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Well the House just passed a stem cell research bill that will be vetoed by Bush.

I really could care less about the fetus, abortion, holy roller ramifications, I'm more concerned about the govt footing the bill. If this is supposed to be such a great medical wonder, why aren't the greedy drug companies springing for it?

jocobe
 

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Scientists recently found that they could cultivate embryonic stem cell from amniotic fluid, without killing the embryo, which should (but probably won't) make the whole debate moot.
 

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Well the House just passed a stem cell research bill that will be vetoed by Bush.

I really could care less about the fetus, abortion, holy roller ramifications, I'm more concerned about the govt footing the bill. If this is supposed to be such a great medical wonder, why aren't the greedy drug companies springing for it?

jocobe
I'm not to keen on the government spending money on it either but when you consider $400 billion spent on where we are today in Iraq ... If they wanted to sink say $50 billion on checking it out, what the heck it's only money.

And for your drug company question. If a major drug maker came up with the cure for all cancer tomorrow do you think it would make it to market?
 

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The science mentioned by Fritzer holds out hope. As many know Joanne suffers from lymphoma a incurable but slow type of cancer so I support all cancer research.
 

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Facts and opinions about stem cell (SC), for what it's worth.

1. There have no successful results with embryonic cells creating pleuripotent (non-differentiated) cells for curing cancer, spinal injuries, etc.
2. If there were any promise, the so-called "greedy" drug companies would be all over it, dumping tons of money into it. If SC could deliver 1/2 of what the politicians say, it would be a multi-billion dollar payoff.
3. The entire issue revolves around the abortion debate. Why else would so many politicians on the left, and some on the right, defend a policy and pour billions of our dollars into it when ther is absolutely no evidence it will work? If they can reduce an embryo to a research "animal", they have taken away the base of the abortion debate.
 

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Well, you are definately right on one thing, if the drug companies thought they could make a mint on it they would have bought the politicians a long time ago. Then again I know little about the subject.
 

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Well, you are definately right on one thing, if the drug companies thought they could make a mint on it they would have bought the politicians a long time ago. Then again I know little about the subject.
Then again, that's never slowed you down before.
 

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Well, you are definately right on one thing, if the drug companies thought they could make a mint on it they would have bought the politicians a long time ago.

I AM RIGHT ON ALL THREE.

Then again I know little about the subject.
WHEN HAS THAT EVER STOPPED YOU BEFORE?:D
 

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The research that Fritzer mentioned does hold promise, but it appears that it has the same inherent problems that current cell lines do. Basically, the reason why there is such interest in stem cells is their potential to develop into any type of cell (eg brain, neuron, cardiac, etc.). It seems that although there are stem cells in amniotic fluid they are not of the quality of embryonic stem cells. Basically amniotic fluid is fetal urine and sloughed skin cells. Although the research is promising, I fear the religious right will clutch on to this and use it to eliminate embryonic stem cell work. That would be a shame. I hope Bush veto's it so the battle lines can be clearly drawn for 2008 and we can see where these pres. wannabe's really stand on the issue.
 

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No religious group is going to object to using amniotic fluid. It is no different than doing an amniocentesis, and the last time I checked there were not a whole lot of protests outside of amnio labs. Cloning would be another issue though. The amniotic fluid cells may not be the quality of cord blood but that only has to do with the environment they are in, not the viability.


I do hope the politicians take a stand one way or another, too, but not obfuscate the issue.
 

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The research that Fritzer mentioned does hold promise, but it appears that it has the same inherent problems that current cell lines do.
That's quite a stretch...

Stem Cells Found In Amniotic Fluid Appear To Offer Research Benefits, Study Says

Main Category: Stem Cell Research News
Article Date: 10 Jan 2007 - 3:00 PST
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Stem cells derived from human amniotic fluid appear to offer many of the benefits of embryonic stem cells -- including the ability to grow into brain, muscle, bone and other tissues -- according to a study published in the Jan. 7 online edition on the journal Nature Biotechnology, the Washington Post reports. For the study, researchers from the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University and Children's Hospital Boston found that amniotic cells in the laboratory can grow into all of the major types of cells, dividing at the rate of once every 36 hours. Researchers coaxed amniotic fluid stem cells to develop into brain cells and injected them into the skulls of mice with diseased brains. The stem cells replaced the diseased areas and appeared to create new connections with surrounding healthy neurons, the researchers reported. Researchers also coaxed amniotic fluid stem cells to become bone cells and implanted them in a mouse. The study found the stem cells calcified and turned into dense, healthy bone. The researchers also coaxed amniotic fluid stem cells to develop into muscle, fat, blood vessel and liver cells. Stem cells extracted from amniotic fluid can be isolated starting at 10 weeks' gestation from fluid taken during tests performed to identify birth defects, according to the study. The stem cells, even after more than two years in the laboratory, did not show signs of aging or of having the potential to grow into tumors, the study found. Amniotic stem cells can be frozen for later use, the Post reports.
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According to the Post, amniotic fluid stem cells are "adding credence to an emerging consensus among experts that the popular distinction" between human embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells is "artificial" and that there is a "continuum of stem cell types" (Weiss, Washington Post, 1/8). Amniotic fluid stem cells are a "different kind of stem cell" that is "not as early as a human embryonic stem cell, and it's not as late as the adult stem cells," Anthony Atala, senior author of the study and director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest, said, adding, "So far, we've been successful with every cell type we've attempted to produce from these stem cells" (Kaplan, Los Angeles Times, 1/8). Atala said that if 100,000 women donated their amniotic stem cells to a cell bank, it would provide enough cells for "99% of the U.S. population with a perfect match for genetic transplantation" (Weise, USA Today, 1/8). He added that the stem cells can be found not only in amniotic fluid but also in the placenta, which is discarded after birth (Washington Post, 1/8). Richard Doerflinger, deputy director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, said that the study "is one in a line of studies showing very versatile stem cells can be obtained from a number of different products after live birth -- amniotic membrane, amniotic fluid, cord blood, placenta, even umbilical cord tissue," adding, "There is no reason why the amniotic fluid couldn't be obtained, raising no moral problem whatever" (Hall, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/8). Atala said it is unclear how many different cell types can be produced from amniotic stem cells, and researchers said that it will be several years before preliminary tests can be performed on patients, the AP/Houston Chronicle reports (Elias, AP/Houston Chronicle, 1/7). "[Amniotic fluid stem cells] can clearly generate a broad range of important cell types, but they may not do as many tricks as embryonic stem cells," Robert Lanza, head of scientific development for Advanced Cell Technology, said (Los Angeles Times, 1/8).

The study is available online.

"Reprinted with permission from http://www.kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at http://www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/healthpolicy. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation . © 2005 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
 

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That's quite a stretch...
But Dr. Anthony Atala, head of Wake Forest's regenerative medicine institute and the senior researcher on the project, said the scientists still don't know exactly how many different cell types can be made from the stem cells found in amniotic fluid. The scientists said preliminary tests in patients are years away.

The cells from amniotic fluid "can clearly generate a broad range of important cell types, but they may not do as many tricks as embryonic stem cells," said Dr. Robert Lanza, chief scientist at the stem cell company Advanced Cell Technology.

Dr. George Daley, a Harvard University stem cell researcher, said the finding raises the possibility that someday expectant parents can freeze amnio stem cells for future tissue replacement in a sick child without fear of immune rejection.
Nonetheless, Daley said, the discovery shouldn't be used as a replacement for human embryonic stem cell research.
"While they are fascinating subjects of study in their own right, they are not a substitute for human embryonic stem cells, which allow scientists to address a host of other interesting questions in early human development," said Daley, who began work last year to clone human embryos to produce stem cells.

As you can see, the author of the study even is not sure of the potential of these cells. My intent was not to try and discredit the work (I trained at Wake Forest in OB/GYN and take some pride in this study coming from my alma mater), but to point out that it is not the end all and should not serve to eliminate promising work on embryonic stem cells as well.
 
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