A recent article I read about the embryonic stem cell debate concluded with this silly comment: “What if stem cell research does create a major breakthrough? If stem cells provided a cure for juvenile diabetes, this issue would be a whisper in the wind”
Here is my response:
I am sorry to say, you are dead wrong. It will NEVER happen in the US…even though it already has.
1. First of all, in the US, you can never say “cure.” A treatment can make you symptom free for 40 years and the AMA and FDA will not let you say the patient is cured, only that they have been symptom free for 40 years.
2. In the US, when a major breakthrough occurs, you WILL NOT hear about it…in the US anyway. One brilliant doctor has enabled paraplegics to walk after adult stem cell treatment. Do you remember where you were when you heard this incredible news? No? You never heard anything about it? Right. Not in the US. Here is one of those patients. http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/03/28/stepping-towards-a-paralysis-cure-a-tale-of-two-supermen-stem-cells-cure-23-year-old-male-of-paralysis-c6-c7-injury/
Here are more (scroll down past the swine flu article): http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/?s=spinal+cord+injury
3. In the US, we like to talk about Embryos. And we are the only ones. Did you know that the top embryonic stem cell scientists in the world have walked away from using embryos to develop treatments? *** Embryonic research has been 100% fruitless (in regard to generating treatments) for well-funded and government supported scientists around the world for the last 11 years. *** Dr James Thomson, father of embryonic research said about embryonic research: “…embryonic stem cells are not being used in any clinical applications yet, while alternatives such as adult stem cells figure in scores of therapies.” *** Dr Oz said on national TV “the stem cell debate is dead,” recognizing the lack of potential in embryonic stem cells to produce cures. http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/03/31/oprah-michael-j-fox-dr-mehmet-oz-the-stem-cell-debate-is-over/ *** Ian Wilmut, who led the team that cloned Dolly the sheep, abandoned his license to attempt human cloning, saying that the researchers “may have achieved what no politician could: an end to the embryonic stem cell debate.” *** Dr. Bernadine Healy, director of the National Institutes of Health under the first President Bush, wrote in U.S. News & World Report that these recent developments “in the first six weeks of Obama’s term, several events reinforced the notion that embryonic stem cells, once thought to hold the cure for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and diabetes, are obsolete….. In fact, adult stem cells, which occur in small quantities in organs throughout the body for natural growth and repair, have become stars despite great skepticism early on.”
4. I can refer you to many studies showing the huge therapeutic benefits of stem cells for treating over 130 diseases, including Type 1 diabetes. Here’s one about your example, juvenile diabetes. One patient has gone 4 years symptom free (ZERO INSULIN). Many others had only slightly less spectacular results. http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/04/15/stem-cells-%e2%80%98can-treat-diabetes%e2%80%99-is-obscured-by-wet-blanket/
The problem is, these results and studies used Adult stem cells (the one’s that actually work) and not Embryonic stem cells (which is all that anyone in the US knows about or wants to talk about). Even if you do hear about it, the word “controversial” will be plastered all over the article although there are virtually NO SIDE EFFECTS to adult stem cell treatments that standard lab practices can’t avoid or an Advil can’t cure.
5. Thousands of people all over the world are being treated successfully for ALS, ALzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Heart Disease, Autism and ~130 others. This issue IS a whisper in the wind, everywhere in the world except in the US. In the US, the trumpets are sounding so loud “for” and “against” Embryonic stem cell research, that Americans can NOT hear that they are wasting their time, embryonic stem cells will not produce treatments for 20-50 years, adult stem cells work now, diseases are being treated all over the world, embryonic scientists are abandoning their work, etc. etc.