UK Stem Cell Research With American Money

onedomino

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An American financial contributor thinks this embryonic stem cell research cannot be done in the US. Thus a cure for a leading cause of blindness may be developed in the UK, not America. Will stem cell research opponents that develop age-related macular degeneration not avail themselves of the cure for their blindness?

Scientists Plan Stem Cell Cure For Blindness
By Ben Hirschler

Complete article: http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSL0584115420070605?feedType=RSS

LONDON (Reuters) - British scientists plan to use stem cells to cure a common form of blindness, with the first patients receiving test treatment in five years.

The pioneering project, launched on Tuesday, aims to repair damaged retinas with cells derived from human embryonic stem cells. Its backers say it involves simple surgery that could one day become as routine as cataract operations.

They believe the technique is capable of restoring vision in the vast majority of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness among the elderly that afflicts around 14 million people in Europe.

Some drugs, like Genentech Inc.'s Lucentis, can help the one in 10 patients with so-called "wet" AMD and U.S. biotech firm Advanced Cell Technology is looking at stem cells in other eye conditions. But there is no treatment for the 90 percent with "dry" AMD.

AMD is caused by faulty retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells, which form a supporting carpet under the light-sensitive rods and cones in the retina.
The new procedure will generate replacement RPE cells from stem cells in the lab, with surgeons then injecting a small patch of new cells, measuring 4 by 6 millimeters, back into the eye.

U.S. DONOR

The London Project to Cure AMD brings together scientists from University College London (UCL), Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and the University of Sheffield.

It has been made possible by a 4 million pounds ($8 million) donation from an anonymous U.S. donor, who the project's leaders said had become frustrated by U.S. curbs on stem cell work.
 

Diuretic

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This is not meant to be a threadjack. I would think that reluctance to pursue stem-cell research in the US is due to religious influence in politics. You are not alone. At the moment in Australia there is a furious - and rightly so - row over threats by the head Catholic in Australia to refuse communion to New South Wales Catholic politicians who vote (conscience vote) in the New South Wales State Parliament to allow stem-cell research.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national...-pell-over-bill/2007/06/05/1180809521252.html

TWO of the state's highest-profile practising Catholics, the Premier, Morris Iemma, and his deputy, John Watkins, will defy the church's warnings that they face "consequences" in their religious lives to support a bill to expand stem cell research in NSW.
More at the link.

Pell is way out of line on this one, but he has form for this sort of bullying.
 
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onedomino

onedomino

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This is not meant to be a threadjack. I would think that reluctance to pursue stem-cell research in the US is due to religious influence in politics. You are not alone. At the moment in Australia there is a furious - and rightly so - row over threats by the head Catholic in Australia to refuse communion to New South Wales Catholic politicians who vote (conscience vote) in the New South Wales State Parliament to allow stem-cell research.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national...-pell-over-bill/2007/06/05/1180809521252.html



More at the link.

Pell is way out of line on this one, but he has form for this sort of bullying.
In May 2007, a Gallop poll found that about two-thirds of Americans think that Embryonic Stem Cell Research is morally acceptable: http://poll.gallup.com/content/default.aspx?ci=27757&pg=1. Yet Bush vetoed the bill authorizing Federal funding for ESCR. As predicted, it appears that US money for ESCR will move offshore. Incidentally, a June 2006 Australian poll found that 82 percent of respondents favor ESCR: http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2006/4036/. The implication of your post is that Pell (and by extension the Vatican, assuming his behavior is sanctioned) think it is a “Mortal Sin” to vote for ESCR. The kind of sin that sends one to hell. The kind of sin that allows the refusal of communion. I have heard no such threats from the Catholic Church in California.
 

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Pell is extremely conservative and very authoritarian. He may well have Vatican support on this but I wouldn't know.

He has offended many sensibilities here. The upshot may well be stronger support for the research in this country.
 
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onedomino

onedomino

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This could make the morality objection to ESCR moot:

Scientists: Finding mimics embryonic stem cells
POSTED: 5:32 p.m. EDT, June 6, 2007

Complete article: http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/06/06/stem.cells.ap/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

Reprogrammed mouse cells act like embryonic stem cells

• New cells produced without destroying embryos
• Experimental procedure not suitable for treating disease
• Not yet clear whether modified version would work with human cells

NEW YORK (AP) -- What if scientists could find a way to produce embryonic stem cells without having to tamper with embryos?

On Wednesday, three teams of researchers said they had found a way to do just that -- but in mice. They got ordinary skin cells to act like the embryonic cells.

Embryonic stem cells are prized because they can develop into all types of tissue. So experts believe the human versions might be used for transplant therapies in people who are paralyzed or have illnesses ranging from diabetes to Parkinson's disease.

But to harvest stem cells from an embryo, the embryo is destroyed, an action many people oppose.

The idea of reprogramming ordinary cells instead was cited by a presidential panel in 2005 as the most ethically palatable of several alternatives, and the new work was praised Wednesday by a prominent critic of embryonic stem cell research.

"This is what we were looking for people to explore because it may provide all the advantages of embryonic stem cells without the moral problem," said Richard Doerflinger, deputy director of pro-life activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. "So I'm very encouraged."

Scientifically, "I think it's one of the most exciting things that has come out about embryonic stem cells, period," said researcher Dr. Asa Abeliovich of Columbia University in New York, who didn't participate in the work.

Now scientists have to figure out how to reproduce the success with human cells -- no small task -- and change the reprogramming procedure to make it safe for use in treatments.
 

Bullypulpit

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Given the number of blastocysts routinely discarded by IVF clinics, just in this country, there is no shortage of potential stem cell lines for research. There should be moral and ethicalboundaries to scientific research, but this is not such an instance. An undifferentiated mass of cells is not a human being, or even a potential human being absent implantation into a human womb.
 

actsnoblemartin

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I understand the argument in favor and against stem cell reseach.

in favor: we could potentially cure diseases, that affect millions.

against: adult stem cells, yes, but baby stem cells are unproven.
 

taimie

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Please do a search for:

Open Federal Funding for Stem Cell Research - The Petition Site & Sign!!!!

Less than 3,000 needed still to reach goal.

Sorry this site will not let me post direct link yet


Thank You!
Taimie
 

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