Great News For Non-Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Former first lady Nancy Reagan and others believed the use of stem cells from embryos could lead to cures for such illnesses as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. President Bush in 2001, restricted federal funding of embryonic research. But when former President Reagan died, 58 senators asked Bush to relax federal restrictions citing 19 out of the 78 embryonic stem cell lines were only good enough for research.

Mrs. Bush back in 2001, referred to alternatives rather than what she called, “abusing embryos” in research. Back at that time, neither side knew how successful the alternatives would be in the future as the main focus from liberal groups was to fund the embryonic stem cell research in the United States while others opposed it and rightfully so on morality issues.

Reprogramming stem cells to their embryonic stage (pluripotent stem cells) has been making tremendous strides for future treatments on various diseases. In MedicalXpress

“Now, for the first time, scientists at Monash University’s Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories (MISCL) have shown that they can make human stem cells from healthy adult kidneys without working on human embryos, circumventing ethical concerns around this research.”

“This achievement will allow group leader Associate Professor Sharon Ricardo and her team to model genetic kidney diseases in the laboratory and tease out the mechanisms that control these difficult-to-treat disorders. “We’re taking human kidney cells and winding back the clock to make their early precursors,” Associate Professor Ricardo said.”

In another article from the same source, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research are using stem cells from bone marrow can be genetically altered which enables it to resist damage from chemotherapy, helping cancer patients endure the treatment without harmful effects! Things like brain cancer take its toll on human bone marrow when patients are being treated with chemotherapy.

Great news for those with Parkinson’s disease. Researchers from South Korea and Harvard have identified a “protein-based” human iPS cell” that appears promising for reversing nerve cell loss in patients with Parkinson’s Disease.  Their experiments “reversed disease when transplanted into the brain of rats modeling Parkinson disease.” However, embryonic stem cells was mentioned as one of the two sources of the stem cells but no evidence that it worked too, only the iPS cells were effective.

What about adult stem cells? This month we see another amazing discovery that took place. researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found a “human lung stem cell that is self-renewing and capable of forming and integrating multiple biological structures of the lung including bronchioles, alveoli and pulmonary vessels.”

Cell News reports…

“This research describes, for the first time, a true human lung stem cell. The discovery of this stem cell has the potential to offer those who suffer from chronic lung diseases a totally novel treatment option by regenerating or repairing damaged areas of the lung,” said Piero Anversa, MD, director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and corresponding author.”

This has been remarkable and very encouraging for Christians and others who value ethics to see adult stem cell research take off, leaving embryonic stem cell research in the dust while the discoveries show promising treatments.  But what if it had turned out the other way?  What if embryonic stem cells were actively producing cures for these same diseases?  Experimenting on human embryos would still be unethical! Also, in the past decade of stem-cell research has shown that some scientists’ greed for fame and money outruns their interest in ethics. But those who value ethics and solid research to improve mankind this is great news for non-embryonic stem cell research!

Adult Stem Cells Treatments

Researchers using induced pluripotent stem cells, inject the stem cells into animal hearts which then promotes a level of restoration in functionality on their subjects…

Science Daily

“University of Cincinnati researchers have found that applying a stem cell-infused patch together with overexpression of a specific cell instruction molecule promoted cell migration to damaged cardiac tissue following heart attack and resulted in improved function in animal models.”

“Three days following the heart attack, researchers placed a cell patch on the damaged region and measured the expression of cardiac-related transcription factor A (a protein that binds to specific DNA sequences, controlling the movement of genetic information from DNA to mRNA), collagen levels in the damaged tissue andscar formation-related signaling pathways.”

Research starting to focus more on the bilical cord which according to the article is not very well understood because of the lack of research in this area of stem cells. A team of researchers from Peking University People’s Hospital, China, decided to conduct a study.

Physorg and their researchers paper is found here

“The researchers took immune cells from RA patients and showed that the umbilical MSCs were able to suppress the cells’ proliferation, invasive behavior and inflammatory responses. Systemic infusion of the umbilical MSCs into mice was shown to significantly reduce the severity of collagen-induced arthritis. Speaking about the results, Professor Li said, “RA imparts a massive burden on health services worldwide and none of the currently used agents reaches long term drug-free remission. Therefore, a new and more effective therapy for RA will be very welcome”.

Great news concerning stem cells obtained from umbilical cords which may be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis! And that’s not all, those of us who like to workout notice a breakdown in function and mass as we get older. However, research in adult stem cells of transplanted into the leg muscles of mice restored function and mass in their muscles. Now wouldn’t it be great to maintain muscle function and mass as you get older? The finding may lead to treatments for patients with chronic, degenerative muscle diseases…

“The experiments showed that when young host mice with limb muscle injuries were injected with muscle stem cells from young donor mice, the cells not only repaired the injury within days, they caused the treated muscle to double in mass and sustain itself through the lifetime of the transplanted mice. “This was a very exciting and unexpected result,” said Professor Bradley Olwin of CU-Boulder’s molecular, cellular and developmental biology department, the study’s corresponding author.”

When a cardiovascular disease gets so serious, the only option left is amputation of a limb. This has happened to one of my grandparents. But today, a treatment was announced that may save many thousands of limbs from amputation!

Science daily reports…

“Northwestern Medicine physician researchers are revolutionizing treatment of cardiovascular disease by utilizing patients’ own stem cells to regenerate heart and vascular tissue. Northwestern Medicine is the lead site for a study examining stem cell transplantation as treatment for critical limb ischemia.”

“Stem cell treatment was associated with a significant reduction in amputation rate,” said Losordo. “Treatment was associated with a 50 percent reduction in the total amputation rate compared to control. Although further study is needed, these results provide evidence that CD34 cell therapy is an effective treatment for critical limb ischemia.”

What about Embryonic Stem Cell research? After all, nature lobbied congress to hurry and pass laws to fund this research in fear of Republicans getting elected. All the hype since 2000 on this research has produced this recently…

In science daily, “Growing human embryonic stem cells in the lab is no small feat.”

In Nature, the news was nothing more than some research in Singapore trying to identify all the transcription factors that regulate embryonic stem cells.

Nothing about treatments of animals nor humans which is not surprising. The explosion of new treatments is coming from adult stem cells which is where the funding should be provided. Something that ES proponents never dreamed could happen because they thought it would mostly come form ES. Speaking of which why aren’t they rejoicing in all these advances in adult stem cell research?   

Major Breakthrough With Cell Transformation

This could be the most amazing feat conducted this year in the lab. It’s been referred to as a miracle in cell biology and could be the discovery of the decade. Canadian scientists have discovered a way to transform human skin cells into blood cells without the need for embryonic stem cells or adult stem cells. Reprogrammed adult stem cells (iPS) have failed in its ability to be transplanted and very difficult to produce blood cells from.

Bypassing the stem cell stage entirely, these scientists were able to produce large quantities of blood cells with young or older patients.  Does this new discovery open the door for other types of cells? Science Daily reports…

“We have shown this works using human skin. We know how it works and believe we can even improve on the process,” said Bhatia. “We’ll now go on to work on developing other types of human cell types from skin, as we already have encouraging evidence. The discovery was replicated several times over two years using human skin from both young and old people to prove it works for any age of person.”

This new discovery offers hope for cancer patients who may no longer need a bone marrow transplant that needs to be perfectly matched. Also, for patients who need transfusions for surgery! Not only that but by bypassing the pluripotent stem cell stage would avoid any safety concerns that might come up. This is welcoming news for those of us who value human life by not requiring a terrible way to harvest embryonic stem cells and the inefficiency conversion results trying to produce blood cells with possible system complications such as rejection of  foreign biological material.

Hopefully we will see even more innovations in this line of research later this year or next.  While there has been much debate over stem cell research through the years even some in the United States have voted in their candidate because of this particular issue, and science journals like Nature before the election which was the result of fear concerning Republicans obtaining more power in Congress. But the fact remains, major breakthroughs are coming from this area of science not embryonic stem cells nor Darwianism for that matter!

Why Are Some Scientists Obsessed with ESC Research?

While adult stem cell research continues to show promise in various treatments, we find some scientists who are obsessed with keeping embryonic stem cell research on the public dole. The same tactics are used in their argument which are also used in the creationism vs. evolution debate. For example, some have claimed, restricting funding on ESC research is an attack on “science” despite the fact that $500 million already has been spent on ESC research.

Jack Mosher at the University of Michigan said, “It’s worrying that I could come into work one day and I might not be allowed to do my research because of someone’s ideological beliefs rather than the quality of the science.” Many specular promises are made for what might come out of the research. Last month Nature published a article critical of adult stem cells suggesting that some may have memory problems making  true pluripotent stem cells and ESC more appealing.

Nature news in a court ruling against funding ESC research are lobbying congress to make a law to keep taxpayer money coming in while awaiting another decision by the court. Physorg has been the only secular outlet that has a balanced story on the advancements of adult stem cell research and ESC research. The article notes the ethical concerns with embryonic stem cell research unlike previous articles in other publications.

Dr. Paul Sanberg, admitted that “Two decades of cell-based research has been accompanied by poor management of public discussion regarding ethics.” That is because for many of them who are pro-ESC research, it’s not about ethics or the fact that adult stem cells have been showing greater promise in treatments but it’s about the money!

It has been reported that a spinal cord treatment using embryonic stem cells is going to be conducted for the first time on humans but no amount of scientific research on embryos can address the ethics of doing what they can do. The destruction of a human embryo! However, not all of this research is bad, there are other ways of obtaining ESC that can be used for treatments without ethical concerns but one thing is for sure, ESC research is not going to live up to the hype that some scientists are suggesting  with their obsession using emotional ranting, hopefully this is not going to take away from adult stem research and it’s progress!  The United States is for the people and by the people and the public should not bow down to scientists and always give them what they want, they are only human!