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Thread: Stem Cell Research: Should it be Federally Funded?

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    Stem Cell Research: Should it be Federally Funded?

    Hello members of AO! Nice to see you all and hope you are all doing well. Another debatable issue has come to my attention and that is stem cell research. For those who do not know about stem cell research or the controversy behind it, I will explain the whole situation below.


    What are the benefits of stem cell research?


    Imagine a world where transplants could be done without the sacrifice of another person losing an organ. This world exists only within the boundaries of stem cell research.

    What stem cell research strives to achieve is the cultivating and nuturing of stem cells, the basic cell of the body, enabling it to be reproduced to other specific part of the body. The implications are obvious, limbs and organs could be grown from scratch in a lab, and then used in transplants or to cure illnesses. By providing the raw material for virtually every kind of human tissue, new treatments for a wide range of human diseases including diabetes, heart disease, some forms of cancer, and Parkinson's disease can now be developed.

    This research also benefits the study of development events that cannot be studied directly in a human embryo, which would cause major clinical consequences such as birth defects, infertility and pregnancy loss. Amore complete understanding of normal development will ultimately allow the prevention or treatment of abnormal human development.

    Another advantage is the ability to test millions of potential drugs and medicine, without the use of animals or human testers. This requires a process of simulating the effect the drug has on a specific population of cells. This would tell if the drug is useful or problematic.


    What are the disadvantages of stem cell research?


    There are no problems surrounding the method of research. However, the problem lies in the source of the stem cells. As explained in the methods section, the stem cells are either obtained from pluripotent cells in human embryos or fetuses.

    This leads to many under handed means to obtain the embryos or fetus, causing problems in the "organs black market". This entire situation gives rise to the illegal sale of the embryos or fetus by doctors. The research in stem cells have also raised many religious and social issues.

    Now that you know all this do you think we should federally fund stem cell research?

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    Re: Stem Cell Research: Should it be Federally Funded?

    It's a dead thread now but here are the opinions of some of the AO members:
    http://www.animeonline.net/debate-an...highlight=cell

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    Re: Stem Cell Research: Should it be Federally Funded?

    First of all it is federally funded you just never hear about it you have to go digging to find answers you may be looking for...

    Second of all if we can breed animals for science why's it wrong to breed humans for science answer me that... Whats the difference because to me there really isnt a difference.. Every animal is a sentient being. So morals dont count for this...

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    Re: Stem Cell Research: Should it be Federally Funded?

    i think that we should federally fund it because that will probably lead to a decrease in illegal activities. if you can get it legaly then why take risks? and there is no other sure-fire way to stop it because now that we know we CAN scientists have to DO it, no matter how the do it.

    thanks to zyta for the sick sig and avy!

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    Re: Stem Cell Research: Should it be Federally Funded?

    ^ I agree with you on this one fayt lingod! lol

    Then only thing that I hope the government does though, is to regularly check what the institution is doing - eg. no making clones or perfect babies.

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    Re: Stem Cell Research: Should it be Federally Funded?

    Scientists Discover Way Of Targeting And Eradicating Cancer Stem Cells In Acute Myeloid Leukemia

    Adapted from the following source: University Health Network

    Scientists at the University Health Network in Toronto, Canada have found a drug that targets the stem cells responsible for acute myeloid leukemia and eradicates those cells in mice transplanted with the human disease.

    The scientists discovered that for leukemia stem cells to survive, they must traffic to and adhere to specific places in the bone marrow called niches. The new drug is a monoclonal antibody that interferes with a protein called CD44 on the surface of the leukemia stem cells. When the protein is blocked, the cells are unable to traffic to the niches and as a result, they die. When given to mice transplanted with human acute myeloid leukemia, the drug destroyed the leukemia stem cells and cured many of the animals. The drug is not presently available for use in humans.

    “This discovery is exciting because we’ve devised a new drug that targets a specific property and protein of cancer stem cells without harming normal stem cells,” says Dr. John Dick, the study’s principal investigator and senior scientist at Ontario Cancer Institute, the research institute of Princess Margaret Hospital (University Health Network).

    “This new understanding opens up all of the molecules involved in these stem cell processes as potential targets for new drugs,” says Dr. Dick. “The insight could also be applicable to the stem cells involved in other types of cancers.”

    The paper will be published online September 24, 2006 in the international science journal Nature Medicine.

    Traditional chemotherapy kills cells that grow quickly and in doing so, it reduces the bulk of tumor cells. But researchers are finding that not every tumor cell grows uniformly. In fact, tumors are sustained by rare cancer stem cells, which grow slowly and are therefore able to survive chemotherapy. For this reason, cancer can recur after treatment.

    “The problem is the cancer stem cells can be swimming in a sea of chemotherapy agents and they won’t be touched by it,” says Dr. Dick. “To cure cancer, we have to get rid of the cancer stem cells by targeting their unique properties.”

    University Health Network is a major landmark in Canada’s healthcare system, and a teaching hospital of the University of Toronto. Building on the strengths and reputation of each of our three hospitals and affiliated research institutes, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital, UHN brings together the talent and resources needed to achieve global impact and provide exemplary patient care, research and education
    Will Embryonic Stem Cells Help Treat Macular Degeneration?
    Adapted from the following source: Advanced Cell Technology

    Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. announced that company scientists and their collaborators rescued visual function in rats through implantation of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE)* cells derived from human embryonic stem cells.

    In a series of several experiments, researchers generated RPE cells from 18 human embryonic stem cell lines. The cells were injected into rats in an attempt to compensate for the loss of photoreceptor cells, which are specialized nerve cells in the retinal that respond to light. These animals lose their photoreceptor cells over several months following birth and are used to study conditions under which this loss, similar to that occurring in macular degeneration, can be prevented or treated.

    Tests for visual function were performed at 60 and 90 days after birth, times at which loss of photoreceptor cells has produced characteristic vision deficits. The test results demonstrated that animals receiving the cells showed significant improvement over control rats in visual performance. Visual acuity was approximately 70 percent of normal rats.

    “Embryonic stem cells promise to provide a well-characterized and reproducible source of replacement cells for clinical studies,” stated Robert Lanza, M.D., Vice President of Research & Scientific Development at Advanced Cell Technology and senior author of the study. “All 18 human embryonic stem cell lines we studied reliably produced retinal cells that could potentially be used to treat retinal degenerative diseases, such as macular degeneration. We showed that these cells have the capacity to rescue visual function in animals that otherwise would have gone blind. Importantly, the cells did not appear to cause any unwanted pathological responses in the animals following transplantation.”

    More research is required to optimize the performance of the cell lines, determine how long the cells survive and function, and then assure that they are safe for human clinical trials.

    The study was reported in the Fall 2006 issue of the journal Cloning and Stem Cells.

    *The Retinal Pigmented Epithelium (RPE) is a layer of cells that protect and nourish the retina, remove waste products, prevents new blood vessel growth into the retinal layer, and absorbs light that is not absorbed by the photoreceptors; this prevents the scattering of the light and enhances clarity of vision.
    i think it should be funded because of this reason alone
    i mean there are mor positive reaosns than negative no matter
    how much you want to disagree on this.
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    Isolate and save you from yourself

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    Re: Stem Cell Research: Should it be Federally Funded?

    Quote Originally Posted by _gwenibe_ View Post
    Then only thing that I hope the government does though, is to regularly check what the institution is doing - eg. no making clones or perfect babies.
    i would hope that was understood. but thanx for pointing it out anyway.

    thanks to zyta for the sick sig and avy!

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    Re: Stem Cell Research: Should it be Federally Funded?

    Breeding humans for research.........yeah, there's nothing wrong with that. I understand if they used the stem cells of let's say when women get abortions, but to breed and grow embryos for the purpose of destroying them for research is just wrong. I would rather die than accept any treatment that involved the intentional destruction of them. But, that's just my opinion.

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