Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Stem Cell Research

Again, I must confess ignorance about a subject that is currently volatile. I am talking about the latest legislation regarding stem cell research. At first I wasn't exactly sure as to where I stand on this issue. I was sure about how I feel about using cells from aborted fetuses. Since I am firmly pro life I can see how those who lobby for stem cell research could conceivably approve of aborting babies specifically for harvesting stem cells. Therefore I knew I was against that. Also, I am against cloning babies for the express purpose of harvesting stem cells for research. But, I reasoned, what would be wrong with using the cells of babies that have died of natural causes or were miscarried? That premise disturbed me somewhat, but I didn't know why. And then I wondered if there is any other way of obtaining stem cells other than using dead babies. So, for once, I did some research. I found on a web site, a medical doctor, Edmund Pellegrino, MD, is the John Carroll professor of medicine and medical ethics at The Center for Clinical Bioethics at Georgetown University Medical Center. He addressed the subject and this is what I learned: ................................ Within the last year, a great deal of evidence has emerged that indicates that stem cells can be obtained from a variety of sources. You don't have to create an embryo, or destroy one, to obtain such cells. Not long before the British gave their support to embryo cloning, studies conducted in England and the United States and published in a range of leading journals including Science, Nature, and Hepatology found that stem cells can be obtained from adult humans, using sources such as bone marrow cells. These cells would still have the all-important pluripotentiality of stem cells -- the ability to develop into heart, lung, or brain cells, or any cells that you desire, with the proper manipulation........... This quote can be found at WebMD so now I am totally against using any dead babies for the purpose of harvesting stem cells, for research or otherwise. If we can get stem cells that are usable for research from adult bone marrow, then why don't we? It seems to me that proponents of using aborted babies for stem cell research must have an ulterior motive. Otherwise, there is no reason for the debate in the first place. My question would be: what would that motive be?


Sylvana said...

The alternative methods for obtaining stem cells (adult bone marrow) does not retrieve cells that are as useful as those obtained from embryos. Geneticists that work with stem cells say that the adult cells are less flexible, more difficult to isolate for replication, more difficult to amplify, and typically contain more DNA abnormalities. They in the end cost more to work with and are far less likely to result in favorable products.

By the way, thanks for signing my guest map!

Mark said...

Not according to the Dr. that i quoted. He said the stem cells that they can get from adult bone marrow is just as viable. Read it yourself. at:

Sylvana said...

I got my info from the National Institute of Health. I think they have more expertise on the subject than an AOL medical site, no offense intended.

Mark said...

you may be right. as i stated before i really don't know a lot about this subject, i just think they should leave the babies alone. there has to be another way, even if it isn't as cost effective or easy. i just don't want babies to be aborted just so scientists can gave material to do research with especially since we have no guearantee that any research in that area would result in a cure. i have diabetes and i wish they would find a cure for it but i would rather die of it than cause one unborn baby to die just to save my life.

Mark said...

Adult Stem Cell Breakthrough Ignored
The results of the four-year research project showed that olfactory stem cells can be turned into heart cells, brain cells, nerve cells – indeed, almost any kind of cell in the body – without the problems of rejection or tumors forming, a common side effect with embryonic stem cells

**This is the dirty little secret about stem-cell research.........Adult cells are more viable, and proven --> Embrionic cells are extremely volatile and have proven nothing, except to be frustrating.

But putting our money and hope in adult stem-cells would take the fun out of creating and killing fetuses**