out?

Heh? Are you really suggesting I might have been saying 8-cell embryos are capable of thought? Seriously?

There is not a lick of evidence souls exist or live in petri dishes in deep freezes or anywhere. And you know it. The only gap here is in admitting it.

Countries unburdened by medieval superstitions like souls will move ahead of us in science and technology as we struggle with purely imaginary problems like souls in petri dishes which I might add will be saved from use in research only to be thawed and discarded. Much more ethical. :rolleyes:

Ballet Mom
10-20-2010, 03:02 PM
It is also unconscionable to spend a single penny on these non-embryo sources for stem cells unless they truly hold a better hope for sick folks.


I guess you missed this in the article:

"The ability to safely and efficiently generate patient-specific cells has the potential to transform transplantation medicine," Lanza said.

Or perhaps you missed this:

"For example, iPS cells could enable scientists to take an easily obtainable skin cell from any patient and use it to create perfectly matched cells, tissue and potentially even entire organs for transplants that would be immune to rejection. "

Embryos are NOT patient-specific.

And for anyone who may not know Lanza's credentials:

"Who is Robert Lanza?

Robert Lanza, M.D. is considered one of the leading scientists in the world. He is currently Chief Scientific Officer at Advanced Cell Technology, and Adjunct Professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He has hundreds of publications and inventions, and over two dozen scientific books: among them, “Principles of Tissue Engineering,” which is recognized as the definitive reference in the field."

Pooka1
10-20-2010, 03:06 PM
I guess you missed this in the article:


How much money did they spend overcoming the potential CANCER problem in using these non-embryonic cells?

That sounds like a bigger issue and it certainly doesn't sound like they completely cracked that nut.

How many other dangerous issues are they wasting money and time overcoming to address an imaginary ethical issue?

We are the laughing stock of the world over the superstition level in the US. It is out of control.

Ballet Mom
10-20-2010, 03:22 PM
How much money did they spend overcoming the potential CANCER problem in using these non-embryonic cells?

That sounds like a bigger issue and it certainly doesn't sound like they completely cracked that nut.

How many other dangerous issues are they wasting money and time overcoming to address an imaginary ethical issue?

We are the laughing stock of the world over the superstition level in the US. It is out of control.

The cancer issue I believe was due to using a virus used to introduce the stemcells into the body that was the problem that was overcome using this new technique.

Perhaps what we're wasting money on is the use of embryonic stem-cell research. Only time will tell and you certainly aren't able to determine that.

Pooka1
10-20-2010, 03:30 PM
The cancer issue I believe was due to using a virus used to introduce the stemcells into the body that was the problem that was overcome using this new technique.

Perhaps what we're wasting money on is the use of embryonic stem-cell research. Only time will tell and you certainly aren't able to determine that.

And just how the hell is it MORE ethical to throw these 500,000 embryos away than using a tiny handful of them for research?

Until someone ponies up a rational answer to that then every penny spent on these other stem cell sources is WASTED. And you know it. The gap is in admitting it.

There is no evidence there is a real ethical issue here apart from medieval imaginary CRAP. And you know it. The gap is in admitting it.

Impairment of intellectual honesty surrounding this and many other issues from the theological crowd. As usual.

Pooka1
10-20-2010, 03:33 PM
It's like you have to check your intellectual honesty at the door when you step into faith. It's enough to make a cat laugh.

Pooka1
10-20-2010, 03:50 PM
BalletMom... since you claim you aren't a creationist, at what point in human evolution did the soul get injected?

250,000 years ago?

150,000 years ago?

100,000 years ago?

Until you come up with an answer and EVIDENCE for it, you can't support the "souls in petri dishes" idea.

And you know it.

Faith is NOT a way of knowing a damn thing.

Ballet Mom
10-20-2010, 04:00 PM
And just how the hell is it MORE ethical to throw these 500,000 embryos away than using a tiny handful of them for research?

Until someone ponies up a rational answer to that then every penny spent on these other stem cell sources is WASTED. And you know it. The gap is in admitting it.

There is no evidence there is a real ethical issue here apart from medieval imaginary CRAP. And you know it. The gap is in admitting it.

Impairment of intellectual honesty surrounding this and many other issues from the theological crowd. As usual.

What a truly bizarre thing to say. How was it wasted to cause scientists to research non-embryonic stem cells and end up with a better discovery?

I won't even start listing the many, many unethical and horrific experiments that scientists have performed on the unsuspecting. Scientists have no claim to the moral high ground. And you are a hateful person.

Ballet Mom
10-20-2010, 04:01 PM
BalletMom... since you claim you aren't a creationist, at what point in human evolution did the soul get injected?

250,000 years ago?

150,000 years ago?

100,000 years ago?

Until you come up with an answer and EVIDENCE for it, you can't support the "souls in petri dishes" idea.

And you know it.

Faith is NOT a way of knowing a damn thing.

You are a hateful and disgusting loser.

Pooka1
10-20-2010, 04:05 PM
What a truly bizarre thing to say. How was it wasted to cause scientists to research non-embryonic stem cells and end up with a better discovery?


You don't known that it is a better discovery. Moreover you personally would have no way of determining that. And you have a track record to prove that.

How does it do you any good to discuss something in an intellectually DIShonest manner?

Pooka1
10-20-2010, 04:23 PM
You are a hateful and disgusting loser.

And you are avoiding the obvious.

Throw off the yoke of superstition and embrace intellectual honesty.

Ballet Mom
10-20-2010, 04:30 PM
And you are avoiding the obvious.

Throw off the yoke of superstition and embrace intellectual honesty.

Go to hell, and I truly mean it.

Pooka1
10-20-2010, 04:33 PM
Go to hell, and I truly mean it.

You prove it exists and I gladly go there.

Good luck. And I truly mean it. :)

Ballet Mom
10-20-2010, 05:08 PM
You prove it exists and I gladly go there.

Good luck. And I truly mean it. :)


Judgement Day is Coming. Science Suggests Justice Is Inescapable


Will kind people be rewarded for their good deeds? Will the wicked be punished? Yes, according to a new interpretation of recent experiments. Although our science is too primitive for us to fully comprehend, there is a direct and proportional price to pay for any act of cruelty or injustice.

Science suggests that there are consequences to our actions that transcend our ordinary, classical way of thinking. Emerson, it turns out, was right: ďEvery crime is punished, every virtue rewarded, every wrong redressed, in silence and certainty.Ē

http://www.robertlanza.com/judgement-day-is-coming-science-suggests-justice-is-inescapable/

Pooka1
10-20-2010, 05:18 PM
Judgement Day is Coming.

Sell crazy somewhere else, will ya already?

Apparently Lanza is a crackpot...

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/08/weve_angered_another_crackpot.php

He needs to sell crazy somewhere else also.

And I keep telling you... these one-off citations of people with legit degrees who are nevertheless demonstrably wacky is BEATEN by my citing that 7% of the National Academy are theists.

You can't beat that for sheer incoherence. Nobody can. I suggest you stop trying.

Pooka1
10-20-2010, 05:19 PM
Will kind people be rewarded for their good deeds? Will the wicked be punished?

What happens with the wacky people? Do they go to clown college? Forever perhaps?

Ballet Mom
10-20-2010, 05:28 PM
What happens with the wacky people? Do they go to clown college? Forever perhaps?

What happens to the nasty people who congregate at places like Pharyngula? Do they actually have any friends....or were they the ones that must have been so bullied through school because they were such social outcasts that they look to other losers like themselves to insult and bully Christians on a daily basis? And think it's funny. You all deserve each other.

mariaf
10-20-2010, 07:26 PM
You prove it exists and I gladly go there.

I don't know why, but that line cracked me up, Sharon.

mamamax
10-20-2010, 08:40 PM
This thread is enough proof for me.

Pooka1 ... why do you always try to bait Balletmom into religious argument (oh, excuse me - I mean "debate")?

Pooka1
10-20-2010, 09:07 PM
I don't know why, but that line cracked me up, Sharon.

Just trying to keep up with the wackiness in this thread. I have to push myself but it's good exercise. :)

Pooka1
10-20-2010, 09:11 PM
This thread is enough proof for me.

Pooka1 ... why do you always try to bait Balletmom into religious argument (oh, excuse me - I mean "debate")?



Science versus religion is NOT a debate. Debates require two real sides that proffer EVIDENCE, not one real side proffering evidence and another superstitious side proffering medieval "geniusry."

It's why Dawkins refuses to "debate" creationists.

Pooka1
10-20-2010, 09:13 PM
What happens to the nasty people who congregate at places like Pharyngula? Do they actually have any friends....or were they the ones that must have been so bullied through school because they were such social outcasts that they look to other losers like themselves to insult and bully Christians on a daily basis? And think it's funny. You all deserve each other.

Now you're just descending into bitterness. Shoot the messenger mentality.

Come back. Come back to the real side. You are very smart and I refuse to give up on you.

mamamax
10-21-2010, 06:34 AM
Science versus religion is NOT a debate. Debates require two real sides that proffer EVIDENCE, not one real side proffering evidence and another superstitious side proffering medieval "geniusry."

It's why Dawkins refuses to "debate" creationists.


The discussion in this thread started out scientific, or at least non religious, until post #5, where you bring in petri dish souls (regarding ethics). Following that, both you and Balletmom had some interesting points to make. But then it was like some switch flipped and you became accusatory toward her personally with some rapid fire insults regarding her intellectual honesty, intelligence, and even her faith.

I just wonder why you do that over and again? Is it a reaction to running out of your own intellectual honesty and intelligent things to say? Or is it some new age debate tactic? Whatever it is .. it certainly is a curious thing.

Pooka1
10-21-2010, 06:42 AM
I just wonder why you do that over and again? Is it a reaction to running out of your own intellectual honesty and intelligent things to say? Or is it some new age debate tactic? Whatever it is .. it certainly is a curious thing.


Oh it's probably just a manifestation of a deep-seated self-loathing over not being a biochemist.

Maybe I think I'm a failure because I'm not a biochemist.

There is no ethical issue here. And you know it. The gap is in admitting it.

If it turns out that embryos are the best source of stem cells on balance and especially due to the research being further along and people are dying now, will you, Ballet Mom and others admit it is at least as ethical to use them in that way as throwing them out?

That is where the intellectual rubber meets the road. And you know it. The gap is in admitting it.

Pooka1
10-21-2010, 06:50 AM
The move you canNOT make is to say,

Medieval "geniuses" said souls exist therefore embryonic stem cell research is not ethical.

That is how the argument goes for anyone who thinks there is an ethical issue with embryonic stem cell research and it isn't rational.

A good test is to ask whether there is any non-theological reason to oppose something. If there is ONLY a theological reason then there is no rational reason. Thus there is no rational reason to oppose the following:

1. embryonic stem cell research
2. homosexuality
3. abortion of non-viable fetuses

I invite folks who imagine there is an ethical issue with these things to step into the present and out of the Bronze, Iron and Medieval Ages.

mamamax
10-21-2010, 07:11 AM
Oh it's probably just a manifestation of a deep-seated self-loathing over not being a biochemist.

Maybe I think I'm a failure because I'm not a biochemist.

There is no ethical issue here. And you know it. The gap is in admitting it.

If it turns out that embryos are the best source of stem cells on balance and especially due to the research being further along and people are dying now, will you, Ballet Mom and others admit it is at least as ethical to use them in that way as throwing them out?

That is where the intellectual rubber meets the road. And you know it. The gap is in admitting it.

Being that there is no solid scientific proof either way regarding the existence of ethical issues - the argument becomes moot, and it could be argued that both exist by default :-)

Honestly, personally, I think the world is large enough for scientific exploration of both methods. The best method will surface in time. In my little world I would like to see the best method be one that does the job best while not involving ethical issues (real and/or imagined). I admit this cannot always happen. But it does look as if Non-Embryonic Stem Cell Research is very promising in the area of regenerative medicine. It is a good thing - and maybe will prove the best thing. Time will tell.

CHRIS WBS
10-21-2010, 11:32 AM
Sharon,

You take every occasion to insult people who pray and mock their intellect. And who are you to tell people what they know? You are a mere creature, so get over it. Quite frankly, I am bored with your never-ending egocentric pontifications.

The ever wise Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, who spoke and wrote so eloquently about manís love affair with himself, wrote a most applicable insight in his book On Being Human,

ďThere are three possible kinds of God: the god of oneís own ego, in which the atheist believes, and which is also the god of modern confusionism; the god of nature, of stone and gold and silver, which belonged to the old religions of idolatry; and the Supreme God, who made both man and nature, and redeemed them both upon the cross. Those who tell us that they deny the existence of God are merely substituting one god for another.Ē

Egocentric manipulation of nature and experimentation of human beings tramples on the laws of God, and I fear we are on the brink of something catastrophic. In recent years we have seen an untold number of devastating natural disasters. I think the earth itself is rebelling over the insults hurled at our Creator. I would presume that most people alive today donít know just how close we came to a nuclear holocaust in October 1962. Itís my belief that God spared us because we as a nation at that time were a more prayerful and devout people. But my oh my how evil influences have proliferated since then. Iím not so sure that God will show us the same mercy. God is merciful, but just. Funny how immediately following 9/11 churches were once again filled to capacity. It was short-lived though because creatures have a tendency to become complacent.

Pooka1
10-21-2010, 01:21 PM
In recent years we have seen an untold number of devastating natural disasters. I think the earth itself is rebelling over the insults hurled at our Creator.

I'm sure you do think that there is a theological reason for these things but earth scientists... vulcanologists, earthquake guys, tsunami guys, oceanographers, hurricane guys, etc. can tell you the real reason for these natural events.

Just like LaPlace told Napoleon, there is no need to invoke the supernatural to fully explain natural phenomena.

If you knew the science you would not be making these odd statements. And there is no reason you can't understand the science. You simply choose not to do so. Your choice. I choose facts and knowledge and reality.

To each his own.

Ballet Mom
10-21-2010, 03:28 PM
The iron curtain didn't fall, it simply shifted its boundaries.

mamamax
10-21-2010, 06:20 PM
<snipped> I would presume that most people alive today donít know just how close we came to a nuclear holocaust in October 1962.

You and I are about the same age Chris. I was 12 at the time and have vivid recall. It was the 911 of the era. The nation was truly terrorized - young children like ourselves grew up knowing life as we knew it could end an any time. The years leading up to all this also involved air raids in school - young children instructed to huddle under their desks or in hallways. For the first time in history, Technology allowed for graphic education regarding nuclear war. The ultimate reality show. Thank God for the years of The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, etc - group therapy as it turned out :-)

Pooka1
10-21-2010, 06:45 PM
The iron curtain didn't fall, it simply shifted its boundaries.

I wish you were a biochemist. This thread wouldn't exist if you were.

I also wish hdugger was a biochemist just because I think she would be good at it.

mamamax
10-21-2010, 07:32 PM
Some interesting reading on the topic. Much merit in non-embryonic, or what is termed adult stem cell research: http://www.americanvoiceinstitute.org/StemCells.htm

hdugger
10-21-2010, 07:38 PM
I also wish hdugger was a biochemist just because I think she would be good at it.

I loved the part of science where you designed and made sense of experiments. Now, if just *that* part took 90% of the time, instead of writing grant proposals and collecting data :)

Pooka1
10-21-2010, 07:55 PM
I loved the part of science where you designed and made sense of experiments. Now, if just *that* part took 90% of the time, instead of writing grant proposals and collecting data :)

I agree. :)

I also think Dingo would make a good biochemist just because he is fearless in jumping into the pool. He has a fire in the belly. If we could just harness it... :)

mamamax
10-21-2010, 08:32 PM
come to think of it - probably everyone who participated in this tread (plus Dingo by default) would have made a great biochemist .... would we still be arguing over the pros and cons of embryo vs adult stem cell research? Perhaps, more than likely :D

LindaRacine
10-22-2010, 12:39 AM
Enough! In the future, I think I'll just immediately delete threads that have nothing to do with scoliosis.