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Stem Cell research on the chopping block

Stem Cell research on the chopping block

Postby Sbuh » Tue Jul 18, 2006 3:35 pm

I know we already have a cloning thread, but with the recent commotion in the senate regarding embryonic stem cell research, I just thought I'd make another thread dedicated specifically to stem cell research, vs embryonic stem cell research.

Here's what I know: (and it isn't much) It's possible to use stem cells without embrionic cells for research, but it is easier to get lots and lots of stem cells from embryos. Many anti-abortionists are against this because it detroys the embryo in the process.

The question at hand in the political arena is, do we, as tax-payers, want to pay for embryonic stem cell research, or should it continue to go on only under privately funded institutions?

I'm just wondering what other people feel about the issue, or how much they know about it.

A little side note: A friend of mine in medical school said that a LOT of the stem cells she and her peers recieved were emryonic, despite their being labled otherwise. I think it's a bit unrealistic to believe that passing a bill will have a huge effect on what actually goes on behind closed doors.
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Postby cheryl » Tue Jul 18, 2006 3:45 pm

I don't know alot about it either, but I've always wondered why all the stem cells that are leftover after childbirth get wasted. (Cord blood stem cells are derived from the blood of the placenta and umbilical cord after birth.)Wiki reference


Now, that, to me seems completely illogical- wouldn't that be a controversy-free source of transplant & treatment material for a variety of ailments? For example: For over 30 years, bone marrow (adult) stem cells have been used to treat cancer patients with conditions such as leukemia and lymphoma. During chemotherapy, most growing cells are killed by the cytotoxic agents. These agents not only kill the leukemia or neoplastic cells, but also those which release the stem cells from the bone marrow. These are therefore removed before chemotherapy, and are re-injected afterwards. (Wiki reference)
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Postby Sbuh » Tue Jul 18, 2006 4:40 pm

Well, using cells from an embryo is different. It is a controversy because it actually aborts the embryo. Interestingly enough, not all anti-abortionists are against this action, because they feel that if an embryo is going to be destoyed anyway, it might as well be put to good use.
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Postby cheryl » Tue Jul 18, 2006 5:00 pm

Yeah, but wouldn't the amount of stem cells thrown away after live births be far more than those wasted after abortion?

Or am I wrong in guessing that the amount of abortions are <<< than live births?
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Postby Sbuh » Tue Jul 18, 2006 6:30 pm

I'm not sure what the ratio is of the amount of stem cells that can beused from that to the amount they get from the embryonic cells is, but you could be right. I think that's a big question to - are the cells they're getting without using embryonic cells enough for their research, or do they need more? Then there's the enevitable question of ethics. The use of cells gathered from the umbilical cord is not a hot issue, but cells harvested from embryos is still widely questionable. (And I think there's the reason doctors want to use the embryonic cells - they actually use them to harvest more... or something. I'm no expert.)
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Postby oxymoron » Tue Jul 18, 2006 7:35 pm

I don't think our taxes should be paying for stem-cell research. We already [ay enough taxes and this may result in a riase of our taxes, plus, why should people be taxed on it when many people are against it? <<<I am not against stem cell research, but I don't think the government should be paying for it.
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