Stem Cell Research: Your Thoughts

Where do you guys stand on stem cell research?

It’s very disheartening to think of all the possibilities wasted on the restrictions placed on government funding of stem cell research. Why not expand the lines they already have with all of the embyros that are thrown out of the fertility clinics each year. Seriously, if they are so concerned with the moralistic value of destroying a life, then why aren’t they prosecuting the fertility clinics for discarding embryos. They don’t because it is ridiculous! There are so many resources we haven’t tapped and so many contradictions in the government’s policies. I hate it that bad politics interferes in the potential to save lives.

Unabashedly Pro hES (human embryonic stem) cell research. We just had a lengthy discussion on this topic on CWD, so I’ll just leave it at that.

Given that stem cell research (admittedly not embryonic) has already led to potential cures for diabetes, it’s ridiculous that not every potential line of research is not being federally funded. I’m okay with people having theological views against it, regardless of how fervently illogical they are, but they have no place when it comes to legislation.

Thought you’d want to know I posted this video on YouTube, replying to a request for questions for the coming Democratic debate. Let’s hope it gets chosen, and let’s see what the candidates answer if it does:

Absolutely for it. Recently a politician tried to give my 7 year old D daughter a button and sticker at a summer festival. She asked him is views on the topic. When he said he was against federally funding the research she gave him the button back and told him “my mom won’t be voting for you” and walked away. Not the photo op he was looking for.


We are going to have a chat in august with a scientist from the diabetes research institute on advances they are doing on stem cell research. Check out my homepage to find out more.


//Unabashedly Pro hES (human embryonic stem) cell research. //

Ditto. As Kirsten said we just had a big todo about this over on the CWD forum. Ethically speaking I just cannot fathom how on earth it makes more sense to throw embryos away than to use them to allow someone else the ability to live a healthy life. But, this is completely based on my own ethics and I realize that others view this issue very differently, and I fully respect their right to that opinion.

I am all for the sanctity of human life. Personally, I prioritize the lives of millions of diabetic people, especially the children, who could be treated or even cured by this research, over the nebulous potential of embryos that will be destroyed anyway.

I’m all for it, what I don’t get is that there are human diploid cells (from two aborted babies) commonly used in routine childhood immunizations but we can’t have stem cells-to me it’s the same damn thing!

I had stem cell therapy and it worked for a while only

I am 100% pro stem cell research and pro government funding of such programs.

I am pro stem cell research BUT have no hope that this research will help me in my lifetime.

I am T1 and this means that some rogue cells of my immune system have decided to work against my own cells. Stem cell research will pave a way to create new beta cells that can produce insulin. These cells will most likely come from other human beings. If you ignore the moral side and just look at it biologically then you will find a problem here.

The whole immune system (not only the rogue ones) will attack these alien cells. This means you will need new cells every year or you will have to live with immune suppression which is a bad idea due to the increased risk of cancer. Maybe they can be encapsulated to be protected from the immune system but I doubt this too.

So let us assume we get new cells every year. These cells are derived from stem cells that have been reprogrammed to specialize themselfes as beta cells. This sounds easy but it is not. The process is very invasive and the side effects are not known today. The human DNA and its regulatory processes have huge complexity. With todays technologies there is a great risk that the resulting cells will first work as a beta cells and then they could turn into cancer cells or produce products not very healthy for our metabolism.

It is reasonable to go for stem cells if your life is in acute danger. But this is not the case for diabetes. Here the risks outweigh the benefits and therefore I would not consider this technology for me even when 10.000 people have been healed with it. Maybe 10 years later but it depends on the aftermath…

I am all for stem cell research, whether it’s for diabetics or Parkinson’s or what have you. It would be interesting to see if these politicians would still vote against it if they themselves or their children have a chronic disease and can stand to benefit from stem cell research. I do have hope that we will see a cure within our lifetime! I pray for it and hey, 20 years ago, we would not have even thought about some of the technologies we have today (bluetooth, internet, GPS, etc), who knows what medical advances can happen in the next 20 years? =)

I support stem cell research, but not because I think it will lead to a cure for diabetes. I do not believe it will, at least not any time in the near future. I do believe it may play a supportive role of some kind in an ultimate “cure”, but type 1 diabetes is an immunity problem and the only way that problem can be ignored is to replace the islet function through automated, mechanical means. That always seems to be five years away.

I support the research primarily because I believe it has real potential, to be realized in the very long-term, of spectacular cures and remedies for what are today the most common, deadly ailments.

I’m going to be the odd one out and say that I don’t support federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, although I am totally excited about just about any other kind of stem cell research. I’m not sure that I should go into why, because I’m not really looking to alienate everyone else on this board. I will say that I also don’t do vaccines that are embryo based, and that if doctors end up finding a cure for type 1 that is embryo based, it would probably be one of the most painful and frustrating things for me that I can imagine.

I just got done listening the entire hour of the KQED, Forum radio show out of N. Calif. via podcast. I noticed the Docs used the terms “stem cells and embryonic stem cells” interchangeably. I believe there is a big difference between them. I also noticed there were no descending arguments given (or perhaps not allowed). Anyway, I have no problem with adult stem cell research. From everything I’ve been hearing, reading and seeing, all the excitement is coming from adult stem cell research So far embryonic stem cell research (privately funded in the U.S. and publicly funded in Europe) has been very disappointing. In fact, I’ve heard it said that the question of any funding for embryonic research may be moot since all the research on adult stem cell’s seems to be so positive right - including the research being done on Diabetes. You can Google this stuff and see for yourself.

Scientists recreate key traits of spinal muscular atrophy in lab dish using stem cells.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (12/21, Johnson) reported, “Using a simple skin biopsy from a young boy with a deadly genetic illness, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have provided” another “demonstration that reprogramming can offer researchers an unprecedented view of human disease.” The sample was collected from “a boy with spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA, an illness that is similar to Lou Gehrig’s disease, but afflicts children.” As the disease keeps killing “motor neurons until muscles stop working,” patients become more “immobile,” and increasingly “dependent on respirators and feeding tubes” before eventually dying.

Aiming to improve their disease knowledge, investigators working in cell biologist Clive Svendsen’s lab looked to their colleagues Jamie Thomson and Junying Yu, both of UW-Madison, “and a Japanese team led by Shinya Yamanaka,” Wisconsin’s Capital Times (12/21, Finklemyer) pointed out. In 2007, those scientists published papers on “the genetic reprogramming of skin cells.” Apparently, “this reprogramming returns the skin cells – known as induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells – to an embryonic-like state, allowing them to become any cell type in the body.” Notably, “although these iPS cells act like embryonic stem cells, no embryos are destroyed in the process.”

Can you qualify “very disappointing”? We have not been studying embryonic stem cells very long at all- it is a very new science. Genetic science incorporating DNA is quite modern too. We should not expect dramatic successes so early on and then stop all efforts because we didn’t get that instant gratification.

I expect a long string of failures, with modest successes gradually appearing as the science is refined. This will take place over decades, if history is any guide. The theories behind stem cell therapies- both embryonic and adult, appear to be sound. Both types of therapies should be pursued, as developing one technology does not preclude developing the other and it is likely that each will have applications unsuitable for the other.

First of all, I want to apologize for something…the very last line of my dialog (second word “right”) sounds so arrogant - this was not intended. Actually, I was trying to delete some information in hopes of simply making my dialog shorter. I inadvertently did not edit out the word “right” - I do not even remember what that word was referring to (I do miss my memory - used to have a dandy little memory - oh well, you only get old once and believe me, I seem determined to make the best of it). That said, by “very disappointing”, I mean, since there have been NO successful therapies to come out of ESCR to date, and since there have a number of successful therapies to come out of ASCR, I find all the hype about ESCR “very disappointing”. I think the focus of SCR should be directed toward ASCR. And yes, I am all for federal funding for this promising research. There is great research coming out of Scotland, England, and Portugal involving actual cures for some spinal cord injuries, some leukemia’s, relief from Parkinson’s symptoms for up to 5 years and T1D in which patients on insulin have been able to go off it completely.
All using ASC’s. All these countries have state sanctioned funding for both ESCR & ASCR - yet all the exciting therapies have been made using ASC’s - 0 useful therapies coming from ESCR. Here in the U.S., Northwestern Memorial Hospital is making great strides in the area of cardiology and strokes, not to mention what is going on at the U. of W. at Madison as documented by “sohair” in her well researched blog. You are right, we have not been studying ESC’s very long - about 10 years, just about the same time research using ASC’s began in earnest. Look what happened in just one decade. I believe that the ban on federal funding for ESCR will be lifted soon and that should make a lot of people happy. I still do not want my tax dollars to pay for it. Please understand that this is only my opinion - which is what was originally asked for.