Powered by TypePad

« Chris Shays: Time To Cut And Run | Main | Having Fun Now... »

August 25, 2006

Comments

Mesao

The Mexicans just ate the fetus.' Maybe they did'nt skip the bone marrow...........

Gabriel Sutherland

I'd like to redirect, if I may.

NYTIMES: Some Scientists See Shift in Stem Cell Hopes

This article reveals, yet again, that the hope for embryonic stem cell research is not necessarily to develop therapies, but to reconstruct an entire human being in order to monitor its progress in the hopes of using the data to reveal the source of diseases that we wish to treat.

I know August 14th is ages ago on the internets, but it's important to point out stories that report that researchers are using ESC to first construct someting resembling a human being, and then using ESC to research therapies to target diseases like Parkinsons.

Neo

Frankly, I see this subject as full of gas as a bag of beans.

It always reminds me of the promise of "Interferon" (remember that Time cover), that was supposed to cure everything, except possibly a bad day of weather.

It also reminds me of the scene in the "Ten Commandments" where the Hebrews, just out of Egypt, build the golden calf, while Moses is busy with God .. all these scientists, fresh from jump from a coming Ice Age to Global Warming, now seem overly busy warming up to a new form of Frankenstienism in an entrophic scramble to prove George Orwell right.

Just what are these guys smoking ?

If the hype was all true, perhaps the risks are worth it, but it seems that 5 or 10 years from now this current non-debate of the risk/ benefits will all be forgotten, as the scientist will be off on another angle as they search for new topics for Ph.D. theses and federal funding. All the while, George Orwell will be proven as having had a lack of vision as grotesqueness of the new reality.

MarkD

Why is the Federal Government supposed to fund research which shows such little promise. You can bet that if there were any real likelihood of a scientific breakthrough then the drug companies would be stumbling over each other to do it. There isn't, they aren't and the government is supposed to take money from us to fund it?

We're being played.

Gabriel Sutherland

MarkD: I was actually wondering about this same question. I was playing devil's advocate.

I'd wager that the reason people want federal funding for ESC is so that universities can tie ESC in with all their other research. By putting federal money behind it, universities can then put students through programs studying all the lines of ESC. Right now they can only study the 60 federally approved lines.

Of course, the only thing that stands in the way of Pharma Inc filling the funding void is the shareholders of Pharma Inc. Universities aren't exactly building a wall between themselves and corporate philanthropy.

noah

So lets see...this research was supposed to eventually enable everyone conceived via IVF would have their own personal stem cell line? What is going to happen to all the OOPS babies? Cast adrift in the world with no stem cells. Oh the inhumanity!

ndh

Well, noah, clearly this is going to usher in an age whereby it is mandated that only babies concieved via IVF, in concert with this procedure, be carried to term.

Just kidding of course. But I sure wouldn't mind seeing a far more widely available system for storing cord blood.

gattsuru

1 - Support.
2 - Support.
3 - No.

Current stem cell treatments such as bone marrow transplants have shown us a problem inherent to the treatments. If the donor and the host are dissimilar - as little as one genetic base pair - the host's immune system can reject the cells, suffer pain or scarring, and even be killed.

That can be fixed, of course : just have genetically identical cells, which is the reason I'm a big fan of adult stem cell research. But to do that with embryonic stem cells would require human cloning, and then either destroying the embryo after or creating a clone child with inherent genetic degredation.

I've noted this on my blog and elsewhere. The old ethical choices remain, and this only creates a new and unpleasant one.

charmed

So you think that willfully engaging in an activity that may with high probabilty lead to the death of a fertilized ova is murder do you?

More than two-thirds of fertilized ova spontaneously abort. Most of these abort before implantation in the lining of the uterus.

If you have child or are trying to have children you are willfully engaging in the number one behavior that leads to the death of fertilized ova.

SunnyDay

Ahhhhhhh, the absurdity argument again. Y'all do that a lot.

syn

Whenever I think about the human quest to scientifically create a cure-all for all human ailments I can't help but remember Vaclav Havel's words

"As soon as man began considering himself the source of the highest meaning in the world and the measure of everything, the world began to lose its human dimension, and man began to lose control of it."

I don't want to be forced into federally-funded anything which forces me to consume my humanity for the sake of my vanity. I did this once with the issue on abortion and now my soul is paying the heavy price for having placed self-indulgent narcissism above my humanity.

When I think about what I once supported before I found out it was all based on lies and emotional manipulation I cannot help but feel the heavy burden of my culture's inhmane act. It's bad enough that we as a society allow abortion as a means to self-fulfillment but I must draw the line at the concept of consuming those aborted for the concept of a cure-all for all human ailments.

Perhaps it was growing older which forced me to grow up.

jerry

I'm not going to make either the scientists or the religious people happy.

I think using donated eggs and nuclei from a patient with a disease is the only way to go. This is "cloning" but no one thinks a clone made in this way would survive, and I don't consider cells made in this way to be an embryo, morally. There's no new "being" created (just the patient's DNA), the egg isn't "fertilized," and there's no sacred act between people involved. I think religious right is wrong to oppose this path to therapies on moral grounds.

I am also personally opposed to research on stem cells from true embryos, those created by IVF (I was raised Catholic and still have some of those myths lingering in my consciousness). My position has been that other people can do this work if they like, and the government can fund it, or not, if the votes are there. However I think this research is a bad investment because the immune problems will ultimately make cloning (and adult stem cells) the way to go.

I think gabriel is misunderstanding the research people expect to do, with his "body part writ large" argument.

larwyn

Tom Blumer BizzyBlog just sent me this with these words:
I know it's not the WOT, but if I'm right, there should be hell to pay for this.
Tom
BizzyBlog.com

Paging the SEC: Was Advanced Cell’s Embryonic Stem-Cell Announcement a Political Ploy, a Financing Gambit, or “Pump and Dump”?

Filed under: Business Moves, MSM Biz/Other Bias, MSM Biz/Other Ignorance, Stock Schlock, Taxes & Government — TBlumer @ 4:00 pm

OVERVIEW: Advanced Cell Technology’s Wednesday announcement that it had generated human embryonic stem cells without harming embryos appears to be suspect, and to fit the company’s historical pattern of overhyping things that turn out to be minor developments or non-developments. This time, though, as a publicly-traded company, its announcement, if debunked or deeply discounted (there are many signs that is indeed taking place), may not only impact the ongoing debate over the relative merits of embryonic vs. adult stem cell research, but may put the company in financial jeopardy.

RTWT

jerry

If I were an investor with the best intentions... I would pay no attention to larwyn. From a "Wall Street" perspective, I'll add that larwyn looks like a day trader (we've all gotten spam fronm these folks). I am sorry that JOM readers have to put up with larwyn.

syn

Jerry you leave me with the impression that you like to be scammed not spammed.

As for lawyrn's comment regarding Advanced Cell Technology I wager Political Ploy first followed by Pump and Dump.

Thomas Blumer

Hey Jerry, as the author of the post Larwyn is referring to, I think there are PLENNNTY of reasons to wonder if ACT did what it did to get financing (commitments for which were obtained on Friday) or to temporarily drive up the stock price (which went from 26 cents to 40 cents on Tuesday, closed at $1.83 on Wednesday, peaked at $2.31 on Thursday, and dropped to 96 cents by the end of the day Friday. W,R, and F's volumes were a very big percentage of the float.

I would suggest reading the post, which has been more succinctly titled:

Paging the SEC: Investigate Advanced Cell Technology

hilzoy

Probably this thread is dead, but I wanted to respond to this point by Gabriel Sutherland:

"This article reveals, yet again, that the hope for embryonic stem cell research is not necessarily to develop therapies, but to reconstruct an entire human being in order to monitor its progress in the hopes of using the data to reveal the source of diseases that we wish to treat."

Sadly, no. The article says:

"Many researchers have come to see the primary benefit of human embryonic stem cells as models for human disease. The idea is to take a cell from a patient, convert it to embryonic form, and then make the embryonic cell mature into the type that goes awry in the patient’s disease, whether it be a dopamine-producing cell for Parkinson’s disease or an insulin-making cell for diabetes." (emphasis added)

That means: if you're studying a hereditary neurological disease, you can take embryonic stem cells, create neurons and other neural cells (NOT 'a whole human being'), and see what goes wrong as they develop.

The entire point of this line of thought is that it would allow researchers to follow the development of e.g. neurons without having to watch them develop in a human being -- which would be ghoulish, since "watching them develop in a human being" would, in practice, mean doing things like repeatedly taking little sections of some actual person's developing brain and analyzing them. That's plainly unethical, and no institutional review board would ever allow it. The whole point of using ES cells is that by only developing the one kind of cell, you can track (some aspects of) their development without there being a whole human being involved.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame