Archive for April 17th, 2009|Daily archive page

Notre Dame invitation to President Obama – support or no?

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on April 17, 2009 at 9:58 pm

You said it

10:03 AM Fri, Apr 17, 2009

A sampling of comments from our readers:

“I hope I speak for a majority of alumni (Class of ’77) when I proclaim pride in my Notre Dame for extending the invitation to President Obama. The university president, the Rev. John Jenkins, has emphasized that the invitation to Obama neither condones nor endorses his positions … regarding abortion and embryonic stem cell research. The invitation, instead, reinforces commitment to the mission of this distinguished Catholic university, to nurture intellectual pursuit and uninhibited debate. Are we to simply ban speakers with whom we disagree?

— Steve”

“Did you ever hear the scripture that says that light and dark can’t and don’t mix? I believe that any music that does not glorify our lord is not blessed by him.”

— “A Soldier,” on a favorable Associated Baptist Press review the new U2 album

via RELIGION Blog | The Dallas Morning News.

Laboratory Equipment – Sixth Nucleotide in DNA Discovered

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on April 17, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Sixth Nucleotide in DNA Discovered

April 17, 2009

Chemical structure of cytosine, one of the four nucleotide bases that make up DNA. New research shows that two additional nucleotides — 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine — can sometimes replace cytosine in the DNA double helix to regulate which genes are expressed.

The rise of epigenetics in the past decade has drawn attention to a fifth nucleotide, 5-methylcytosine (5-mC), that sometimes replaces cytosine in the famous DNA double helix to regulate which genes are expressed.

And now there’s a sixth: 5-hydroxymethylcytosine.

In experiments published online by Science, researchers reveal an additional character in the mammalian DNA code, opening an entirely new front in epigenetic research.

The work, conducted in the Nathaniel Heintz Laboratory of Molecular Biology at The Rockefeller University, suggests that a new layer of complexity exists between our basic genetic blueprints and the creatures that grow out of them.

“This is another mechanism for regulation of gene expression and nuclear structure that no one has had any insight into,” says Heintz, who is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. “The results are discrete and crystalline and clear; there is no uncertainty. I think this finding will electrify the field of epigenetics.”

via Laboratory Equipment – Sixth Nucleotide in DNA Discovered.

Diabetes Orgs are in Denial « Adult Stem Cell Awareness

In ALL ARTICLES on April 17, 2009 at 5:58 pm


April 17, 2009

Diabetes Orgs are in Denial

Filed under: adult stem cell awareness, embryonic stem cells — benotafraid @ 9:25 am

Well, in one way or another.

…And still another way the diabetes orgs are in denial is their fervent support for embryonic stem cell research. They are hopelessly left behind in the hype of the 90’s as science marches forward. For example, results from one trial using patients’ own stem cells and chemotherapy, allowed some participants with diabetes Type 1 to go 4 years without the use of insulin, while the average was almost 3 years. Interestingly, it appears that most of the American Diabetes Association research grants have been awarded to research using non-embryonic stem cells (at current viewing).

Given that embryonic stem cell research has not been banned in the US, one wonders why the ADA has not thrown their money at embryonic stem cell research? Perhaps they actually don’t have that much faith in it, afterall? Perhaps they’d prefer that you and I pocket the iffy research and they can keep their donors happy by funding the studies with the solid outcomes . . . maybe?

NIH Stem Cell Guidelines – Part 3 BRIEF

In ALL ARTICLES on April 17, 2009 at 5:04 pm



Funding will continue to be allowed for human stem cell research using adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. Specifically, these Guidelines describe the conditions and informed consent procedures that would have been required during the derivation of human embryonic stem cells for research using these cells to be funded by the NIH. NIH funding for research using human embryonic stem cells derived from other sources, including somatic cell nuclear transfer, parthenogenesis, and/or IVF embryos created for research purposes, is not allowed under these Guidelines.

to see the entire guidelines:


Supporters of embryonic stem cell research seek to keep bans out of House budget | Postcards

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on April 17, 2009 at 3:58 pm


Supporters of embryonic stem cell research seek to keep bans out of House budget

By Corrie MacLaggan | Friday, April 17, 2009, 10:24 AM

Supporters of embryonic stem cell research this morning called on the Texas House not to adopt budget language that would ban use of state money for the research. Such language is in the Senate version of the budget.

At a Capitol press conference, Emma Garrett, a volunteer with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, said she hopes embryonic stem cell research could help find a cure for diabetes. Her 2-year-old daughter, Sarah, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes before her first birthday.

“For me, it’s incredibly urgent that a cure for diabetes is found,” Garrett said.

State Reps. Ellen Cohen, D-Houston; Mark Homer, D-Paris; and Rick Hardcastle, R-Vernon, said that budget amendments aren’t the right place to make policy on stem cell research.

“There’s been no testimony, no input from institutions and no opportunity to hear from the public,” Cohen said.

The House is debating the budget today. For Hardcastle, who has multiple sclerosis, the fight to keep stem cell language out of the budget will be personal, he said.

“My goal today is to make sure that none of these harmful amendments get on,” he said.

via Supporters of embryonic stem cell research seek to keep bans out of House budget | Postcards.

The star who will never give up: ALWAYS LOOKING UP BY MICHAEL J. FOX | Mail Online

In ALL ARTICLES, CELEBRITIES & STEM CELLS on April 17, 2009 at 3:29 pm

The star who will never give up


By Harry Ritchie, Last updated at 1:25 PM on 17th April 2009

As Michael J. Fox readily admits, he is only the second most famous Parkinson’s sufferer in the world, easily outshone by Muhammad Ali.

michael j fox always looking up

michael j fox always looking up

But the former Hollywood star has done more than even The Greatest to promote understanding of the condition and to help the search for a cure.

Always Looking Up is the sequel to Lucky Man, Fox’s mega-selling memoir that described his life as a star and then his battle with Parkinson’s after he was diagnosed at the age of 29 in 1991.

This update starts with Fox still a star actor, on TV rather than film, in the hit series Spin City. But the strain of hiding his symptoms from the camera is proving too much. On holiday in the Caribbean, Fox is hit by a moment of clarity – it’s time for him to retire.

After a 25-year career as one of Hollywood’s top-earning stars, and with such a terrible, exhausting and debilitating disease to cope with, Fox thoroughly deserved to take it easy for the rest of his life.

That’s exactly what he doesn’t do. Only a few months after his farewell episode of Spin City, he is hosting the launch of the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Nor is this to be some self-indulgent, self-seeking effort for charity. Fox and his foundation immediately began to raise serious sums of money – millions and millions of dollars.

It soon became the second biggest funder of research into Parkinson’s disease, after the U.S. government. To date, the foundation has raised $200 million.

Not only that, the foundation has used its financial clout to take enlightened control of the way Parkinson’s research is carried out in the U.S., so there is much more openness and accountability among the university labs and pharmaceutical companies.

This is, of course, absolutely marvelous, but it’s rubbish material for a book. It could have been a 278-page boast about the author’s magnificent contribution to mankind. But Fox avoids that fate.

First, because his campaign and his foundation take up only part of a book that is also about his work and his family.

Glory days: Back To The Future (1985) Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd

 Back To The Future

Second, because he lives in the U.S., where what would be the most unimpeachable project in less fundamentalist countries is, in fact, controversial and highly politicized.

The problem is that by far the best hope of finding a cure for Parkinson’s is by using embryonic stem cells – and that is anathema to the U.S.’s powerful and vocal religious Right-wing.

As Fox explains, there’s no logic to this. The religious Right is afraid that the men in white coats will be farming eggs, creating clones in test-tubes and killing them a week later – but the embryos that researchers use are two, four, or eight-cell clusters that already exist, the leftovers of in vitro fertilisation.

Very mindful of that religious Right-wing idea, George W. Bush imposed a freeze on stem-cell research. Then, when Congress voted in favour, he used his presidential veto to maintain his ban.

Fox’s politics are strictly single issue and he is happy to support pro-research politicians of any party. But the religious Right regarded him as a baby-killing Democrat-with-a-cause, especially after he appeared in campaign adverts for a pro-research Democratic candidate.

The trouble was that the adverts were brilliant – dramatically moving footage of Fox, still recognisable as the once boyish star of Back To The Future.

He was smartly dressed, making his endorsement while suffering his usual symptoms, jerking and twitching uncontrollably – symptoms that would, a few days later, have him approached in the street by a heroin dealer asking if he needed to score.

Michael J. Fox and wife Tracy Pollen, 2007

Michael J. Fox and wife Tracy Pollen

The appalling Right-wing talk-show host Rush Limbaugh accused Fox of exaggerating and even faking his symptoms. Then Limbaugh impersonated Fox on TV.

‘I was slack-jawed,’ says Fox. ‘He flapped his arms and wiggled his fingers, while rocking his body, rolling his shoulders and bobbing his head.’ There was going to be only one winner in the Limbaugh-Fox contest: Limbaugh was vilified; Fox became even more adored.

And, as he spends much of the book explaining – entertainingly enough and not at all mawkishly by Hollywood standards – Michael J. Fox can count the blessings of his wife and children and his work.

Plus, he can end the book celebrating the advent of Barack Obama, who immediately repealed Bush’s ban on stem-cell research. Like most sequels, this second book can’t repeat the impact of the first.

But it’s well-written, unfailingly cheery and warm-hearted and, in the pages where he describes his battle with Rush Limbaugh, truly gripping.

My only complaints are that his chapter reassuring us about his (actually vague and not at all strong) faith will seem completely redundant to non-American readers.

And though it’s a fairly understandable mistake for a North American writer to make, someone at Ebury Press really should have known there’s no such place in England as Lancastershire

via The star who will never give up: ALWAYS LOOKING UP BY MICHAEL J. FOX | Mail Online.

NIH Draft Guidelines for Stem Cell Research – Part 2

In ALL ARTICLES on April 17, 2009 at 3:15 pm


RAW DATA: Draft Guidelines for Stem Cell Research

The National Institutes of Health issues draft guidelines for human stem cell research.

SUMMARY: The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is requesting public comment on draft guidelines entitled “National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research” (Guidelines).

To see the guidelines: https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/nih-draft-guidelines-for-stem-cell-research-041609/

via RAW DATA: Draft Guidelines for Stem Cell Research – First 100 Days of Presidency – Politics FOXNews.com.

NIH Draft Stem Cell Guidelines – Part 1

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on April 17, 2009 at 3:13 pm

nih-national-institute-of-healthThe National Institutes of Health is issuing draft guidelines on steps scientists must take to conduct embryonic stem cell research with taxpayer money.

WASHINGTON — When President Barack Obama eased limits on federally funded embryonic stem cell research, the big question became how far scientists could go. Friday, the government answered: They must use cells culled from fertility clinic embryos that otherwise would be thrown away.

Draft guidelines released by the National Institutes of Health reflect rules with broad congressional support, excluding more controversial sources such as cells derived from embryos created just for experiments.

“We think this will be a huge boost for the science,” said Acting NIH Director Raynard Kington. “This was the right policy for the agency at this point in time.”

But the limit will disappoint some researchers who had hoped to use a broader variety of cells.
Scientists are trying to harness embryonic stem cells — master cells that can morph into any cell of the body — to one day create replacement tissues and better treat, possibly even cure, ailments ranging from diabetes to Parkinson’s to spinal cord injury.

To see the guidelines: https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/nih-draft-guidelines-for-stem-cell-research-041609/

via http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/04/17/stem-cell-guidelines-limit-research-fertility-clinic-embryos/

CellNEWS: Clue to How Stem Cells Form

In ALL ARTICLES, SCIENCE & STEM CELLS on April 17, 2009 at 2:43 pm


Friday, 17 April 2009

Clue to How Stem Cells Form

Emory study yields evidence of processes that erases epigenetic signals

Friday, 17 April 2009

An Emory University study shows some of the first direct evidence of a process required for epigenetic reprogramming between generations – a finding that could shed more light on the mechanisms of fertilization, stem-cell formation and cloning. The journal Cell published the results of the study on the nematode C. elegans in its April 17 issue.

“We believe that we have demonstrated one of the processes that erases the information in a fertilized egg, so that the offspring can begin life with a clean slate,” says David Katz, lead author of the study. Katz is a post-doctoral fellow in the lab of William Kelly, associate professor of biology at Emory and a co-author of the study.

“One of the most fundamental mysteries in biology is how a sperm and egg create a new organism. By looking at the process at the molecular level, we’re gaining understanding of this basic question of life,” Katz says.

via CellNEWS: Clue to How Stem Cells Form.

“Experts” caution over “fast cures” based on stem cells – Related Stories – AABB SmartBrief

In ALL ARTICLES on April 17, 2009 at 2:33 pm


How do you call a proven history of safe successes over a time span of 6-10 years a “fast cure”?? https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/04/15/stem-cells-%e2%80%98can-treat-diabetes%e2%80%99-is-obscured-by-wet-blanket/


Experts caution over “fast cures” based on stem cells

AABB SmartBrief | 04/17/2009

Recent developments, including President Barack Obama’s decision to lift funding restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, have boosted programs focusing on stem cell treatments. However, some scientists remain cautious about how research in the field should proceed given the lack of understanding and the risks associated with such treatments. In the haste to meet certain expectations, some worry that funding may be prioritized for immediately applicable research aimed at faster cures, leaving little for more revolutionary work. SF Weekly (San Francisco) (04/14)

via Experts caution over “fast cures” based on stem cells – Related Stories – AABB SmartBrief.

%d bloggers like this: