DAVID GRANOVSKY

Archive for February 18th, 2009|Daily archive page

Soccer dads tackle injury by storing baby stem cells – World – smh.com.au

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 18, 2009 at 4:16 pm
SOCCER INJURIES PROMPT STEM CELL SAVING

SOCCER INJURIES PROMPT STEM CELL SAVING

Soccer dads tackle injury by storing baby stem cells

LONDON: Top British footballers are storing stem cells from their newborn babies as a potential future treatment for their own injuries on the pitch.

Five professional footballers are known to have frozen cells taken from the umbilical cord blood of their babies, which could be used to treat cartilage and ligament problems, The Sunday Times reported.

via Soccer dads tackle injury by storing baby stem cells – World – smh.com.au.

Adult stem cells get the shaft! (none are so blind as those who will not see)

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 18, 2009 at 4:10 pm


The “Wrong” Cure –      Adult stem cells get the shaft!

joni tada

joni tada

By Wesley J. Smith

Members of the liberal media elite have become rather choosy when it comes to advocating stem-cell cures for degenerative medical conditions. To these commentators, cures using adult stem cells just aren’t the “right” cures. For stem-cell therapy to really count, it has to come from embryos. Indeed, even the most astonishing research advances using adult cells are ignored by these arbiters of public policy as if they never happened. And since liberal elites dominate public discourse in the stem-cell debate, the American people remain generally unaware of these astonishing scientific advances.

No media personality epitomizes the elite liberal media mindset more than CNN’s Larry King. It thus came as no surprise that King cared nothing about adult-stem-cell research breakthroughs when the noted artist, evangelist, and disability-rights activist Joni Eareckson Tada raised the issue in an August interview.

Tada has been quadriplegic since breaking her back in a diving accident at age 17. In recent years, she has become an outspoken opponent of human cloning and of federally funded embryonic-stem-cell research. It was in this context that Tada accepted King’s offer to introduce her to Christopher Reeve, the paralyzed former movie star who has become the world’s most famous advocate for using human cloning and embryonic stem cells to find cures:

King: He [Reeve] thinks he’s going to walk.Tada: That may very well happen using incredible therapies…using adult-stem-cell research. It is absolutely amazing what is happening. Dr. Carlos Lima in Lisbon, Portugal, has helped restore bladder and muscle control to people with paralysis using stem cells from their own nasal tissue.

Take a moment and think about what Tada told King. Paralyzed people with serious spinal injuries like those afflicting Tada and Reeve have regained feeling in their bodies using adult-tissue therapies. Assuming that King was unaware of these advances — always a good assumption, given that King prides himself on not preparing for interviews — he should have been thunderstruck by this big news. Tada’s assertion should have prompted an immediate follow-up question demanding more details. Had King done this, Tada might have then told him that one of the paralyzed women treated by Dr. Lima with her own olfactory tissue had recently appeared before a Senate subcommittee and presented videos of herself walking with braces!

But King never even attempted to follow up. Indeed, he wasn’t the least bit curious about the tremendous news that human patients with serious spinal-cord injury may be able to walk again if these early human trials using adult tissue pan out. Instead, almost reflexively, he promoted embryonic-stem-cell research, stating, “Everyone says it will be faster if embryonic is also used. Nancy Reagan is going to campaign strongly for that.”

Tada told King patiently that she opposes embryonic-stem-cell research, in part because she advocates channeling scarce resources “into [adult] therapies which have the most promise, which are the most effective.” She then told King about the dangers associated with embryonic stem cells of which he might be unaware, such as tissue rejection and tumors.

King shrugged this off, asserting that problems always happen in the beginning of research studies. “That’s true,” Tada acknowledged. And then she tried again to get King to just hear how far adult-tissue research has already advanced. “Right now,” she said, “incredible therapies” are happening “with their own stem cells, whether dental pulp or nasal tissues, or bone-marrow tissues.”

For a second time in two minutes Tada had presented King with the opportunity to provide his audience with a wonderful educational opportunity. Had he followed up, even skeptically, by demanding that Tada give examples of these incredible breakthroughs, she could have told him about human heart patients who have already benefited from treatment with their own bone marrow or blood stem cells. She could have given great hope to people with Parkinson’s disease by describing the successes already achieved treating patients with adult cells and their derivatives. Perhaps she would have mentioned the wonderful news that in an early human trial, a patient with multiple sclerosis so advanced that he experienced bouts of blindness appears to have been put into almost total remission using his own stem cells.

But King’s viewing audience was not allowed to learn any of this, because King did not inquire. Instead, he demanded to know who is harmed by embryonic-stem-cell research and asked whether she would agree to debate Christopher Reeve. Then, it was quickly on to other matters. Clearly, for King, stem-cell medical advances only count if they come from embryonic sources.

King is not alone in this incredibly myopic approach to the stem-cell debate. Other elite liberal commentators are just as narrow in their views about adult-stem-cell research. For example, Laura Bush’s recent defense of her husband’s stem-cell policy sent several elite liberal commentators into apoplectic orbit. Cynthia Tucker’s August 13 syndicated column, “Bush’s Policy on Stem-Cell Research Has No Good Defense,” was especially nasty — and typically ignorant of the current state of the science.

Charging that only religious extremism stands in the way of stem-cell advances, Tucker accused the president of limiting research “that could…lead to cures for Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and even some cancers. Some of those cures could be decades away. But we can’t get there until we get started.”

Tucker either didn’t take the time to discover, or doesn’t care, that we are already well under way to finding such cures! As stated above, human patients with the very diseases Tucker mentioned have already benefited from adult-tissue therapies. Animal studies have advanced even further. For example, mice with advanced-stage juvenile diabetes have been cured with adult cell therapies. Yet instead of embracing these advances, Tucker complained, “I certainly don’t understand a 21st-century superpower that devotes billions to building smart bombs to destroy life efficiently but refuses to fund the research that could save or enhance the lives of millions of its citizens.”

Ignorance, thy name is Tucker. Apparently she is unaware that the federal government poured more than $200 million into adult-stem-cell research and about $25 million into embryonic-stem-cell research in 2003. In addition, private investors have abundantly invested in adult-stem-cell research, while generally shunning embryonic and human cloning research, largely because adult therapies are so much closer to fruition than embryonic approaches.

Apparently, Tucker would put her political views before the current state of the science and reverse this funding ratio. But this would be most unwise. It could delay bringing regenerative cures to the American people by diverting resources away from adult-cell cures already in early human trials and toward embryonic research that can’t even be done safely in humans — a point made by Joni Eareckson Tada that bounced off Larry King’s forehead.

Amazingly, the ideological fervor in favor of using nascent human life in stem-cell treatments is so intense that it prevents even liberal media elites who suffer from these diseases from embracing emerging treatments that use adult cells. Michael Kinsley, the editorial page editor of the Los Angeles Times, is a puzzling case in point. Kinsley has Parkinson’s. One would think he would be extremely interested in the successful experiment involving fellow Parkinson’s patient Dennis Turner, who five years ago received an 83 percent reversal of his symptoms after a treatment using his own brain stem cells. Kinsley should also find great hope in the results of another human trial in which five Parkinson’s patients, treated with a natural body chemical known as glial cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), improved so significantly that three regained their senses of taste and smell.

But Kinsley is blind to this wonderful news. In a diatribe against Laura Bush and the president, Kinsley claimed that “stem cell research has been drastically slowed” by the president’s stem-cell policy (again, apparently, the only real stem-cell research is embryonic-stem-cell research). Working himself into a blind rage, Kinsley accused President Bush of “ensuring there is no hope at all” for people like him who suffer from Parkinson’s disease — a statement exhibiting sheer indifference to the very facts that hold out true hope for Kinsley’s own health problems.

Media opponents of President Bush’s stem-cell policy often accuse the president of deciding science questions based on religious beliefs. But they are the ones whose ideological predilections and personal antipathy for political opponents are making them incapable of appreciating the evidence. As the old saying goes, none are so blind as those who will not see.

Wesley J. Smith is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute and a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture. His next book, Consumer’s Guide to a Brave New World, will be published by Encounter this fall.

SOUTH PARK TACKLES THE ISSUE OF STEM CELLS

In ALL ARTICLES, RELIGION & STEM CELLS, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VIDEOS on February 18, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Stem cells and South Park.

The appearance of stem cells in main stream media.

southpark

southpark

WARNING!

The South Park TV Series is at best:

an animated American television comedy series famous for its off-color humor, pop culture parody, and biting satire covering a wide range of topics. -wiki

At worst, others have said that it is extremely distasteful, morally bankrupt, offensive and vile.  When they tackle the issue of Embryonic Stem Cells they show absolutely zero restraint and tact.

This is not for the faint of heart or sensitive viewer. In these episodes are scenes of abortion, eating fetuses, etc.  Honestly, if you are pro-life, do not watch these!  You will be disgusted! You have been warned!

(Consider this…a pro adult stem cell post)

Another Shakeys Pizza -Season 5 -Kenny Dies: Eric goes to the research lab to learn more about stem cells and how they might save Kenny’s life. Now he must find a way to persuade the government to revoke the ban.

http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/153150/?tag=Stem+Cell+Research

Worst Friend Ever -Season 5 -Kenny Dies: Stan finally musters up the courage to go see Kenny, but he’s too late. Cartman used up all the baby fetuses to replicate his own Shakey’s Pizzeria.

http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/153164/?tag=Stem+Cell+Research

Superman Arrives -Season 7 -Krazy Kripples: Christopher Reeve comes to South Park to promote stem cell research. Jimmy is not a fan.

http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/153882/?tag=Stem+Cell+Research

Larry King Show -Season 7 -Krazy Kripples: Christopher Reeve demonstrates the unique healing properties of stem cells during an interview with Larry King.

http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/153890/?tag=Stem+Cell+Research

Unplanned Pregnancy -Season 5 -Kenny Dies: Ms. Anders agrees to donate her aborted child to stem-cell research. But the truck carrying the fetuses crashes through a guardrail, and Cartman discovers the wreckage in the snow.

http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/104363/?tag=Stem+Cell+Research

What an Inspiration -Season 7 -Krazy Kripples: After Jimmy gets a ride home from his new friends, Christopher Reeve gives a public demonstration of how fetus ingestion can make him walk.

http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/153901/?tag=Stem+Cell+Research

Legion Of Doom -Season 7 -Krazy Kripples: Christopher Reeve is about to attempt world domination when Gene Hackman thwarts him by passing a ban on stem cell research.

http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/153924/?tag=Stem+Cell+Research

CNN.com – Transcripts

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 18, 2009 at 1:56 pm

CNN LARRY KING LIVE

Interview With Dick Cheney, Lynne Cheney

Aired May 30, 2005 – 21:00 ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight on Memorial Day, Vice President Dick Cheney, and Lynne Cheney, a rare in depth interview at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, they’re private residence. What a way for LARRY KING LIVE to start it’s 20th anniversary week…

KING: I don’t mean this as a hyphenated thing, but I move now to an issue. I’m not saying you disagree with him. What is your read on stem cell research?

D. CHENEY: Well, I think there’s a lot of misinformation out there about the administration’s position on stem cell research. This is the first president to authorize the expenditure of federal money on stem cell research. We have nearly doubled in the last four years the amount of money that’s being expended, federal money, for this purpose. We’re up now I think this year to over $560 million being spent for this purpose.

What the president did do was say we won’t use federal funds for the destruction of embryos in order to create stem cell lines. We’re funding lines that already existed, and we’re also funding adult stem cells as well as stem cells from cords, umbilical cords.

But we have not banned research on stem cells. There’s a lot of that going on funded by private sources or at the state level.

KING: California with 3 billion.

D. CHENEY: California has put 3 billion into it. But we do believe that when you get into the area of destroying an embryo in order to create stem cell lines, that that raises serious ethical questions.

KING: But that would make in vitro questionable, wouldn’t it?

D. CHENEY: No, it doesn’t make in vitro questionable. It’s what you do with the embryos that are left over from that process, and whether or not — I think there are a lot of Americans who have legitimate concerns about having their tax dollars go for what they believe is the destruction of life, because you destroy those embryos. And that’s a legitimate ethical question. The president has strong feelings about it. He’s been very direct about it. He spent a lot of time on this decision before he made it.

KING: Are your feelings strong too?

D. CHENEY: I do. I basically agree with the policy. I support it.

via CNN.com – Transcripts.

CNN LARRY KING LIVE – Interview With Bill Clinton

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 18, 2009 at 1:49 pm
KING & CLINTON

KING & CLINTON

Through years of involvement in stem cells I have come to know some of the top stem cell scientists and doctors in the world.   Ask me any questions about treatments that you have and I will either get an answer for you or show you how to get it yourself! -dg

Bill Clinton on stem cells:

KING: By the way, more information just on your Web site. Go to ClintonFoundation.org. You’ll get all you need. ClintonFoundation.org. You mentioned how you fight AIDS a lot. In that connection, should Obama sign the stem cell research funds, federally for embryonic stem cell research?

CLINTON: I feel very strongly he should.

KING: He said, though, he wants Congress to do it, not him.

CLINTON: Well, he may or may not need federal action there, but the Congress will pass a good bill on this. Congress passed a good bill under President Bush.

KING: But if you pass it, he signs it now, maybe somebody will live who wouldn’t live, three months from now.

CLINTON: I’m assuming that he knows that this is a high priority for the speaker and Senator Reid and he expects legislation coming.

But let me say, I feel very strongly about this. I think that I worked hard on the sequencing of the human genome. We finished it when I was president. Now there are all these practical applications being spun out of it. We’ve identified the genes that were high predictors of breast cancer. We’re getting close on Parkinson’s. We’re even making headway on Alzheimer’s. But this stem cell research, if the stem cells are frozen embryonic stem cells, if they are never going to be used to be fertilized, to bring a life into being, then I think making them available for medical research is the pro-life position and I honestly don’t understand — I would understand it if we were going and raiding stem cell banks, where these stem cells were going to be used to actually fertilize eggs and have babies.

But it’s not going to happen. I think it’s very wrong to just throw these things in the trash can.

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via CNN.com – Transcripts.

CNN LARRY KING LIVE – Interview With Mike Huckabee

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 18, 2009 at 1:45 pm

CNN LARRY KING LIVE

KING & HUCKABEE

KING & HUCKABEE

Interview with Michelle Obama; Interview With Mike Huckabee

Aired February 11, 2008 – 21:00 ET

KING: You are a conservative. Why are so many of your brethren so not forgiving of Senator McCain? Why won’t they let him be what he says he is, a conservative?

HUCKABEE: Well, he is a conservative. But he angered many conservatives with the immigration bill that was believed to be a form of amnesty, his failure to support the human life amendment, his support for embryonic stem cell, opposition to ANWR; the McCain/Feingold campaign Finance Act is really a tough one to swallow. It has, I think, had some very detrimental effects on the overall electoral process in the country. His lack of support for Bush tax cuts — It’s those things he has done.

via CNN.com – Transcripts.

Bristol University | News from the University | A stem cell bandage for your knee

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 18, 2009 at 1:08 pm

A stem cell bandage for your knee

knee-and-stem-cells

knee-and-adult-stem-cell-"bandage"

17 February 2009

Back in December 2003, re:search reported on the work being done by Anthony Hollander, Professor of Rheumatology and Tissue Engineering in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, who was pioneering regenerative medicine techniques in order to replace cartilage in the knees of osteoarthritis sufferers. Five years later, re:search reviews the remarkable developments that have occurred in that time.

Building on his previous work, Hollander and his team, which included Dr Wael Kafienah and Dr John Tarlton, announced in 2005 they had, for the first time ever, successfully grown human cartilage from a patient’s own bone marrow stem cells. It took just over a month to grow the cells into a half-inch length of cartilage and tests showed that the laboratory-grown cartilage was of a higher quality than any previous attempts at tissue engineering. Now the challenge was how to implant the engineered cartilage into the knee and get it to integrate with the surrounding tissue. The idea was to use cells to drive integration of one tissue with another, with the long-term aim of developing a way of fixing and integrating engineered cartilage with natural cartilage, literally ‘knitting’ the two surfaces together with cells.

via Bristol University | News from the University | A stem cell bandage for your knee.

Jewish Law – Articles (“The Preembryo in Halacha”)

In ALL ARTICLES, RELIGION & STEM CELLS, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 18, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Jewish Law – Examining Halacha, Jewish Issues and Secular Law

The Preembryo in Halacha

Rabbi Yitzchok Breitowitz

The development of new reproductive technologies over the past 15 or so years has offered great hope to many infertile couples. Along with the blessings they bring, however, these technologies are also a source of major ethical dilemmas. For the Jew whose every decision is guided by the Davar Hashem, it is the halacha to which he or she must turn. The specific topic of this paper concerns the halachic status of the preembryo, a particular configuration of human cells that did not really exist in externalized form until the advent of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in the late 1970’s.1

In-vitro fertilization may exist in various forms but at its simplest, it involves the extraction of immature eggs (oocytes) from a woman’s ovaries, the placement of those eggs in a petri dish which is supplied with nutrients, the obtaining of sperm from a donor, the fertilization of the egg in the dish, the transplantation of the fertilized ovum into the woman’s uterus (usually at the 48-72 hour developmental stage)2. If all goes well, the embryo will implant and a pregnancy will ensue and be detectable within 10-14 days after the transfer. Since the procedure was first introduced in 1978, over 25,000 IVF babies have been born. The average take-home baby rate is 17%; 19% for women under 39, 66% for older women. “Preembryo” is the term often used for a fertilized ovum that has not yet been transferred into a uterus…

via Jewish Law – Articles (“The Preembryo in Halacha”).

Democracy Now! | Headlines for February 16, 2009

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 18, 2009 at 12:52 pm

February 16, 2009 -Headlines for February 16, 2009

Adviser: Obama to Lift Stem Cell Research

A senior adviser to Barack Obama said the President will soon issue an executive order lifting an eight-year ban on embryonic stem cell research imposed by President George Bush. Obama adviser David Axelrod discussed the issue during an interview on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.

Chris Wallace: “When are you going to issue an executive order on stem cell research?”

David Axelrod: “That—we’ll be doing something on that soon, I think.”

Chris Wallace: “An executive order lifting the ban on federal funding.”

David Axelrod: “The President is considering that right now.”

In 2001, President Bush limited federal funding for stem cell research only to human embryonic stem cell lines that already existed. Scientists believe embryonic stem cell research could eventually produce cures for a variety of diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, heart disease and spinal cord injuries.

via Democracy Now! | Headlines for February 16, 2009.

ADULT STEM CELLS – Laboratory-created heart : Future hope for treatment for cardiovascular disease – Sri Lanka

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 18, 2009 at 12:40 pm

(ADULT STEM CELL) Laboratory-created heart :

Future hope for treatment for cardiovascular disease

Wednesday, 31 December 2008 – 5:00 AM SL Time
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=C7m3vi_GGdc

Creating a replacement heart for some of the sickest patients may be one step closer, if new research in rats pans out in humans.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota were able to create a beating heart using the outer structure of one heart and injecting heart cells from another rat.

Their findings are reported in the journal Nature Medicine.

Rather than building a heart from scratch, which has often been mentioned as possible use for stem cells, this procedure takes a heart and breaks it down to the outermost shell. It`s similar to taking a house and gutting it, then rebuilding everything inside. In the human version, the patient`s own cells would be used.

via Laboratory-created heart : Future hope for treatment for cardiovascular disease – Sri Lanka.

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