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Thread: Give this a read and response

  1. #11
    some of the main points I agree with him on is why are we spending so much in hopes of esc when we in fact could focus on asc or any other procedure with promise. And i definitely believe there is a lot of promises and very few actual results. And from what I've been hearing more and more from different sources is that scitentific community definitely seems to be a sort of kabul where only certain perspectives are given the time of day. Alot of people and not just patients seem to becoming disenfranchised with the scientific community. All we get as patients is either calls for more money or calls for more letters to congress to provide more money. is it so impossible to more with less? And I do question why more isn't heard about asc here in america. we can work towards esc but at the same time make progress with asc. In america we get the perception that asc's are useless....

    the questions I have about his accusations are what about the claims of succesful use of asc in europe. are they over stated? I find it kind of hard to believe that research is being "embargoed" especially in the days of the internet but i'm wondering how valid the successes he mentions are.

  2. #12
    In the introductions he says he isn't religious or anti-abortion. He says he's libertarian.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric.S View Post
    some of the main points I agree with him on is why are we spending so much in hopes of esc when we in fact could focus on asc or any other procedure with promise. And i definitely believe there is a lot of promises and very few actual results. And from what I've been hearing more and more from different sources is that scitentific community definitely seems to be a sort of kabul where only certain perspectives are given the time of day. Alot of people and not just patients seem to becoming disenfranchised with the scientific community. All we get as patients is either calls for more money or calls for more letters to congress to provide more money. is it so impossible to more with less? And I do question why more isn't heard about asc here in america. we can work towards esc but at the same time make progress with asc. In america we get the perception that asc's are useless....

    the questions I have about his accusations are what about the claims of succesful use of asc in europe. are they over stated? I find it kind of hard to believe that research is being "embargoed" especially in the days of the internet but i'm wondering how valid the successes he mentions are.
    Eric, thanks. As I understand it, you think that Margolis has a point in saying that all scientists seem to want is more money, that embryonic stem cell research has not done much at all, and that adult stem cells are already curing so much but news about their success is being held back.

    Cure of spinal cord injury is not simple or easy. It is one of the most difficult problems in science today, more complicated than curing AIDS and probably equivalent to curing cancer. There are not enough scientists working on the problem of regenerating the spinal cord. If we want more of the best scientists in the world to work on the problem, we need to increase funding of the field We need funding for clinical trials. As you know from being on these forums, we have struggling for four years now to get the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act passed by Congress. That bill doesn't even specify the amount but may end up with less than $100 million of funding over 3 years, if that. The United States spends more than that in one day in Iraq. They just spent $2 trillion dollars bailing out banks!

    Margolis talks about $100 billion being spent on embryonic stem cell research. He doesn't have a clue concerning what the country is spending on stem cell research. In 2007, the National Institutes of Health spent less than $250 million on all human stem cell research. Only about 20% of that amount ($35 million) was on human embryonic stem cell research and most of that was characterizing 10-year old cells derived before 2001, are genetically defective, and cannot be used in humans. The rest is on bone marrow and a small amount in on cord blood. Please, there is not sufficient spending on adult or umbilical cord blood stem cells clinical trials.

    There is no embargo on information concerning adult stem cells. I read that literature every day. I do research on umbilical cord blood research. Do you think that I am withholding information on umbilical cord blood curing spinal cord injury from CareCure? I hope not. Cord blood may be useful for spinal cord injury. I am working on it because I think so. Many other cells have been reported to be beneficial for spinal cord injury, including bone marrow stem cells, neural stem cells, and even embryonic stem cells. I am not working on those because they are not available or too expensive to take to clinical trials at the present time.

    There is no question that cord blood cells are effective for treating may conditions. They are beginning to be used more in the United States than bone marrow transplants for replacing bone marrow in cases of leukemia and other hematological disorders. In fact, there is evidence that cord blood cell transplants will be able to cure diseases such as thalassemia and sickle cell anemia. There is also evidence that cord blood cells will cure autoimmune diseases such as lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 (juvenile) diabetes. This is great and there needs to be much more investment in that work by NIH.

    What about embryonic stem cell research? Many opponents of embryonic stem cell research claim that these cells have not been useful for any condition. Well they are right that embryonic stem cells have not been shown to be effective in humans. This is because George W. Bush has essentially stopped all possibility of these cells going to clinical trial in the last 8 years It is true that Bush did not restrict companies from investing in embyronic stem cells and taking it to clinical trials. However, based on overblown fears and false claims, opponents of embryonic stem cell research have stopped the research at every step of the way. They held back the research in California, for example, for 3 years. Proposition 71 passed in 2004 and the California Insitute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) did not start funding human embryonic stem cell research until 2007. There are only two companies doing any serious human embryonic stem cell development: Geron and Advanced Cell Technology. Neither of them have been able to get any trials started.

    In the meantime, however, human embryonic stem cell research has gone on overseas. It is no accident that the first discovery of induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells was made overseas (by Yamanaka in Kyoto). That discovery, by the way, was a result of systematically testing nearly 400 genes that embyronic stem cells are known to express until they found four genes that appear to be necessary and sufficient to induce pluripotency in adult somatic cells. Likewise, there are now probably over 400 human embryonic stem cell lines derived since 2001. Most of these were done overseas in England, Singapore, China, Korea, and other places. In the United States, much of the research effort has focused on animal stem cells and adult human stem cells. Not surprisingly, much progress has been made on adult stem cells, understanding the niches in which they operate, and how stem cells operate in the body.

    Margolis says that he isn't religious or anti-abortion and does say that he is libertarian but perhaps he should stop using religious arguments and adopt a more libertarian posture on stem cells. If he were truly a libertarian, he would be taking a neutral position on adult and embryonic stem cells. I can understand it if he thinks that government should not fund any research because some libertarians believe that government should only do national security and money. But, he should not be taking sides on this issue. May the best cells win. Human embryonic stem cells were never given a chance. If they don't work... that is fine. But, if they work, the suppression of human embryonic stem cell research is unconscionable. Margolis should shut up and stop interfering with research, something that he clearly knows very little about.

    Wise.
    Last edited by Wise Young; 11-19-2008 at 04:04 PM.

  4. #14
    you make good points Dr. Young. I also didn't understand why he feels ESC should be abandoned even if it evenually proves to be useless let it be, but i felt he had some points about the scientific community in general. But I do think ESC get a disproportionate amount of attention and focus. I don't know if its a scam but it shouldn't definitely be considered the only avenue. Do you think the scientific journals and community in this country are open minded and unbiased? I find that in any community scientific or otherwise norms and standards develop and the community becomes stale and dogmatic..

    I think its kind of questionable to compare illnesses of different natures to each other. not saying sci is easily cureable but some procedure could appear tomorrow that would make it an easy fix. the fact that we can't cure it makes it difficult but once the solution is found to some degree it can change everything.

  5. #15
    I also agree with his postion that withholding procedures is murder. I always thought the purpose of science was to help people. prolonging research unneccessarily in my mind is atleast complicit in the suffering of those that depend on science to live or put an end to there suffering. sometimes it appears that careers and people making a name for themselves is more immportant than ending the suffering of others...

  6. #16
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    Then Margolis is a murderer since he objects embryonic stem cell research.

  7. #17
    Then Margolis is a murderer since he objects embryonic stem cell research.
    So the eloquent Norwegian does have a fundamentalist dark side?

  8. #18
    There is an old saying that "preception is everything."

    IMHO there is a major hurdle to overcome at the public perception level because there have been too many articles on stem cells without the necessary clarity of what types of cells are used in the research. Margolis points out several from the New England Journal.

    Part of the lack of funding issue is due to poor writing, slanted points of view, and not enough specifics and use of facts. Most people that ask my son or I about our stem cell ventures have got all the facts wrong about government funding of stem cells. Where does this preception come from?? The press of course. The press has taught them that Bush is NOT in favor of stem cells. As Wise points out, Bush is not in favor of embrio stem cell reseach paid for by the federal gov.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by topperf View Post
    So the eloquent Norwegian does have a fundamentalist dark side?
    Hah, it was meant in response to this line from Eric “I also agree with his postion that withholding procedures is murder.” I probably instead should have asked; so does this mean that Margolis also is a murder since he objects embryonic stem cell research?

    But above that, deep inside there might be a fundamentalist dark side or two (if I ever meet some of them LifeNews.com folks that is)

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric.S View Post
    you make good points Dr. Young. I also didn't understand why he feels ESC should be abandoned even if it evenually proves to be useless let it be, but i felt he had some points about the scientific community in general. But I do think ESC get a disproportionate amount of attention and focus. I don't know if its a scam but it shouldn't definitely be considered the only avenue. Do you think the scientific journals and community in this country are open minded and unbiased? I find that in any community scientific or otherwise norms and standards develop and the community becomes stale and dogmatic..

    I think its kind of questionable to compare illnesses of different natures to each other. not saying sci is easily cureable but some procedure could appear tomorrow that would make it an easy fix. the fact that we can't cure it makes it difficult but once the solution is found to some degree it can change everything.
    Eric,

    The reason why embryonic stem cells are getting a lot of attention is because of George W. Bush. If he had just left it alone, instead of restricting it, it would have been just another one of those promising therapies that may or may not work. But, because he blocked it and made if a "controversy", it became the focal point for endless debate. My impression is that there are relatively few articles being written that are touting embyronic stem cells. Most of the articles are written by people attacking embryonic stem cells and then there are some articles written in defense. There are a lot more anti-embryonic stem cell articles than there are pro-stem cell articles. You just happen to see more of the latter on this site. Go to the prolife sites and you will be bombarded.

    Embryonic stem cells are important for many reasons other than replacing cells. We need to understand how these cells work and develop, because it is key to understanding development in general. Embyronic stem cells are the only stem cells that can go ahead and make all the other cells of the body without having to interact with other cells. For an adult stem cell to do anything, it must grow in conjunction with other cells that form a "niche" and communicate with the stem cell, telling it what kind and how many cells it should make. That is why it is so difficult to grow adult stem cells and get them to make certain types of cells.

    I remember when my friend Ira Black first reported that bone marrow cells can produce neurons and nobody believed him, it was really tortuous to get the cells to make neurons consistently. You had to starve and poison the cell to death before the bone marrow cells would make neurons and even then it is only like 1 in a 1000. A lot of people are reporting that they can make this or that cell pluripotent. The problem is that none of them can do it consistently. Believe, I have looked and tried to replicate many of the studies.

    Why is it so hard to make adult stem cells make different kinds of cells? The reason is of course because pluripotency and ability to self-replicate (the two critical features of a pluripotent stem cell) are very dangerous characteristic. The moment you get cells that do this, these are cells that can produce tumors. What is a tumor? A tumor is when a cell makes the wrong number and type of cells in a tissue. Stem cells are rigorously controlled because the body just doesn't want cells that can make many cells go into a tissue and make the wrong number and type of cells. Imagine what a fiasco it would be if a stem cell wandered into your spinal cord and grew a toenail.

    Embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells are all part of a continuum. We need to study both ends of the continuum to understand how and what they do. What is happening is that research on one end of the stem cell continuum is being restricted because a small minority of the people think that it is immoral. Well, the vast majority of people in the United States do not think that it is immoral to use cells from blastocysts that are being thrown away after in vitro fertilization. Hundreds of thousands of these fertilized eggs are being thrown away. The parents don't want them. If if they are put up for adoption, nobody wants them. The choice is not between killing them and not killing them. The choice is between flushing them down the drain or using them to save lives. Don't you think that latter is better? More than half of Catholics in New Jersey think so.

    For 8 years, this research has been restricted even though Congress has voted twice to pass legislation to overturn the restrictions. What right does George W. Bush have to impose his personal morality on the rest of the country? He vetoed the bills twice. Now, of course, he will be gone and Obama will lift the restriction but it is coming at a time when there is no money for any NIH funding increase. While it is not clear who or what is responsible for the financial mess that we are in but it is clear that it once again happened on the watch of George W. Bush. It will be a year or more before NIH can actually increase its budget to fund embryonic stem cell research at the level that it should be funded. In the meantime, states are also cutting back and I hope that it is going to be a strange situaiton where there will be no state money for other research except for stem cell research. This is not what scientists want. This is a mess created by George W. Bush.

    Wise.

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