Sep 30 2005
Folks, I have been posting since this site came on line, and on political forums for years before that, Adult Stem Cell Therapies will prove to be much more successful than Embryonic Stem Cell solutions.
The reasons are obvious to those of us who know biology and science (I myself hold a BS in Biology). First, since adult stem cells are already partially differentiated, there is less of a puzzle to unravel to obtain the goal of a complete transformation into a target cell. This is opposite to the myth being touted by embryonice stem cell backers. But then again they could be simply looking for money. Aren’t they hunting money when they look for research grants and copyrights?
Secondly, adult stem cells therapies derived from the patient themselves eliminate the issues of tissue rejection and mixed genetics at the cellular level.
So I was not surprised to see another success story on adult stem cells research out today at The Weekly Standard, which begins with highlights of some of the ‘false advertising’ surroung embryonic stem cell (ESC) research:
The problems with harnessing embryonic stem cells as treatments appear to be growing, not shrinking. For example, ESC boosters used to claim that these cells are “immortal,” that is, they can be maintained indefinitely in culture to provide an inexhaustible source of cellular treatments. Well, not quite: Recent studies have demonstrated that over time ESC lines develop chromosomal abnormalities similar to those found in some cancers. This means that the useful shelf life of embryonic stem-cell lines is probably limited.
Moreover, the oft-heard assertion that ESCs can be used to create “any kind of cell in the body” remains poorly grounded scientifically. For such a bald assertion to be true, it would have to have been actually accomplished in repeated experiments. It hasn’t been. Few researchers have been able to differentiate an embryonic stem cell into the precise kind of cell they were seeking, and only that kind of cell. In most cases, attempts to morph ES cells into specific cell types have resulted instead in Petri dishes containing a wide variety of unwanted cells.
Animal experiments suggest that these proliferation difficulties may be the cause of the tumors so often seen when animals are injected with ESCs.
Folks, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the rate of tumors increases after insertion, and occur in the area of insertion. That means the ESC are causing the tumors. This method of injecting ESCs is a lazy, shotgun approach to simply try and win the copyright lotterey. This should be considered inhumane treatment of animals.
Embryonic stem cells transform into properly functioning cells, tissues, organs and limbs because they are subjected to a very controlled environment within the embryo. Environmental, bio-chemical, bio-electrical, hormonal controls and triggers are used to precisely turn on and off gene sequences to create the proteins in the cell walls to create a cell type. You don’t just throw these in a body and see what comes out. Sounds more like a Frankenstein’s monster approach.
This is nuts, but this is what you get with greed and snake oil salesmen.
Now for the truly good news, which the media-formally-known-as-mainstream will never tell us about. Why? My guess is they cannot admit they are wrong. So like little children they pretend the Adult Stem Cell information doesn’t exist. But it does
By contrast, the umbilical cord blood and adult stem-cell breakthroughs keep on coming. Human trials are ongoing for heart disease, spinal cord injury, eye afflictions, and many other diseases. And here’s a bit of potentially very big news: A just-published peer-reviewed study (Cytotherapy, Vol. 7. No. 4 (2005), 368-373) reports that scientists have used umbilical cord blood stem cells to restore feeling and mobility to a spinal cord injury patient. The patient had been paraplegic (complete paraplegia of the 10th thoracic vertebra) for 19 years. The researchers report that after receiving an infusion of umbilical cord blood stem cells,
[t]he patient could move her hips and feel her hip skin on day 15 after transplantation. On day 25 after transplantation her feet responded to stimulation. On post operative day (POD) 7, motor activity was noticed and improved gradually in her lumbar paravertebral and hip muscles. She could maintain an upright position by herself on POD 13. From POD 15 she began to elevate both lower legs about 1 cm, and hip flexor muscle activity gradually improved until POD 41.
In other words, she regained feeling and some mobility after nearly 20 years of being paralyzed.
Folks, if you are really interested in cures you would follow this hidden story like nothing else before.
The advantages of Adult Stem Cells are rooted in science. The morale issues against embryonic stem cells are rooted in ethics and, for many people, religious doctrine. This means there are 3 good reasons to favor adult stem cells over embryonic stem cells.
You only need to buy into one of these three reasons to become a believer. If you don’t buy the other reasons – that is OK too. But put your money on the winner, not the politically correct. Science doesn’t deal with politically correct.