Tuesday, January 11

Human Embryo Alert

click on the icon to visit an intersting website on public ethics.

Adult stem cells research rather than human embryos.

The issues of stem cells and embryonic cloning remain a confusing aspect for many of us including our parliamentary leaders.
Stem cells are cells, which can become any tissue. They can become liver, nerve, skin and eye or anything else. They are seen as tools of the future to cure the difficult diseases. Sickness like MS, Parkinsonism, or heart and liver disease are seen to be possibly curable with stem cells which are found in embryonic tissue, cord blood and virtually every tissue investigated. An example is bone marrow transplants where the stem cells present in the marrow recolonise to cure leukemia. The debate today is about which tissue to use as a source of stem cells.

Embryonic cells
Embryonic cells are prepared from embryos left over from a IVF program (currently 70,000 are frozen in storage in Australia alone) favoured by some scientists to be used for research into methods to enable these to grow into the desired tissues. It seems our politicians may have become mesmerised by the proposition of a mass market for stem cell products using embryonic cells, without understanding the alternatives and the ethical questions arising from this type of research. Are we using the left over embryos because there is no other use for them? There is very little known about their properties and research will take at least 5 or even 10 years to yield useable results. It is known however that embryo stem cells in their current state can cause cancerous growths and our immune system will reject them. Research will take us down a dangerous path, which will almost certainly, ultimately lead towards human cloning.

Adult Stem Cells
Adult stem cells come from any other tissue, and also have the property of becoming almost any other tissue under the right conditions. They are the basis of all natural healing processes.
Bone marrow transplants have already been mentioned, but there are reports of eye repair, heart damage repair and many animal instances of repair processes, which can easily be translated into human results reasonably soon. Adult stem cells have already produced promising results without cancer growths or rejection from our immune systems.

Our Choice
Embryonic cell stem research represents a highly theoretical exciting but dangerous research effort for the few in comparison to a developing ethically sound promising source of cures arising from the use of adult stem cells. What are we choosing, the dangerous pathway, which uses human embryos for experimentation or the morally right path using adult stem cells.

click on the icon on the left hand side of the heading to visit and view an interesting website on public ethics.

5 comments:

Mrs Povo said...

It seems that we are endlessly trying to find a cure to various diseases. An enormous investment goes into medical research yet just as soon as we make a breakthrough a new disease emerges. In the 30s we had polio now it’s AIDS, depression, cancer ..the list goes on.

Maybe it’s about time we stop and had a look at the bigger picture. Why do we get sick at all? Is sickness a natural part of life or could it be related to our sick polluted earth? How can we take responsibly together, for the well being of our planet and of ourselves?

Some cultures seem to have experiences exceptionally good health in the absence of modern science. In the year 1000 English people were tall and strong. It wasn’t until later that their height decreased due to poor, cramped industrial living conditions. What does that tell us? In Nepal there communities of people who are strong and fit until they are 80 or so and then just drop dead. No pain, just a good quality of life until the biological clock says it’s time. What can we learn from this?

Why don’t we focus more on researching “health” rather than “ill health.”

Why not look at how we can love and respect our own "cells" rather than living like maniacs and then hoping we might be able to get a quick fix cure when we are older.

It seems we’ve got our priorities in the wrong order.

Lindsay Lobe said...

One acknowledges the need to understand the land so we are able to look after it better in the future. This does not necessarily involve active programmes but replanting in selected effected areas indiginous local species that help restore balance in nature. Continued research is required

The same analogy can be applied to the cells that make up our bodies.Our body cells are mostly our like minded friends but when on rare occasions cells development accelorates (cancerous growths spread )its natural to take some of our other healthy cells whuch are not behaving in this manner (adult stem cells) from the billions available to recolonise the effected area. They act as repairers .This is the outcome of adult stem cell research. A possible natural cure for cancer.

Cancer has existed since time in memorial and has no particular correlation with our present life styles and we don't know why it occurs. We have some very good outcomes already using adult stem cells.Think of it as giving the body a small hand up (you could take the adult stem cells from any part of the body) so nature can cure itself .

Mrs Povo said...

I like your analogy between environmental reveg work and stem cell treatment. What comes to mind though, is that we still clear land at a much higher rate than we revegetate it. Similarly, we continue to live a life style that harms us much more than we can currently repair (or perhaps ever could repair) due to the cost and energy involved in medical treatment.

Also Cancer may have been around forever but it has become an epidemic, which it never used to be. It is not true that this epidemic in unrelated to our present life styles. There is much research, which demonstrates this relationship. See http://www.ems.org/earthtalk/index.php?p=9 in relation to breast cancer research and the link to environmental toxins.

byrnesbloglog said...
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byrnesbloglog said...

interesting article highlighting issues not known to many people