Posts Tagged ‘moral’

Catholic Church announces adult stem cell venture with Neostem :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

In BUSINESS OF STEM CELLS on May 26, 2010 at 3:16 am

.- The Vatican issued a communique on Tuesday announcing a joint initiative with an international bio-pharmaceutical company to raise awareness and expand research of adult stem cell therapy.

Neostem Inc. and the Pontifical Council for Culture will combine the efforts of their respective foundations, the Stem for Life Foundation and STOQ (Science Theology and the Ontological Quest) Foundation, to advance research and explore the use of adult stem cells in regenerative medicine.

Fr. Tomasz Trafny from the Council for Culture remarked in a May 19 press release, “Considering the potential implication of scientific investigation, medical applicability and the cultural impact of research on adult stem cells, we view the collaboration with NeoStem as a critical effort.”

“Through educational initiatives with NeoStem and sponsorship of scientific research programs involving cutting edge adult stem cell science which does not hurt human life, we come one step closer to a breakthrough that can relieve needless human suffering,” he said.

The pontifical council is particularly excited about the company’s VSEL technology, which utilizes adult stem cells that behave like embryonic stem cells in their ability to regenerate and repair. Fr. Trafny said the technology could receive a significant financial investment from the Church.

“For over 40 years, physicians have been using adult stem cells to treat various blood cancers, but only recently has the promise of using adult stem cells to treat a significant number of other diseases begun to be realized. There are tremendous clinical and economic advantages to autologous stem cell transplantation (receiving your own stem cells) as there are no issues with immune rejection. Engraftment with your own stem cells is faster, safer and much less costly than receiving someone else’s stem cells (allogeneic),” said Dr. Robin L. Smith, Chairman and CEO of NeoStem.

The initiative will also explore the cultural relevance and theological impact of adult stem cell therapy.

“As part of the collaboration, NeoStem and the pontifical council will make efforts to develop educational programs, publications and academic courses with an interdisciplinary approach for theological and philosophical faculties, including those of bioethics, around the world,” said Tuesday’s Vatican communique.

“One of the initiatives,”  the statement added, “will be a three-day international conference at the Vatican on adult stem cell research, including VSEL technology (which uses very small embryonic-like stem cells), that will focus on medical research presentations and theological and philosophical considerations and implications of scientific achievements.”

via Catholic Church announces adult stem cell venture with Neostem :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Stem cell pioneer does a reality check – Cloning and stem cells- msnbc.com


One of my favorite scientists and articles. Dr Thomson, father of embryonic stem cells, tells the real story! – dg

“…embryonic stem cells are not being used in any clinical applications yet, while alternatives such as adult stem cells figure in scores of therapies.”

“Ten or 20 years from now…there will be transplantation-based therapies, , but even if there was none, and it was a complete failure, this technology is extraordinarily important” Dr T.

James Thomson reflects on science and morality – Stem cell pioneer does a reality check

By Alan Boyle

Science editor – msnbc.com – updated 6:29 p.m. ET, Sat., June. 25, 2005

MADISON, Wis. — Seven years ago, when James Thomson became the first scientist to isolate and culture human embryonic stem cells, he knew he was stepping into a whirlwind of controversy.

He just didn’t expect the whirlwind to last this long.

In fact, the moral, ethical and political controversy is still revving up — in Washington, where federal lawmakers are considering a bill to provide more federal support for embryonic stem cell research; and in Madison, Thomson’s base of operations, where Wisconsin legislators are considering new limits on stem cell research.

Thomson, a developmental biologist and veterinarian at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, made history in 1998 when he and fellow researchers derived the first embryonic stem cell lines from frozen human embryos. The breakthrough came after the news that a sheep named Dolly was born as the first cloned mammal — and together, the two announcements hinted at a brave new world of medical possibilities and moral debates.

Some of Thomson’s other pronouncements might seem more surprising: that supporters of stem cell research are overestimating the prospects for transplantation cures, that the current stem cell lines aren’t well-suited for such applications anyway, and that there’s no need to resort to therapeutic cloning right now — or perhaps ever.

Critics point out that embryonic stem cells are not being used in any clinical applications yet, while alternatives such as adult stem cells figure in scores of therapies. Thomson acknowledged that the field was still in its formative stage: “There have been companies that have gone into stem cells, but nobody’s made any money.”

But he recently helped found a biotech start-up called Cellular Dynamics International that takes a different approach, aiming eventually to turn embryonic stem cells into human heart cells suitable for drug testing. “Nobody’s been able to test heart drugs on heart cells [outside the human body] before,” he said. “That will change medicine a lot quicker than actually transplanting those heart cells.”

Thomson predicted that in the long run, embryonic stem cells would play a more important role in fundamental research than in transplantation therapies — a view that doesn’t sit well with the critics.

“You have to ask the question, why would you destroy living human embryos just to study them?” said Barbara Lyons, executive director of Wisconsin Right to Life.

In last week’s wide-ranging interview, Thompson explained the reasons behind the research, and touched on many other scientific and moral issues as well. Here is an edited transcript:

MSNBC: How do see this research developing in the next few years?

Thomson: I want to make a basic statement first — which almost never gets in the press, but I keep trying — on what I see as the legacy of these cells.

One is the basic science, and simply having better access to the human body. That’s the most important legacy. I’m very hopeful that there will be some transplantation applications for this technology, but they’re going to be very challenging. And it’s been so hyped in the press that people expect it to come the day after tomorrow. …

Ten or 20 years from now, I’m actually currently optimistic that there will be transplantation-based therapies, but even if there was none, and it was a complete failure, this technology is extraordinarily important.

via Stem cell pioneer does a reality check – Cloning and stem cells- msnbc.com.

Stem cell campaigner speaks out


Cloning, embryos, adult, iPSC, funding, contreversy, this one’s got it all! -DG

Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2008 3:30 PM by Alan Boyle

Researcher Robert Lanza wants the White House to approve a new type of “no embryo destruction” stem cell for federal funding.

Embryonic stem cells can transform themselves into virtually any kind of tissue, holding out the promise of potential cures for spinal-cord patients, diabetics, heart-attack sufferers and many more of the world’s afflicted. But how do you balance that promise against ethical concerns about the destruction of human embryos?

Some scientists have concluded that the potential benefits outweigh the ethical concerns, and are seeking to harvest the precious cells from surplus embryos or cloned embryos. Others avoid using embryos altogether, and instead work with adult stem cells, umbilical-cord blood, menstrual blood … or even garden-variety cells that can be genetically reprogrammed to behave like embryonic cells.

And then there’s stem cell pioneer Robert Lanza.

As chief scientific officer for Massachusetts-based Advanced Cell Technology, Lanza is building up a track record on both sides of the spectrum – and often hits upon controversy along the way.

Back in 2001, Lanza and his colleagues at ACT announced that they were the first to clone human embryos – but the cells died off soon after they were created, leading some to deride the development as “a publicity stunt.”…

via Stem cell campaigner speaks out – Cosmic Log – msnbc.com.


In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on February 16, 2009 at 2:20 pm


Author: Al-Hayani, Fatima Agha1 -Source: Zygon, Volume 43, Number 4, December 2008 , pp. 783-795(13) -Publisher: Blackwell Publishing


In Islam, the acquisition of knowledge is a form of worship. But human achievement must be exercised in conformity with God’s will. Warnings against feelings of superiority often are coupled with the command to remain within the confines of God’s laws and limits. Because of the fear of arrogance and disregard of the balance created by God, any new knowledge or discovery must be applied with careful consideration to maintaining balance in the creation. Knowledge must be applied to ascertain equity and justice for all of humanity. Research in Islam must be linked to the broad ethical base set forth in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Whether embryonic stem cell research or cloning is ethically acceptable in Islam depends on the benefits derived from such applications. What is most important for the scholars is to adhere to the concepts of compassion, mercy, and benefit to everyone.


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