For Those Who Oppose Embryonic Stem Cell Research…

Read, bookmark (or better yet print it out so you don't lose it when the story is dropped) and remember what it says.

"Stem Cells Might Cause Brain Tumors"

There are those campaigning to open up federal funding for embryonic stem cell research on new embryonic lines.

There are important realities in the sentence that I just wrote that are often passed by.

  • There is already federal funding for existing embryonic lines
  • There is  private funding for new lines
  • research on new embryonic lines is NOT illegal, it's just that the federal government is not funding it

Something that I did not know (HT parableman) is that

Steven Goldman and colleagues at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York said human stem cells injected into rat brains turned into cells that looked like early tumors.

From what I understand, the idea is for stem-cells to replicate into brain cells that release dopamine.  And...

Goldman's team apparently succeeded and transplanted them into the rats with an equivalent of Parkinson's damage. The animals did get better.

But the grafted cells started to show areas that no longer consisted of dopamine-releasing neurons, but of dividing cells that had the potential to give rise to tumors.

The article says that

Scientists have long feared that human embryonic stem cells could turn into tumors, because of their pliability.

(but it doesn't give a source)

If this article is accurate and Goldman's team's suspicions bear out, this could have an impact on the was we argue against (or for) stem cell research.

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3 thoughts on “For Those Who Oppose Embryonic Stem Cell Research…

  1. I haven't done my research on this, but James Dobson claims that the only success with stem cells in treating humans thus far (in Asia I believe) is actually with Adult stem cells.

    If this is true also there is no reason for embryonic stem cells.

  2. phd4jesus

    Carrie is correct. So far, the only stem cells that have borne any promise are adult stem cells. I served for several years on an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC: the group who determines if a particluar animal study should be conducted) and although we approved of numerous studies using mouse embryonic stem cells in mice with various genetic diseases, very little positive findings were obtained from these studies.

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