The British create Stem Cells from Blood that don’t have the same Rejection Problems as Embryonic Stem Cells

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 2nd, 2012

Week in Review

Stem cells were all the rage once.  They were going to cure everything.  Even make Christopher Reeve walk again.  Who was paralyzed during an equestrian competition.  And who the Republicans wanted to stay paralyzed.  Apparently.  As they opposed using embryonic stem cells from aborted fetuses.  Worried of the precedent this would give.  Taking a life (an aborted fetus) so another life could live.

This raised a lot of ethical issues on the Right.  But not the Left.  Who looked at it as giving abortions a noble purpose.  Terminating the gestation of the fetus and using the embryonic stem cells to make miracle drugs.  It was a two-for for the Democrats.  Miracle drugs.  And a good reason to abort fetuses.  So it was all you heard about in the news.  The miracle of stem cells.  As long as they were embryonic stem cells, though.  For if it didn’t involve an abortion the Left didn’t seem to care much about it.  Which is a pity because there are some developments on the non-abortion-side of stem cell research (see Stem cells being made from blood by James Gallagher posted 11/29/2012 on BBC News Health).

A patient’s own blood has been used to make personalised stem cells, which doctors hope will eventually be used to treat a range of diseases…

Stem cells are one of the great hopes of medical research. They can transform into any other type of cell the body is built from – so they should be able to repair everything from the brain to the heart, and eyes to bone.

One source of stem cells is embryos, but this is ethically controversial and they would be rejected by the immune system in the same way as an organ transplant.

Researchers have shown that skin cells taken from an adult can be tricked into becoming stem cells, which the body should recognise as part of itself and would not reject.

Yawn.  You hear nothing from the American Left about these exciting developments.  I mean, you’re not hearing anything like the excitement we heard from them when they attacked any politician running for office who opposed the use of embryonic stem cells.  Michael J. Fox, suffering from Parkinson disease, even made a political ad to support a Democrat candidate who ran against a Republican who was opposed to the use of embryonic cells.  But these new developments will pass by quietly in the background.

It makes you think.  Especially with the past election.  Where abortion and birth control dominated the Democrats’ strategy.  They put the fear of God into as many women as possible that if the Republicans won women would soon be back in back-alleys for their abortions.  That birth control would soon become a thing of the past.  That all women would be reduced to being baby making machines.  Suffering through a life of cooking, cleaning and baby-making.  Hell on earth.  Or, in other words, being married.

It worked.  Women voted for President Obama to keep their birth control and abortion.  Even though no one was threatening to take it away.  And even though we’ve lived under 20 years of Republican presidents since the Sixties and not one of them took away their abortion or birth control.  But spreading the lie that the Republicans would do just that should they win election scared enough women to make a difference.  Which clearly shows why the Left was so excited about embryonic stem cells.  It provided a purpose for abortion.  A noble purpose.  To save life.  And how they wished with all of their might that embryonic stem cells delivered what some promised.  They would have loved to have that argument to make.  That abortion was not only a liberating women’s health issue but a noble issue as well.  Sigh.  It just wasn’t to be.  Sure, these new blood stem cells are an exciting development.  But where is the politics in that?


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Michael J. Fox admits Embryonic Stem Cell Research may not hold Cure for Parkinson’s Disease

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 20th, 2012

Week in Review

During the 2006 midterm elections Rush Limbaugh and actor Michael J. Fox were at the center of a Missouri initiative to allow funding for embryonic stem cell research.  Limbaugh claimed Fox went off of his meds in political campaign ads to exaggerate the effects of the disease.  A webcam showed Limbaugh even mimicking Fox’s appearance.  Which did not make Limbaugh very popular. 

The ads said that embryonic stem cell research held the best possible chance to find a cure.  Opponents said that it would lead to harvesting human fetuses for medical research.  And contrary to the claims and media blitz embryonic stem cell research showed no such promising hope.  There were successes with adult stem cell research.  But not with embryonic stem cell research.  But the Left championed embryonic stem cell research as the Holy Grail to cure all that ails us.  Now some 6 years later even Michael J. Fox admits this research path may not yield the cure (see Michael J. Fox Looks Past Stem Cells to Internet for Parkinson’s Cure by Russell Goldman, ABC News, posted 5/18/2012 on Yahoo! News).

Michael J. Fox, whose turn from Parkinson’s disease patient to scientific crusader made him one of the country’s most visible advocates for stem cell research, now believes the controversial therapy may not ultimately yield a cure for his disease, he told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview.

There have been “problems along the way,” Fox said of stem cell studies, for which he has long advocated.   Instead, he said, new drug therapies are showing real promise and are “closer today” to providing a cure for Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative illness that over time causes the body to become rigid and the brain to shut down.

 “Stem cells are an avenue of research that we’ve pursued and continue to pursue but it’s part of a broad portfolio of things that we look at. There have been some issues with stem cells, some problems along the way,” said Fox, who suffers from the diseases’ telltale tics and tremors.

 “It’s not so much that [stem cell research has] diminished in its prospects for  breakthroughs as much as it’s the other avenues of research have grown and multiplied and become as much or more promising. So, an answer may come from stem cell research but it’s more than likely to come from another area,” he said.

So why did the Left build up such false hopes?  Why did they insist that embryonic stem cell research held the secrets to cure people suffering from everything from Parkinson’s disease to paralysis?  They didn’t base it on medical research.  So what was it based on?  Politics.  I mean, if it was not good science what else could it be?  So what are the politics in this issue?  One can only guess it had to do with the source of those embryonic stem cells.  Abortions.  Perhaps the number one issue on the Left. 

Could this have all been about trying to give a higher and nobler purpose for all of those abortions?  That these aborted lives did not die in vain?  That they sacrificed so others may live?  Perhaps.  There is a reason why the Left championed this cause.  And this would explain why they would have given false hope to so many.  To further entrench abortion into our lives.

Everyone likes Michael J. Fox.  Whether you agree with his politics or not.  He deserved far better than to use his celebrity and his disease for political gain.


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A Company in New Zealand finds Promising Results when using Pig Brain Cells to Treat Parkinson’s Disease

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 21st, 2012

Week in Review

During the 2006 midterm election a little dustup occurred between Michael J. Fox and Rush Limbaugh.  Fox has Parkinson’ disease.  He was supporting a Democrat candidate who was in favor of embryonic stem cell research.  According to Fox embryonic stem cells held the greatest hope in finding a cure.  Those on the right oppose this for two reasons.  For one they questioned the ethics of ‘farming’ human embryos for scientific experimentation.  The other being that the track record for adult stem cell research had a better track record then embryonic stem cells.  Fox appeared in a campaign commercial visibly shaking from the affects of Parkinson’s disease.  Limbaugh said that he went off of his meds to make the affects of his disease worse for political purposes.  Even imitating a shaking Michael J. Fox.  Images of Rush Limbaugh’s imitation played across mainstream media.  Which the left also used for political purposes.

The Democrats won both houses of Congress and a majority of governorships in the 2006 midterm elections.  The Democrats then won the white House in 2008.  So like it or not the Democrats had the power.  And if embryonic stem cells held the cure they were in a position to do something about it (see Reuters: New Zealand firm to trial pig cells to treat Parkinson’s by Victoria Thieberger posted 4/17/2012 on Reuters).

A New Zealand company plans to implant pig cells in the human brain in a clinical trial to treat Parkinson’s disease and help improve movement and brain functions in patients.

And here we are in 2012 and what are researches using in the battle of Parkinson’s?  Pig cells.  Why are they experimenting with pig cells?  Well, adult stem cells had shown promise.  They worked a little.  But the improvements were fleeting.  Studies done with embryonic stem cells had shown some promise, too.  But there were side effects.  Including tumors.  And the disease sometimes spread to the newly implanted cells.  Which is why they’re trying pig cells.  So as of yet they haven’t proven embryonic stem cells to be the panacea some people have claimed them to be.

So perhaps the debate over embryonic stem cells has been more political than scientific.  For it would help those on the left in the debate over when human life begins.  If we started ‘farming’ embryonic stem cells for scientific experimentation and, better yet, used them for medical treatment, it could change a lot of minds.  Boiling the debate down to a simple choice.  Save lives?  Or ban abortions?  Some people may go all Mr. Spock in their rationalization.  “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.  Or the one.”   Especially if they believe the one isn’t a human yet.

Let’s hope the New Zealanders are on to something.  And can find a cure for this horrible disease.  Let’s also hope that they are basing this research on good science, though.  And not politics.  For there is nothing worse than giving someone false hope just because it’s politically expedient.


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