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Thread: Stephen Davies Update

  1. #1031
    Quote Originally Posted by Quad62 View Post
    Charles Hansen, my friend, I think we are differing in what we mean by substantial.

    I don't doubt that he is sincere and committed just like he was five years ago when he said clinical trials in the next five years. However, the lack of progress on substantial issues is frustrating given that it has already been five years.

    As I mentioned in my earlier post #1001, if the new plan is to use induced pluripotent stem cells to derive GDA BMP cells, the path to clinical trials could have become indeterminately longer because of discovery of mutations in IPS cells. I wish there was someway to clarify this. Would it be possible for you to clarify this? Thanks.
    I'm really going out on a limb on this one, so please take this all with a huge grain of salt simply because I'm not an expert in this field, nor am I intimately familiar with his current work.

    There are many sources of stem cells and they all have disadvantages. My understanding is that the "gold standard" are fetal stem cells. These are easy to obtain for rats, but not so easy for humans due to political reasons. IPS stem cells have no political impediments but have other problems.

    I really don't know what kind of stem cells Dr. Davies is planning on using. I would guess that this is a moving target for anyone in the field of stem cell research. My understanding is that he (and other SCI repair researchers) have to rely on a completely different set of researchers who are working in that field to supply him with stem cells. I believe that his earlier papers with rat GDA-BMPs were from fetal stem cells. I have not read his latest paper to see where the human GDA-BMPs were obtained from.

    My assumption would be that he would use the "best" stem cells (ie, fetal stem cells) for his current work to eliminate the types of problems you noted with IPS stem cells (for example). Once the techniques are perfected, he could then look at other types of stem cells to see if they would be more suitable for human trials and/or routine treatments. Again, this has to be a moving target as the stem cell researchers make progress and breakthroughs in that area.

    As far as a timeline, I think it is fairly clear why he hasn't posted anything on that lately -- he learned his lesson from making a prediction five years ago that hasn't come true.

    Please remember that when anybody is doing something that has never been done before that it is absolutely impossible to know what problems will be encountered, what can be done to overcome them, and how long the entire process will take.

    Every year the auto manufacturers come out with new models, right on schedule. That is because everything they are doing has been done before and they know exactly how long it will take. But when John F. Kennedy said that we will put a man on the moon by the end of the decade (1960s) nobody knew if it was possible. I'm sure he had been briefed by the best experts about where we were, what steps were involved, what the rough plan was, and so forth. But nobody knew what unforeseen obstacles might be encountered. Three astronauts were killed in a fire on the launch pad.

    Dr. Davies doesn't have the luxury of killing three people on the way to a cure. He doesn't have the backing of the entire nation. All he can do is all he can do. It will take as long as it takes. Trying to put a timeline on task that was literally considered impossible for the last 100 years is a fruitless exercise.

    I have no doubt that he will succeed. We all hope that it is sooner rather than later. We all wish that it was ready tomorrow. But none of that will help. The only thing that I can do to help is to raise funds. Other than that, I try to leave him alone so that he can focus on his work.

  2. #1032
    Yep !
    keep (rolling) Walking

    Please join me and donate a dollar a day at http://justadollarplease.org and copy and paste this message to the bottom of your signature

  3. #1033
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post
    I'm really going out on a limb on this one, so please take this all with a huge grain of salt simply because I'm not an expert in this field, nor am I intimately familiar with his current work.

    There are many sources of stem cells and they all have disadvantages. My understanding is that the "gold standard" are fetal stem cells. These are easy to obtain for rats, but not so easy for humans due to political reasons. IPS stem cells have no political impediments but have other problems.

    I really don't know what kind of stem cells Dr. Davies is planning on using. I would guess that this is a moving target for anyone in the field of stem cell research. My understanding is that he (and other SCI repair researchers) have to rely on a completely different set of researchers who are working in that field to supply him with stem cells. I believe that his earlier papers with rat GDA-BMPs were from fetal stem cells. I have not read his latest paper to see where the human GDA-BMPs were obtained from.

    My assumption would be that he would use the "best" stem cells (ie, fetal stem cells) for his current work to eliminate the types of problems you noted with IPS stem cells (for example). Once the techniques are perfected, he could then look at other types of stem cells to see if they would be more suitable for human trials and/or routine treatments. Again, this has to be a moving target as the stem cell researchers make progress and breakthroughs in that area.

    As far as a timeline, I think it is fairly clear why he hasn't posted anything on that lately -- he learned his lesson from making a prediction five years ago that hasn't come true.

    Please remember that when anybody is doing something that has never been done before that it is absolutely impossible to know what problems will be encountered, what can be done to overcome them, and how long the entire process will take.

    Every year the auto manufacturers come out with new models, right on schedule. That is because everything they are doing has been done before and they know exactly how long it will take. But when John F. Kennedy said that we will put a man on the moon by the end of the decade (1960s) nobody knew if it was possible. I'm sure he had been briefed by the best experts about where we were, what steps were involved, what the rough plan was, and so forth. But nobody knew what unforeseen obstacles might be encountered. Three astronauts were killed in a fire on the launch pad.

    Dr. Davies doesn't have the luxury of killing three people on the way to a cure. He doesn't have the backing of the entire nation. All he can do is all he can do. It will take as long as it takes. Trying to put a timeline on task that was literally considered impossible for the last 100 years is a fruitless exercise.

    I have no doubt that he will succeed. We all hope that it is sooner rather than later. We all wish that it was ready tomorrow. But none of that will help. The only thing that I can do to help is to raise funds. Other than that, I try to leave him alone so that he can focus on his work.
    +1

  4. #1034
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    CH, I was hoping for some perspective on the issue from Dr. Davies if you knew. Thanks very much for your perspective though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post
    .....The only thing that I can do to help is to raise funds. Other than that, I try to leave him alone so that he can focus on his work.
    In my humble opinion I don't think that's a good strategy, and I hope you will reconsider. Robust communication and interactive support of promising research is in our best interest rather than a faith-based hands-off support of any researcher or scientist. It is very beneficial to hold people including researchers accountable especially when you raise funds for them.

  5. #1035
    Quote Originally Posted by Quad62 View Post
    CH, I was hoping for some perspective on the issue from Dr. Davies if you knew.

    In my humble opinion I don't think that's a good strategy, and I hope you will reconsider. Robust communication and interactive support of promising research is in our best interest rather than a faith-based hands-off support of any researcher or scientist. It is very beneficial to hold people including researchers accountable especially when you raise funds for them.
    It's not really fair to expect Charles to be a liason for the forum. Dr. Davies has already stated he will no longer come to the forum to post updates because of the vicious nasty comments that have been posted here. He's felt his time is better spent in the lab doing his research rather than coming here to console and conjole the naysayers. (There are others that have visited the lab and do have contact, but also don't bother to post anything here because of the climate). It's a waste of time and effort to dodge a barrage of rotten tomatoes being thrown when the research is so very important. The forum already lost the privledge of communication, so it's unfair to shove Charles into the line of fire.
    Last edited by GRAMMY; 03-22-2011 at 03:20 PM.

  6. #1036
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAMMY View Post
    It's not really fair to expect Charles to be a liason for the forum. Dr. Davies has already stated he will no longer come to the forum to post updates because of the vicious nasty comments that have been posted here. He's felt his time is better spent in the lab doing his research rather than coming here to console and conjole the naysayers. (There are others that have visited the lab and do have contact, but also don't bother to post anything here because of the climate). It's a waste of time and effort to dodge a barrage of rotten tomatoes being thrown when the research is so very important. The forum already lost the privledge of communication, so it's unfair to shove Charles into the line of fire.
    And please do tell what expectations made you come out and be a liaison for Charles Hansen for the rest of us.

    The dramatic flair in your post is much appreciated but where did the issue of expecting him to be a liaison for the forum and then it being really unfair come from? I asked him a question because I thought he might know the answer to.

    From there you go onto vicious nasty comments, consoling and "conjoling" the naysayers, and a barrage of rotten tomatoes.

    Sigh, it feels like I am reading some kind of soap opera. Please try to stick to facts and substance.

  7. #1037
    Sorry Quad62, I didn't mean to offend you. The posts in this entire thread speaks for itself along with the facts and substance.

  8. #1038
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRAMMY View Post
    Sorry Quad62, I didn't mean to offend you. The posts in this entire thread speaks for itself along with the facts and substance.
    No problems Grammy, and thanks for your post. The thread indeed has facts and substance even when I disagree with some posts. I respectfully agree with many posters including Schmeky in holding researchers accountable especially those supported with funding.

  9. #1039

    Accountability

    Hello Quad62,

    This is the kind of post that I shouldn't even make. I'm sure that after I make it there will be calls for my head, and even worse that there will be resentment towards Dr. Davies.

    You seem to want "accountability" from a researcher because you have made (or may be considering making) a contribution to him/her. Now by "accountability" I suppose that you mean you want to know how that money is being spent -- what it is being spent on, what is the rationale, what are the goals, what is the timeline, and so forth.

    In my experience this is simply a huge waste of time. I would suggest that there are other researchers who receive far more money from the CareCure community and get little (if any) demands for "accountability".

    You suggest that my approach is "faith-based".

    That is absolutely accurate.

    Nobody knows who will figure out the puzzle. There may be someone who appears to be very, very close (such as Dr. Davies, who has cured rats with acute SCIs) that may flail for decades and never get any closer. Or there may be some other researcher who appears to be flailing about, trying any half-@ssed methods (or combination thereof) and has some sudden brilliant insight that solves the problem.

    There is no amount of "accountability" that will tell us whether our money is going to a cure or going towards a bunch of bozos running around in a lab looking important. The only tool we have is our own intuition. Look around at the research that is being done. Read the research papers. Try to get a sense of the person and what their motives are. And in the end all you really have is intuition.

    Maybe you will put all your money into one place as I have done. Maybe you will hedge your bets and send money to several researchers. It's all fine. I'm not going to change your mind by making posts here, nor will you change mine.

    I just want to point out that asking Dr. Davies for "accountability" is like asking him to post here. He feels that his time is best served by working in the lab, and he was very clear about that the last time he posted here. If that's an obstacle for you to make donations to him, then so be it.

    And PLEASE everyone, shoot the messenger -- not Dr. Davies. This is my post of my opinions. Thanks.

  10. #1040
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    Hello Charles,

    No brickbats, shootings, calls for your head or resentment towards you from my side (or any other side that I have seen here so far). I respect your decision to support a cure effort the way you see it, just as I am sure you would agree with my decision to point out what I think is better/right. I have to point out that I do not agree with a few things in your last post like your comments about demands for accountability from other researchers on CareCure, etc., but we can agree to disagree. I certainly understand that there is no way around Dr. Davies' decision to communicate or not for any reason. Different people deal with it in different ways, and it's okay.

    I wish you all the best. Maybe your pick of cure research to support will turn out lucky. Only time will tell.

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