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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Stem Cell Research Damages Bush Argument Against It!

Picture courtesy of Children with Diabetes

Everyone reading this piece raise your hands if you know someone with Type 1 Diabetes. Counting hands, okay the numbers are adding up. You in the back, are you raising your hand or itching your armpit? He doesn’t count. Over to my right, the guy half raising his hand, do you or do you not know someone with Type 1 Diabetes? Look it up here if you are not sure. How about that rambunctious three year old over there in the picture to your left. Look it up folks. It’s called Google.

This piece isn’t about Type 1 Diabetes but then again it is if you think that Stem Cell research is an act against humanity from a biblical sense. God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. With that being said he left the rest of the job up to us to do with it as we please. That pesky free will thing ran amok for a while and we as his children managed hundreds and thousands of wars and atrocities against one another that even today make some scholars of history wonder what the hell people were thinking.

Medical science and progress in it takes years of research. Years of studies where some of the results are fatal and become a direct part of that science and the ultimate result being that some will benefit in the future. These medical researchers are not Adolph Hitler and his bastards destroying lives simply because they can. They are not Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte sending thousands to their deaths for the sake of national pride.

They are researchers in the study and cure of human illness. Which leads me to this piece on stem cell research over at The LA Times…

Stem cell success in Type 1 diabetes

By Karen Kaplan, Times Staff Writer

2:28 PM PDT, April 10, 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 who were 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.

The study suggests a new avenue for treating the intractable disease, in which the immune system destroys insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. Without insulin, patients can't metabolize sugar and run the risk of developing nerve damage, cardiovascular disease, kidney failure and blindness.

Patients with Type 1 diabetes typically compensate by monitoring their blood sugar levels every few hours and injecting themselves with insulin as many as five times a day.

After the stem cell treatment, "patients are absolutely medication-free — they're off insulin," said Dr. Richard Burt, chief of the division of immunotherapy at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago and senior author of the study.

The strategy is similar to an approach that has shown some success in treating other immune system disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and multiple sclerosis.
– The LA Times

I understand the President and his overly zealous opinion against embryonic stem cell research but his actions also limit further studies in this field using other stem cell lines that offer benefits that the countries greatest minds have yet to explore.

With this post there is a catch 22 dilemma. While opposing the research in any possible medical advances that could come from embryonic stem cell research the President also knows that the subject embryos of that research will be flushed down a toilet or incinerated as medical waste.

This is one of those discussions that leap in and out of the religions of the nation and the fact based life of science. How do you decide who wins the argument?

Papamoka Poll:

Are you in favor of Stem Cell Research at any level? Post a Yes or no answer in the comments. Feel free to discuss and make your point heard.

Whom do you trust with overseeing medical research from a government perspective? Democrats or Republicans or neither? Post a D or R answer in the comments. Feel free to discuss and make your point heard.

I’m very interested on what my readers think on these matters.


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