Divided We Fail: The Need for National Stem Cell Funding

  1. http://www.americanprogress.org/issu...ll_report.html

    http://www.americanprogress.org/issu...ell_report.pdf
    The federal government needs to update its stem cell policy to fund the best science using ethically derived stem cell lines, establish uniform regulations, increase overall support for the field, and dedicate more funding to embryonic stem cell research. The federal government provides the lion's share of funding for stem cell research--79.4 percent through 2007--and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The federal government will even spend more specifically on embryonic stem cell research than the states, meaning that unless we update our stem cell policy, at least 55 percent of the funding currently designated for embryonic stem cell research through 2018 will go to research on outdated stem cell lines.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   beachmom
    Why do we have to make embryos for the purpose of destroying them in research? It's just wrong.

    We can get stem cells from other sources. It's harder, but in my opinion, it's worth the effort.
  4. by   HM2VikingRN
    Quote from beachmom
    Why do we have to make embryos for the purpose of destroying them in research? It's just wrong.

    We can get stem cells from other sources. It's harder, but in my opinion, it's worth the effort.
    What I ask about are the embryos created for IVF that will never be implanted. Somewhere around 15% of IVF patients would like to donate their embryos for research rather than see them frozen for ??? or destroyed. I think that it is probably ok for them to do this as long as informed consent is obtained. But this is a policy issue that needs to be ironed out on the federal level. I was listening to Ed Schultz the other day and a mother called in who has a son diagnosed with Batten's disease. She came right out and said that her sons only hope for treatment is through embryonic stem cell research. She asked the question "Why can't we do something for a child who is already born?" I would not have a good answer for this question.
  5. by   tulip928
    "I was listening to Ed Schultz the other day and a mother called in who has a son diagnosed with Batten's disease. She came right out and said that her sons only hope for treatment is through embryonic stem cell research."

    Just curious - was this mother an "expert" and therefore has first-hand knowledge that the only hope is through an embryonic stem cell? Or is this her opinion?

    If my memory serves me correctly, there has been far more progress in stem cells that have *not* come from embryos (umbilical cord stems cells as one example). I, personally, would only be ethically comfortable with intense research into sources other than embryos if tax dollars are legislated to fund it.
  6. by   HM2VikingRN
    the problem is that the basic science work for escr has been hampered. the report cites the following references:

    10 [font=frutiger 45 light,frutiger 45 light]stem cells help paralyzed rats walk, cbs/associated press, june 20, 2006.
    11 rick weiss, [font=frutiger 45 light,frutiger 45 light]stem cell experiment slows vision loss in rats, washington post, september 21, 2006.
    12 rick weiss, [font=frutiger 45 light,frutiger 45 light]stem cell work shows promise and risks, washington post, october 23, 2006.
    13 peter aldhous, [font=frutiger 45 light,frutiger 45 light]heart stem cells discovered by three teams, newscientist.com, november 22, 2006. http://www.newscientist.com/article/...ree-teams.html. accessed april 3, 2007.
    14 [font=frutiger 45 light,frutiger 45 light]researchers develop t-cells from human embryonic stem cells, raising hopes for a gene therapy to combat aids, science daily, july 5, 2006. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0705083338.htm. accessed april 3, 2007.
    15 [font=frutiger 45 light,frutiger 45 light]stem cell insulin offers hope to type-1 diabetics, newscientist.com, october 31, 2006. http://www.newscientist.com/article/...diabetics.html. accessed april 3, 2007.

    http://www.americanprogressaction.or...tem_cells.html

    scientists [color=#48537a]announced yesterday that they had found stem cells in the amniotic fluid of pregnant women that have similar characteristics to embryonic stem cells. while these new stem cells hold great promise, they will not replace embryonic stem cells:
    • there are questions over whether the amniotic-fluid stem cells can differentiate into as many types of cells as embryonic stem cells, thereby limiting their medical application.
    • it is unlikely that amniotic-fluid stem cells will be as useful as embryonic stem cells for studying early human development, one of the most promising areas of stem cell research.
    • scientists already know that stem cell research is not “one-size-fits-all”; different types of stem cells will be necessary to treat different types of injuries and diseases, so while these new stem cells will be medically useful, they will likely not replace embryonic stem cell research and therapies.

    • it will take years for other scientists to reproduce these results, then try to convert them to materials that could be used first in animal models of human disease, and then test them in a few people for safety. meanwhile, we already know how to obtain embryonic stem cells, while the research continues to advance rapidly,
    Last edit by HM2VikingRN on Apr 14, '07

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