Tag Archives: Therapy

Ethically-sound adult stem cell research cures paralysis in human patients

There are two kinds of stem-cell research. The first kind is called embryonic stem-cell research (ESCR). This kind is opposed by pro-lifers because it kills unborn persons by extracting their stem cells for use in medical research. The second kind is called adult stem-cell research (ASCR). This kind is supported by pro-lifers.

You may be surprised to know that ESCR doesn’t work as nearly as well as ASCR. Despite all the advocacy from left-wing Hollywood actors, ESCR has not helped a single patient. But ASCR in being used for 73 different kinds of therapies, and it keeps getting better and better. Here’s the latest scientific discovery in ASCR.

Story from Wayne State University, which made the discovery. (H/T Secondhand Smoke via ECM)

Excerpt:

A new study by a Wayne State University School of Medicine researcher details the outcome of adult stem cell grafts in spinal cord injuries and how the procedure led to increased mobility and quality of life for patients.

Associate Professor Jean Peduzzi-Nelson of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology conducted the study, “Olfactory Mucosal Autografts and Rehabilitation for Chronic Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury,” which was published online in the journal Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair.

The process involves the use of adult stem-like progenitor cells in the patient’s own nasal tissue. The use of a person’s own stem cells, Peduzzi-Nelson said, lessens the problems of rejection, tumor formation and disease transmission.

In the study, 20 patients with severe chronic spinal cord injuries received a treatment combination of partial scar removal, transplantation of nasal tissue containing stem cells to the site of the spinal cord injury and rehabilitation. All of the patients had total paralysis below the level of their spinal cord injury before the treatment.

More here.

Wesley J. Smith notes that ASCR is getting more and more efficient:

A team led by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute has developed a method that dramatically improves the efficiency of creating stem cells from human adult tissue, without the use of embryonic cells. The research makes great strides in addressing a major practical challenge in the development of stem-cell-based medicine…

The new technique, which uses three small drug-like chemicals, is 200 times more efficient and twice as fast as conventional methods for transforming adult human cells into stem cells (in this case called “induced pluripotent stem cells” or “iPS cells”). “Both in terms of speed and efficiency, we achieved major improvements over conventional conditions,” said Scripps Research Associate Professor Sheng Ding, Ph.D., who led the study. “This is the first example in human cells of how reprogramming speed can be accelerated. I believe that the field will quickly adopt this method, accelerating iPS cell research significantly.”

See below for other breakthroughs in ASCR, as well as the political implications.

Previous stories

Can same-sex marriage and religious liberty co-exist?

UPDATE: Welcome readers from 4Simpsons! Thanks for the link Neil!

Maggie Gallagher has written an article in the National Review asking whether same-sex marriage will crowd out fundamental liberties, such as the religious liberty.

First, we need to understand that the public expression of religious convictions is a buffer against fascism, just like free market capitalism and the family unit.

Maggie writes:

Take “religious liberty.” Religious liberty is a deeply American solution to a perennial problem. It means that every individual has a right to pursue ultimate meaning without coercion from the government. Totalitarian governments repress religion because they recognize faith communities as competitors with the state’s power to define — or redefine — human rights.

But a funny thing happened on the way to defeating Communism. Religion has emerged as the sole institution standing in the way of a powerful neo-statist liberalism, in which equality doctrines are used not as a shield but as a sword — to legitimate state intrusion into once-private realms.

In practice, religious voters are the core of resistance to social liberalism, and they empower economic conservatism by providing a much broader base of voters for a center-right coalition government.

How will the left get rid of rights like the right to free speech, and the right of religious liberty, which stand in the way of their socialist road to fascism? Well, they might be able to use same-sex marriage.

Maggie goes on to wonder what the left will do in the USA, given what the left is doing in the UK:

Consider what is happening right now in Great Britain, our closest sister democracy and the one with the strongest free-speech tradition. How does the British government treat religious liberty when it clashes with “gay equality”?

Can the British government force a Catholic school to retain a principal who enters a civil union? Yes, it already has. How can that be, given British religious liberty? Well, the government says that if a religion teacher at a Catholic school enters a gay union publicly, he or she could be fired. But nobody else.

Can the government fine an Anglican bishop who refuses to hire an actively and proudly gay youth minister? Yes, it already has. (How is this justified by the above principle? I don’t know. I just know the government can do it, because it has.)

Consider this story from the UK Telegraph.

Religious groups are to be forced to accept homosexual youth workers, secretaries and other staff, even if their faith holds same-sex relationships to be sinful.

…Maria Eagle, the deputy equalities minister, has now indicated that it will cover almost all church employees.”Members of faith groups have a role in making the argument in their own communities for greater LGBT acceptance, but in the meantime the state has a duty to protect people from unfair treatment.”

But limitations on our rights because of same-sex marriage are already here, because of secularism. The denial of fundamental human rights, (which are illusory if God does not exist), is quite widespread in Canada and the United States. Atheists want to be happy, and they will sweep aside your Constitutional rights in order to get that happiness.

Consider the case of Julie Ward.

Ms. Ward was enrolled in a graduate program at the school and as part of her education was required to enroll in a counseling practicum. In that practicum, she was assigned a case involving a homosexual who needed help. Ms. Ward did not feel that she could affirm the student’s homosexual lifestyle because of her Christian beliefs, so she asked her supervisor what she should do. His advice was to refer the student to a counselor who had no qualms with affirming homosexual behavior. That is what she did, and it was all done before she saw the student. There was no counseling that took place between the two, there was no confrontation between the two, and there was no condemnation of homosexuality — just an honest confession of her deeply held religious belief.

Julea was summoned to appear before a disciplinary hearing and told that if she wanted to continue on with her graduate program, she would have to submit to a “remediation” program so that she could see “the error of her ways.” She refused to be forced into a re-education program designed to convert her from biblical faith, and as a result, she was kicked out of school. There’s your tolerance.

And consider homosexual indoctrination for 5-year olds. (H/T Stop the ACLU)

A California school district seems intent on teaching pre-school children to accept the homosexual lifestyle.

The Alameda Unified School District announced it was considering a supplemental curriculum to eradicate “homophobia” in kindergarten children. Brad Dacus, founder of the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), said the meeting room for the public session earlier this week was overcrowded with angry parents.

“Nowhere at anytime did it give any protection for children being bullied because of their faith, their religion, their size, their race, ethnicity,” he points out. “It is only going to give this special anti-bullying protection for homosexuals and transsexuals.”

…Parents cannot opt out their children from the curriculum.

No wonder men don’t want to marry and have kids, and have the whole thing regulated by the government. If you can’t even pass on your worldview to your kids, or express your beliefs in public, because of all the left-wing cry-babies who are so intolerant that they can’t bear to hear other points of view, then why bother marrying and having children? If single women really wanted husbands and children, they wouldn’t vote Democrat (= anti-family).

Same-sex marriage activists believe in compelling celebration, respect and approval from Christians against their will and in violation of their human rights. If SSM ever became law, our entire society would be re-made so that no public expression of preference for traditional marriage would go unpunished.

Further study

Muddling Towards Maturity linked to two commentaries (one, two) by Chuck Colson listing the many examples of discrimination, including: the coercion of Christian business eHarmony to open up a business to homosexuals, suing people for refusing to facilitate weddings, suing doctors for refusing to provide therapy or in vitro fertalization, forcing adoption agencies to place children with same-sex couples, etc.

I documented the persecution of defenders of traditional marriage here.

Round-up of stories on adult stem cell research and abortion

As you know, Obama is making scientific progress and patient care take a back-seat to feminist ideology. He appeases his pro-abortion special interest groups by wasting money on unproven embryonic stem cell research, while neglecting proven therapies based on adult stem cell research. Who cares about patient liberty and curing diseases?

Let’s take a look and see what adult stem cells can do.

UPI reports that adult stem cells can revert to an embryonic state.

U.S. scientists say they have, for the first time, returned adult mouse cells to their embryonic pluripotent state, meaning they can become any cell type.

The University of California-San Francisco researchers said they used tiny molecules called microRNAs to reprogram the cells.

The achievement suggests scientists will soon be able to replace retroviruses and even genes currently used in laboratory experiments to induce pluripotency in adult cells. The researchers said that would make potential stem cell-based therapies safer by eliminating risks posed to humans by these DNA-based methods, including alteration of the genome and risk of cancer.

Adult stem cells provide solutions for stroke victims.

The good news continues to flow about the first stroke patient successfully treated in Houston using the patient’s own adult stem cells. The patient, Roland Henrich, was originally admitted to the emergency room at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center on March 25, 2009 with signs of stroke–he could not speak and had significant weakness on his right side. Because it was beyond the few hours window for use of the clot-dissolving drug TPA, the adult stem cell trial was his only option. The next day some of his bone marrow was removed, the adult stem cells separated, and returned intravenously to the patient. In less than a week doctors noted that he was recovering remarkably well and had not shown any signs of paralysis. Within 11 days of the treatment Mr. Henrich was walking, climbing stairs unassisted, and said his first word after the stroke, captured on a local news video and surprising his own doctor and leader of the clinical trial, Dr. Sean Savitz. His wife says now he has spoken several single words and phrases and has fed the cows by himself.

Adult stem cells provide solutions for infertile women.

Chinese scientists have published a study in Nature Cell Biology that suggests even older females retain adult stem cells that can stimulate fertility, including the production of more eggs. The evidence is in contrast to the usual dogma that women have a finite number of immature eggs, some of which mature and are ovulated, and that the number of eggs becomes depleted with age. Tilly et al. recently reviewed the evidence for and against production of new eggs after birth. Tilly’s group was one of those recently to challenge the dogma with evidence that new egg production could occur in mammals.

What the Chinese group showed is that ovaries contain stem cells that can produce more eggs, similar to the stem cells in testes that produce sperm.

Adult stem cells provide solutions for healing bones.

Patients confined to wheelchairs have been able to walk or live independently again because their broken bones finally healed, thanks to a drug that stimulates their adult stem cells. Preliminary results presented at the Orthopaedic Research Society meeting found 93% of those with an unhealed bone fracture had significant healing and pain control after treatment for only 8 to 12 weeks. Half of the 145 patients studied had non-healing fractures for 6 months or longer. The drug, teriparatide (Forteo), was approved by the FDA in 2002 for treatment of osteoporosis. A team led by Dr. J. Edward Puzas at the University of Rochester Medical Center discovered that this drug can also boost the body’s bone adult stem cell production to the point that adults’ bones appear to heal at a rate typically seen for young kids.

Adult stem cells provide solutions for diabetes.

Another success for adult stem cells, again treating Type I (juvenile) diabetes patients. As reported in a study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 20 of 23 patients became insulin-independent after treatment with their own bone marrow adult stem cells. This report is a follow-up to the previous report by Voltarelli & Burt in 2007, and includes new patients as well as a longer period to follow the patients. Some of the patients have gone for four years insulin-free. The authors note in the paper that this adult stem cell treatment “remains the only treatment capable of reversing type 1 diabetes in humans.”

Adult stem cells provide solutions for treating ligaments and tendons

Recent news from London that adult stem cells will be used to repair damaged tendons and ligaments in patients. This isn’t really a new technique, but the interesting thing is that the technique is now used routinely in horses and other animals. Finally, the realization has hit that this adult stem cell treatment might work for people, too. More than 1,500 race horses have been treated using the same process, and follow-up data suggest a 50 percent reduction in re-injury over a three year period, compared with conventional treatment.

We don’t need to kill innocent unborn humans in order to make medical progress. We don’t need an excess of 32 million males due to anti-female sex-selection abortions. And we don’t need to subsidize Planned Parenthood with 350 million dollars when they already have net assets of 1 billion dollars.

And lastly, some good news. In contrast to the Democrats anti-life stance, Republicans in the Oklahoma legislature voted to ban embryonic stem cell research. Now that’s progress.