T Nation

Stem Cell Research

[quote]Makavali wrote:
PRCalDude wrote:
VCs have no morals. None.

Oh dear. I never said anything about their morals. Most of them care about public opinion of them.[/quote]

Are there any in the public eye? Do you know the CEO of Sequioa Capital off the top of your head?

[quote]Makavali wrote:
I hope it’s within my lifetime. Imagine the breakthroughs we could be seeing from such advancement in modern medicine.[/quote]

WTF ever, your ass just wants a bigger penis, like Zepp said.

And I do mean YOUR ASS wants a bigger penis, not an individual upgrade.

[quote]dk44 wrote:
WTF ever, your ass just wants a bigger penis, like Zepp said.

And I do mean YOUR ASS wants a bigger penis, not an individual upgrade. [/quote]

I was thinking more along the lines of have a vagina grown into my palm.

[quote]Makavali wrote:
dk44 wrote:
WTF ever, your ass just wants a bigger penis, like Zepp said.

And I do mean YOUR ASS wants a bigger penis, not an individual upgrade.

I was thinking more along the lines of have a vagina grown into my palm.[/quote]

That would be awesome. Then you could go about your daily life, fingering yourself, having numerous orgasms.

What if you had one of those vaginas that could squirt upon orgasm?

I’ve lost my mind.

Dustin

[quote]

Sifu wrote:
The agenda isn’t hidden it’s quite obvious. If they can get one cell classified as a human being they then have a weapon to throw at abortion.

These people who have an ethical pause about a clump of cells in a petry dish don’t have a similar pause about a living, breathing, human being, who has self awareness dying.

BostonBarrister wrote:
Ah, but they do.

Sifu wrote:
Something that doesn’t have a central nervous system is not self aware.[/quote]

I was unclear - I meant the people have an ethical pause about clumps of cells also have ethical pause about people dying, but it’s not a simple “if this, then that” relationship.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
The question is a false one. Unless you are telling me that if you kill the one, the other will surely survive?

Sifu wrote:
That’s a spurious arguement and you know it. This technology has tremendous potential to save lives. Stem cells are already being used to save lives and heal the sick. The first clinical study on an organ grown from stem cells has already been successfully completed.

It is not a matter of kill one for one to live. It is a matter of do the research and millions can be saved. [/quote]

The technology has definite potential…

Refresh my memory - have the most promising breakthroughs been from embryonic stem cells, or other pluripotent stem cells, or adult stem cells?

Yes, it’s a matter of killing many, many embryos for research, for the possibility that some people might be saved in the future. Definite killing; indefinite benefits.

No - but the initial problem is the over-creation of the embryos. Both alternatives are problematic.

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:

Sifu wrote:
The agenda isn’t hidden it’s quite obvious. If they can get one cell classified as a human being they then have a weapon to throw at abortion.

These people who have an ethical pause about a clump of cells in a petry dish don’t have a similar pause about a living, breathing, human being, who has self awareness dying.

BostonBarrister wrote:
Ah, but they do.

Sifu wrote:
Something that doesn’t have a central nervous system is not self aware.

I was unclear - I meant the people have an ethical pause about clumps of cells also have ethical pause about people dying, but it’s not a simple “if this, then that” relationship. [/quote]

My bad I had thought maybe that was what you meant, I was a little unsure. Sorry. I think the ethical pause is going too far. I can’t give a clump of cells in a dish the same value as a grown person who has conscious thoughts, an identity, memories, family who know them and have lived a life with them. Lives could by this. The unethical executing people to harvest their organs like they do in the China would lose it’s motivation.

[quote]
BostonBarrister wrote:
The question is a false one. Unless you are telling me that if you kill the one, the other will surely survive?

Sifu wrote:
That’s a spurious arguement and you know it. This technology has tremendous potential to save lives. Stem cells are already being used to save lives and heal the sick. The first clinical study on an organ grown from stem cells has already been successfully completed.

It is not a matter of kill one for one to live. It is a matter of do the research and millions can be saved.

The technology has definite potential…

Refresh my memory - have the most promising breakthroughs been from embryonic stem cells, or other pluripotent stem cells, or adult stem cells? [/quote]

There have been a lot of promising advances. Not neccessarily breakthroughs but advances, that fully realized would be breakthroughs. The Embryonic cells have the most potential.

One thing they can do is take one cell from an embryo which is a common procedure fertility clinics do for testing that doesn’t destroy the embryo. That would yield one embryonic stem cell but leave an intact embryo to throw in the furnace. Unfortuneately the ban on embryonic stem cell funding make this useless, even though it gets around the ethical issues by leaving a useable embryo to destroy.

Another thing they are looking into is putting adult cells with embryonic stem cells. The embryonic stem cells produce chemical messengers that tell each other what state of development they are at. When the adult cell is put in this environment it can get reset to an earlier state of development where it is undifferentiated. The potential of this is to produce genetically matched embryonic stem cells for anyone. Unfortuneately it involves embryonic stem cells so no funding.

A really promising avenue for men is testicular stem cells, where they harvest some of the stem cells that produce sperm cells. The cells they get from that are at the least evolved state so they appear able to become any cell. It offers the benefit of a genetic match but only for the half of the population that have testicals and are willing to give up a small piece of teste. And it only works for the half of the population that can give a biopsy. It is something to bear in mind though if for some reason you have to have one or both testes removed, because they can successfully freeze them now.

[quote]
Yes, it’s a matter of killing many, many embryos for research, for the possibility that some people might be saved in the future. Definite killing; indefinite benefits. [/quote]

The flaw in the indefinate benefits arguement is it assumes that technology will not continue to advance. It assumes that technical hurdles we face today will not be overcome by advances. Advances not just in the field of stem cells but other technologies that can be brought to bear. Eventually we might not even need to go the biological route, we may be able to use nanotechnology to build cells from scratch and this arguement will become moot. I would like to still be around when that time comes.

A lot of people is not the majority of people. As far as I can tell it is a minority religious sect that has way too much influence on the republican party. It is really unfortunate that if one wants to see this technology advance they have to go to the democrats.

Problems there may be, but there is a greater good that can be served by advancing this technology.

[quote]Sifu wrote:
Problems there may be, but there is a greater good that can be served by advancing this technology.[/quote]

And here is my main reason for supporting it. Like I posted earlier, there is so much we could get rid of with this research.

Brain damage
Cancer
Spinal cord injury
Heart damage
Haematopoiesis (blood cell formation)
Baldness
Missing teeth
Deafness
Vision impairment (including blindness)
ALS
Parkinson’s Disease

Who really doesn’t want to cure these things ASAP?

[quote]Makavali wrote:
Sifu wrote:
Problems there may be, but there is a greater good that can be served by advancing this technology.

And here is my main reason for supporting it. Like I posted earlier, there is so much we could get rid of with this research.

Brain damage
Cancer
Spinal cord injury
Heart damage
Haematopoiesis (blood cell formation)
Baldness
Missing teeth
Deafness
Vision impairment (including blindness)
ALS
Parkinson’s Disease

Who really doesn’t want to cure these things ASAP?[/quote]

How do you know this?

The last ESC therapy they tried on Parksinson’s patients did further harm.

So we all agree, that all embryos slated for destruction or dated past viability should certainly be used for research right? Clearly, it would be unethical to not use them for research.

[quote]PRCalDude wrote:
The last ESC therapy they tried on Parksinson’s patients did further harm.[/quote]

I got the list of potentially curable stuff from Wikipedia. Where did you hear about the Parkinson’s thing?

Just so you know Mak creation of human embryos for stem cell research/therapeutic cloning is legal in Australia.

[quote]will to power wrote:
Just so you know Mak creation of human embryos for stem cell research/therapeutic cloning is legal in Australia.[/quote]

It’s not illegal in the U.S. - it’s just the federal government won’t fund it on any but a set group of previously authorized stem-cell lines. Which actually doesn’t make anyone happy, but there you have it…

[quote]BostonBarrister wrote:
will to power wrote:
Just so you know Mak creation of human embryos for stem cell research/therapeutic cloning is legal in Australia.

It’s not illegal in the U.S. - it’s just the federal government won’t fund it on any but a set group of previously authorized stem-cell lines. Which actually doesn’t make anyone happy, but there you have it…[/quote]

I understand research on existing lines is permitted, and I believe stem cells can be extracted from leftover ART embryos, but I was under the impression all human cloning is prohibited in America.

[quote]will to power wrote:

I understand research on existing lines is permitted, and I believe stem cells can be extracted from leftover ART embryos, but I was under the impression all human cloning is prohibited in America. [/quote]

Hmmm - not sure about that distinction - I’ll need to look into it and see. I know there are prohibitions on cloning, but I’m not sure of the details.

[quote]Sifu wrote:

Something that doesn’t have a central nervous system is not self aware.

[/quote]

So you are saying they extract the stem cells within 14 days? That is when the nervous system develops. (And measurable brainwaves at ~30 days.) Assuming what I have read years ago is correct.

I personally would not have a problem if this is the case. I am a little unsure of how I feel in the intervening time, (14 - 30 days,) but once that brain is functional, I am against any mistreatment as that is when I believe it is a human life.

[quote]The Mage wrote:
Sifu wrote:

Something that doesn’t have a central nervous system is not self aware.

So you are saying they extract the stem cells within 14 days? That is when the nervous system develops. (And measurable brainwaves at ~30 days.) Assuming what I have read years ago is correct.

I personally would not have a problem if this is the case. I am a little unsure of how I feel in the intervening time, (14 - 30 days,) but once that brain is functional, I am against any mistreatment as that is when I believe it is a human life.[/quote]

Stem cells are always extracted within 14 days under every guideline I’m aware of.

This has nothing to do with development of the CNS however. Development of the CNS is not induced until day 20, and will not develop to something functioning for a while after that. 14 days is chosen because after this point in natural fertilization an embryo has a 50% chance of developing whereas previous to that point the odds of a spontaneous abortion are 90%.

[quote]will to power wrote:

This has nothing to do with development of the CNS however. Development of the CNS is not induced until day 20, and will not develop to something functioning for a while after that.

14 days is chosen because after this point in natural fertilization an embryo has a 50% chance of developing whereas previous to that point the odds of a spontaneous abortion are 90%.[/quote]

This is good to know, and as such I have no problems with any use of stem cells from any source.

[quote]Makavali wrote:
PRCalDude wrote:
The last ESC therapy they tried on Parksinson’s patients did further harm.

I got the list of potentially curable stuff from Wikipedia. Where did you hear about the Parkinson’s thing?[/quote]

We currently use ASCs to treat 80 different diseases, including Type I diabetes, liver disease, and spinal cord injury. Other cures from ASCs are being tested in hundreds of clinical trials.

ESCs have a two major problems that ASCs don’t have. First, they tend to be rejected by the immune system. Second, they tend to cause malignancies called “teratomas” - meaning “monster tumors”.

In the 2001 Parksinson’s study I was referring to, fetal brain tissue was injected in the patients. In 15% of the patients, side effects included involuntary writhing, twisting, jerking of their heads, and flailing of their arms. (New York Times, March 8, 2001).

Under no circumstances will I ever receive a “treatment” from such “technology,” given the risks and ethics involved. The technology is like Nazi science and there are no rewards. The venture capitalists have steered clear because there isn’t any promise in it, which is why we now have a PR campaign going on to promote it so “researchers” can get federal money.

[quote]…
BostonBarrister wrote:
Refresh my memory - have the most promising breakthroughs been from embryonic stem cells, or other pluripotent stem cells, or adult stem cells?

Sifu wrote:
There have been a lot of promising advances. Not neccessarily breakthroughs but advances, that fully realized would be breakthroughs. The Embryonic cells have the most potential.

One thing they can do is take one cell from an embryo which is a common procedure fertility clinics do for testing that doesn’t destroy the embryo. That would yield one embryonic stem cell but leave an intact embryo to throw in the furnace. Unfortuneately the ban on embryonic stem cell funding make this useless, even though it gets around the ethical issues by leaving a useable embryo to destroy.

Another thing they are looking into is putting adult cells with embryonic stem cells. The embryonic stem cells produce chemical messengers that tell each other what state of development they are at. When the adult cell is put in this environment it can get reset to an earlier state of development where it is undifferentiated. The potential of this is to produce genetically matched embryonic stem cells for anyone. Unfortuneately it involves embryonic stem cells so no funding.

A really promising avenue for men is testicular stem cells, where they harvest some of the stem cells that produce sperm cells. The cells they get from that are at the least evolved state so they appear able to become any cell. It offers the benefit of a genetic match but only for the half of the population that have testicals and are willing to give up a small piece of teste. And it only works for the half of the population that can give a biopsy. It is something to bear in mind though if for some reason you have to have one or both testes removed, because they can successfully freeze them now. [/quote]

I get the fact that there is claimed potential, but my understanding is that it’s just that: claimed potential. And my understanding also is that in veterinary medicine, which has no restrictions of which I’m aware on animal embryonic stem cells, there are still only proven therapies from adult stem cells.

Also, I’m not a scientist, obviously, so please explain if I’m mistaken - but I thought that pluripotent stem cells from cord blood and placental blood were just as able to become any other type of cells as were embryonic stems cells?

As to some of the stuff you’ve described - sounds interesting if they can remove cells without killing (or irrepairably damaging) the embryo.

Question: Can’t they use the previously existing embryonic stem cell lines to get government funding (assuming government funding is necessary, which, again, is really what the fight is about in the U.S.) and prove the technologies - particularly if they can do the replication process you’ve described above so there would be no shortage?

[quote]
BostonBarrister wrote:
People are worried about incentivizing the creation of human embryos for research and/or cell harvesting.

Sifu wrote:
If that truly is the case then there should be no objection to using embryos from fertility clinics that are going to be incinerated. Those embryos could be used to do research that will revolutionize medicine but instead they are wasted in an incinerator.
…[/quote]

Actually, that doesn’t account for the incentivizing effect of harvesting, just research. However, at the point that the research was fruitful, you really would have yourself in the throes of that different dilemma: do I create and kill and embryo specifically for the purpose of saving a person? What about a million embryos? But that’s a different discussion…

I actually find this attitude quite troubling, in my own slippery-slope-fears kind of way, because of the inherent issues of who decides what the greater good is when society starts depriving “people” (in quotes here due to the nature of the discussion) of the most basic of rights.

[quote]PRCalDude wrote:
Makavali wrote:
PRCalDude wrote:
The last ESC therapy they tried on Parksinson’s patients did further harm. [/quote]

What year was that? What was the response of the research community? Did they perhaps stop doing research on humans till they worked out safety issues by doing tests on lab animals, where they have had success?

[quote]
I got the list of potentially curable stuff from Wikipedia. Where did you hear about the Parkinson’s thing?

We currently use ASCs to treat 80 different diseases, including Type I diabetes, liver disease, and spinal cord injury. Other cures from ASCs are being tested in hundreds of clinical trials. [/quote]

This is s typical ploy. There is no federal funding available for research with ESC treatments. ASC research can get funding. ESC opponents have stacked the deck in favor of ASC, then they use the results of the deck they stacked as validation of their opposition.

[quote]
ESCs have a two major problems that ASCs don’t have. First, they tend to be rejected by the immune system. Second, they tend to cause malignancies called “teratomas” - meaning “monster tumors”. [/quote]

With more ESC lines to choose from genetics could be more closely matched and rejection reduced. Again a problem resulting from the ban being used as justification.

The cancer risks are being grossly overstated by opponents. Besides all cancerous tumors are made by malfunctioning stem cells. Your statement that ASC don’t cause cancer is a factual inexactitude.

[quote]
In the 2001 Parksinson’s study I was referring to, fetal brain tissue was injected in the patients. In 15% of the patients, side effects included involuntary writhing, twisting, jerking of their heads, and flailing of their arms. (New York Times, March 8, 2001). [/quote]

That study was done eight years ago. A lot has been learned since then. No revolutionary breakthrough in science has come without setbacks. Setbacks are part of the learning process.

The fifteen percent who had side effects had them not because the therapy didn’t work. They had them because the injected cells grew too well and were producing too much of a chemical that controls movement.

[quote]
Under no circumstances will I ever receive a “treatment” from such “technology,” given the risks and ethics involved. The technology is like Nazi science and there are no rewards. The venture capitalists have steered clear because there isn’t any promise in it, which is why we now have a PR campaign going on to promote it so “researchers” can get federal money. [/quote]

If you don’t want it you shouldn’t get it. But you shouldn’t stand in the way of the majority of people who would be willing to benefit from this technology.

The Nazi’s did their experiments on unwilling test subjects with no regard about the test subject dying. In this matter you are the proverbial pot calling the kettle black. The ESC opponents are withholding medical treatment from people against their will with no regard to who dies.

The venture capitalists are staying away because they are afraid of the taliban like nutjobs who are opposed to ESC.