Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Teh Left must hate teh Babies...

The Anchoress knocked it out of the park again, as usual.

Micheal J. Fox is prostituting himself and his condition to lie to the public. I'm not going to be PC and say, "oh, what a shame, poor Micheal." He's pissing me off. He is LYING to us, and we're all supposed to just let it slide because he's sick. Well, I'm not letting it slide.

Let's go over this one more time, shall we? Thus far, the only successful stem cell treatments have involved Adult Stem Cells. Early reports to the contrary have been subsequently shown to involve patient death and worsening conditions, or to be outright frauds. All questions as to the morality of ESC treatment aside, it's not a success, folks, when it leaves the patient with worse symptoms than before treatment began. It's definitely not a success when it kills the patient.

No one in their right mind opposes adult stem cell research. Fox's deceptive tactics conflate one type of research with the other, confusing a public too apathetic or lazy to do their own damn research. This is not accidental, this is intentional, and it's immoral and intellectually dishonest.

Incidentally, Fox's Parkinson's case is intriguing for an altogether different reason. I had to google to find it, but I did recall watching a program that discussed potential environmental factors in his condition. That program may have been "The Parkinson's Enigma," a Canadian documentary about Parkinson's clusters. (Fox and several other coworkers on a late seventies Canadian sitcom all contracted Parkinson's early, in a strange statistical anomaly.) If it turns out to be a preventable condition, whether disease or brain injury, then research into this area could put a stop to all of the squabbling over what stem cells are acceptable to use in treatment.

But the left will probably still want to chop up baby bits for research, you know that, don't you? I don't even pretend to understand why. There must be something threatening about any form of research that doesn't involve getting government funding to slice'n'dice baby bits for your lab...


Zotel said...

From rueters a few days ago, in case you missed it:

Stem cells might cause brain tumors, study finds

1 hour, 5 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Injecting human embryonic stem cells into the brains of Parkinson's disease patients may cause tumors to form, U.S. researchers reported on Sunday.

Steven Goldman and colleagues at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York said human stem cells injected into rat brains turned into cells that looked like early tumors.

Writing in the journal Nature Medicine, the researchers said the transplants clearly helped the rats, but some of the cells started growing in a way that could eventually lead to a tumor.

Various types of cell transplants are being tried to treat Parkinson's disease, caused when dopamine-releasing cells die in the brain.

This key neurotransmitter, or message-carrying chemical, is involved in movement and Parkinson's patients suffer muscle dysfunction that can often lead to paralysis. Drugs can slow the process for a while but there is no cure.

The idea behind brain cell transplants is to replace the dead cells. Stem cells are considered particularly promising as they can be directed to form the precise desired tissue and do not trigger an immune response.

Goldman's team used human embryonic stem cells. Taken from days-old embryos, these cells can form any kind of cell in the body. This batch had been cultured in substances aimed at making them become brain cells.

Previous groups have tried to coax stem cells into becoming dopamine-releasing cells.

Goldman's team apparently succeeded and transplanted them into the rats with an equivalent of Parkinson's damage. The animals did get better.

But the grafted cells started to show areas that no longer consisted of dopamine-releasing neurons, but of dividing cells that had the potential to give rise to tumors.

The researchers killed the animals before they could know for sure, and said any experiments in humans would have to be done very cautiously.

Scientists have long feared that human embryonic stem cells could turn into tumors, because of their pliability.

Opponents of embryonic stem cell research cite such threats. Many opponents, including
President George W. Bush and some members of Congress, believe it is immoral to destroy human embryos to obtain their stem cells.

Soozcat said...

Here's what I don't get:

The researchers killed the animals before they could know for sure

Uh, scientists? If you see cells growing in a way that appears to be shaping up to be a tumor, why not confirm your theory by watching what happens next instead of immediately destroying the evidence? If lab rats have to die, shouldn't they at least give their lives to MAKE SURE human beings don't receive brain tumors as a result of shoddily-performed medical research?


Ornithophobe said...

Ah, but if they didn't hurry and kill off the lab rats, then we might have evidence that stem cells DO in fact cause tumors. And they can't have that, nope. That would look dreadful on the front of the New York Times or scrolling across the bottom of the screen on CNN.