Sunday, April 15, 2007

Stem cells shown to rein in Type 1 diabetes

Researchers say the experimental treatment left most patients 'absolutely medication-free' for months -- even years.

By Karen Kaplan
LA Times Staff Writer (Excerpt)

April 11, 2007

”Researchers have demonstrated for the first time that the progression of Type 1 diabetes can be halted — and possibly reversed — by a stem-cell transplant that preserves the body's diminishing ability to make insulin, according to a study published today.

The experimental therapy eliminated the need for insulin injections for months or even years in 14 of 15 patients recently diagnosed with the disease. One subject, a 30-year-old male, hasn't taken insulin since his stem-cell transplant more than three years ago, according to the study in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.”

Editorial note: these are adult stem cells and not embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells continue to receive virtually no private research funds because the prospect for meaningful results is considered so poor. As the controversy over federal funding of embryonic stem cell research flares again, please remember that potential human life is at stake and what the real facts are.

Recently, Charles Krauthammer, not only a leading columnist but also a medical doctor said recently:

“You don't need religion to tremble at the thought of unrestricted embryo research.
You simply have to have a healthy respect for the human capacity for doing evil in pursuit of the good. Once we have taken the position of many stem cell advocates that embryos are discardable tissue with no more intrinsic value than a hangnail or an appendix, then all barriers are down. What is to prevent us from producing not just tissues and organs, but human-like organisms for preservation as a source of future body parts on demand?

South Korea enthusiastically embraced unrestricted stem cell research. The subsequent greatly heralded breakthroughs -- accompanied by lamentations that America was falling behind -- were eventually exposed as a swamp of deception, fraud and coercion.

The slope is very slippery. Which is why, even though I disagreed with where the president drew the line -- I would have permitted the use of fertility-clinic embryos that are discarded and going to die anyway -- I applauded his insistence that some line must be drawn, that human embryos are not nothing, and that societal values, not just the scientific imperative, should determine how they are treated.

Congress will soon vote to erase Bush's line. But future generations may nonetheless thank Bush for standing athwart history, if only for a few years. It gave technology enough time to catch up and rescue us from the moral dilemmas of embryonic destruction. It has just been demonstrated that stem cells with enormous potential can be harvested from amniotic fluid.

This is a revolutionary finding. Amniotic fluid surrounds the baby in the womb during pregnancy. It is routinely drawn out by needle in amniocentesis. The procedure carries little risk and is done for legitimate medical purposes that have nothing to do with stem cells. If it nonetheless yields a harvest of stem cells, we have just stumbled upon an endless supply.

And not just endless, but uncontroversial. No embryos are destroyed. The cells are just floating there, as if waiting for science to discover them

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At 7:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been saying this for many years that we need to establish a line as stated.
Recent news stories have also pointed out amazing results in use of Adult stem cells.

Also researchers have been working with material from umbilical cord material and blood. Again that material is in plentiful supply.

I personally think the push for Embryonic stem cell research is just another reason to cloud the emergin truth about when Human Life really begins in the womb.

Remember that recently a child was born after just 21 weeks and SURVIVED.


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