Friday, October 1, 2010

American Scientists create even more viable embryonic stem cells from adult cells

Quote compilation Noted by Marc Aupiais

Most Stem Cell success has been through use of adult cells turned into embryonic stem cells: this is the global statistic on the issue. Another such success just recently occurred, we give you some quotations around this issue!

Please note that the Catholic Church considers research using embryonic stem cells from aborted embryos to be of the same grade as the research of the National Socialists of Germany, destroyed after World War II as it was taken at the cost or harm to human organisms.

Most embryonic stem cell researchers aim to use destroyed human organisms to achieve their research, endangering funding for projects such as the recently successful one. If an appeal to allow federal funding of research involving the destruction of human organisms fails, the US Democratic Party has decided to enter a bill into the US parliament, to allow federal funding of the destruction of human organisms.

Quotes in this compilation:

Go to summary by C-Fam
See Washington Post Article
See CNA Article on US Legal Issues on the Destruction of human organisms
Bibliography of C-Fam writer

C-Fam, which opposes the destruction of human organisms for research is our first quote:

"Scientists released a paper today showing they can turn ordinary cells into the equivalent of embryonic stem cells without the worrisome side effects of previous methods.

The new approach eliminates such hurdles as possible cancer risks attendant to existing methods of producing induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells).

The Washington Post reports in breaking news that the Children's Hospital Boston team used "messenger RNA" or mRNA:

"After tinkering with the mRNA molecules in the laboratory to make signals that the cells would not destroy as dangerous invaders, the researchers found that a daily cocktail of their creations were surprisingly fast and efficient at reprogramming the cells. The approach converted the cells in about half the time of previous methods - only about 17 days - with surprising economy - up to 100 times more efficient than the standard approach."

One disappointing note in the story is that the scientists, including lead scientist, Derrick Rossi, still think the destruction of human embryos is necessary "to validate" their work."
Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D. writing for C-Fam Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (Catholic and Human Special Interests coverage; Independent of the American Government; Based in New York, and Washington D.C. in the United States)
30 / 09 | September / 2010 : "Today's stem cell breakthrough"

Our Next Quotation is of the Washington Post:

"A team of researchers at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute in Boston published a series of experiments Thursday showing that synthetic biological signals can quickly reprogram ordinary skin cells into entities that appear virtually identical to embryonic stem cells. Moreover, the same strategy can then turn those cells into ones that could be used for transplants.

"This is going to be very exciting to the research community," said Derrick J. Rossi of the Children's Hospital Boston, who led the research published in the journal Cell Stem Cell. "We now have an experimental paradigm for generating patient-specific cells highly efficiently and safely and also taking those cells to clinically useful cell types."

Scientists hope stem cells will lead to cures for diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injuries, heart attacks and many other ailments because they can turn into almost any tissue in the body, potentially providing an invaluable source of cells to replace those damaged by disease or injury. But the cells can be obtained only by destroying days-old embryos.

The cells produced by the Harvard team, known as induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, would avoid that ethical objection and could in some ways be superior to embryonic stem cells. For example, iPS cells could enable scientists to take an easily obtainable skin cell from any patient and use it to create perfectly matched cells, tissue and potentially even entire organs for transplants that would be immune to rejection.

'Game changer'

While cautioning that the work needs to be repeated elsewhere and explored further, other researchers said the technique appears to represent a major development in the promising field of "regenerative medicine," which aims to create treatments tailored to individual patients.

"All I can say is 'wow' - this is a game changer," said Robert Lanza, a stem cell researcher at Advanced Cell Technology in Worcester, Mass. "It would solve some of the most important problems in the field."

The results were so striking that the Harvard Stem Cell Institute where Rossi works had already ordered every scientist working on iPS cells to switch to the new process.

"This paper is a major paper, in my view, in the field of regenerative medicine," said Douglas A. Melton, a leading stem cell researcher who co-directs the institute.


"With each new study it becomes more and more implausible to claim that scientists must rely on destruction of human embryos to achieve rapid progress in regenerative medicine," said Richard M. Doerflinger of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.


Rossi and other researchers, however, said that embryonic stem cells are still crucial because, among other things, they remain irreplaceable for evaluating alternatives.

"The new report provides a substantial advance," said National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins. "But this research in no way reduces the importance of comparing the resulting iPS cells to human embryonic stem cells. Previous research has shown that iPS cells retain some memory of their tissue of origin, which may have important implications for their use in therapeutics. To explore these important potential differences, iPS research must continue to be conducted side by side with human embryonic cell research."

In 2006, researchers discovered that they could coax adult cells into a state that appeared identical to embryonic stem cells and then, just like embryonic stem cells, morph these iPS cells into various tissues. But the process involved inserting genes into cells using retroviruses, which raised the risk that the cells could cause cancer. Since then, scientists have been trying to develop safer methods. Several approaches using chemicals or other types of viruses have shown promise. But none has eliminated the safety concerns, and most have been slow and balky.

Cell conversion

The new approach involves molecules known as "messenger RNA" (mRNA), which cells use to create proteins they need to carry out vital functions. Working in the laboratory, the researchers created mRNA molecules carrying the instructions for the cell's machinery to produce the four key proteins needed to reprogram into iPS cells.

After tinkering with the mRNA molecules to make signals that the cells would not destroy as dangerous invaders, the researchers found that a daily cocktail of their creations was remarkably fast and efficient at reprogramming the cells. The technique converted the cells in about half the time that previous methods did, about 17 days, and with surprising economy - up to 100 times more efficient.

"We ended up with so many colonies of cells all over the place that we had to stop the experiment," Rossi said.

Moreover, the cells had not experienced any disturbing changes in their DNA caused by previous methods and appeared much more indistinguishable from embryonic stem cells than iPS cells created using other methods. In addition, the researchers went one step further and showed that they could use the strategy to quickly and easily convert the iPS cells they created into a specific cell types - in this case muscle cells.

"If you put all these things together, several of the major hurdles toward clinical translation of iPS cells are addressed by this technology," Rossi said. "That's what we've very excited about."

Others agreed. Lanza, for example, called the approach "almost too good to be true," saying it evoked the magical alchemy of "turning lead into gold."

"The ability to safely and efficiently generate patient-specific cells has the potential to transform transplantation medicine," Lanza said.

In an e-mail, stem cell pioneer Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University in Japan, who helped discover iPS cells, said he plans to try the technique in his lab."
Rob Stein writing for the Washington Post (American Based; Secular/General Interests Coverage; Independent of the American Government; Linked by some with Democratic Party and pro-abortionist special interests)
30 / 09 | September / 2010: "Scientists overcome hurdles to stem cell alternatives" | Page 2 of the story

Washington Post Story compilation page for Rob Stein

We Now Quote Catholic News Agency on US Law involving the destruction of human organisms for research:

"Washington D.C., Sep 30, 2010 / 10:17 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington on Tuesday overturned a federal court’s ban on taxpayer funding for human embryonic stem cell research (ESCR).

In August U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled that the funding of the research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) should be suspended while its legality was challenged. A coalition of opponents says the funding violates federal law barring funding for research which destroys human embryos.

Government lawyers said dozens of research projects would be ruined if the ban continued, the BBC reports.

Judge Lamberth’s ruling had already been temporarily suspended but Tuesday’s decision overrules it until a final decision is reached.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs praised the three-judge panel’s ruling, saying the "pursuit of groundbreaking treatments and cures” was a top priority of President Obama. Gibbs said the White House was “heartened” that the NIH and their grantees can “continue moving forward while the appeal is resolved.”

Sam Casey, a lawyer for the opposing coalition, said the ruling was disappointing. He said funding opponents were confident in their case and "expect the court will ultimately end taxpayer funding of unlawful, unnecessary and unethical experiments on living human embryos," the BBC says.

Human ESCR investigates the therapeutic possibilities of using embryonic stem cells to treat human diseases. It relies upon stem cells harvested by destroying human embryos.

In an interview last month, the Westchester Institute’s Fr. Thomas Berg addressed the ethical objections to ESCR funding.

The practice is “complicity in the destruction of individual, embryonic human persons,” he said.

“You were once an embryo. That’s a simple matter of scientific and biological facts.”

In his view, Judge Lamberth’s decision correctly interpreted the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, which bars the funding of embryo-destroying research."
Staff Writer for CNA Catholic News Agency (Catholic Special Interests coverage; Independent of the American Government; American Based)
30 / 09 | September / 2010: "Federal court reinstates taxpayer funding of embryonic stem cell research, lawsuit still pending"

C-Fam written In-House bibliography of the writer of 30 / 09 | September / 2010 : "Today's stem cell breakthrough" for C-Fam:

"Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research / Director, International Organizations Research Group
Susan Fink Yoshihara is C-FAM Vice President
for Research and Director of the International Organizations Research Group (IORG). Her research interests include intervention, human rights, and humanitarianism in international law and politics. She is the author of Waging War to Make Peace: U.S. Intervention in Global Conflicts (Praeger, 2010).

Before joining C-FAM, Susan was on the faculty at the U.S. Naval War College where she taught national security decision making and international relations. In her twenty-year career as a U.S. Navy helicopter pilot, she held the rank of Commander, led combat logistics and search and rescue units in the Pacific and Persian Gulf, advised the Atlantic Fleet commander, and worked for the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade as a White House Fellow. She is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and received her Ph.D. in international relations from the Fletcher School, Tufts University. She and her husband Toshi have one daughter and live in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

Selected Publications:
"Women Deliver a ruse," Washington Times, June 4, 2010
“Brickbats for Pope Benedict,” Washington Times, April 20, 2010

“Aging World Population is Profound Crisis,” Human Events, April 15, 2010

"Clinton Promises Global Push for Abortion Rights," National Review Online, January 15, 2010

"The Quest for Happiness: How the UN's Advocacy of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights Undermines Liberty and Opportunity," in Brett D. Schaefer, ed., ConUNdrum: The Limits of the United Nations and the Search for Alternatives (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009).

"Obama Nominee Wants U.N. Committees Setting U.S. Social Policy" Human, April 7, 2009

Book Review: "Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population," National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, vol.8, no.4 (Winter 2009)

Book Review: "Agenda Setting, the UN, and NGOs: Gender Violence and Reproductive Rights," National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, vol.8, no. 3 (Autumn 2008)

"How to Think About the Responsibility to Protect," First Things online, June 16, 2008

"The False Choice Between Development and Daughters," First Thingss online, August 23, 2007

"Rights by Stealth: the Role of UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies in the Campaign for an International Right to Abortion," National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly, vol.7, no.1 (Spring 2007)

“Kosovo,” in Flashpoints in the War on Terrorism, Derek Reveron and Jeffrey Murer, eds. (New York: Routlege, 2006)

“The Trouble with Mixed Motives: Debating the Political, Legal, and Moral Dimensions of Intervention,” Naval War College Review vol. LVII, no. 3/4 (Summer/Autumn 2004)

Friday Fax:
Critics Call New Maternal Death Report Faulty
UN Finally Accepts New and Much Lower Estimates of Global Maternal Deaths
Abortion Groups Praise Newly Named Head of UN Women’s Agency
Barack Obama’s Image in Kenya Tarnished by Abortion Battle
UK Announces Plan to Push Radical Sex Agenda on Developing Nations
Latin American Economic Summit Promotes Abortion, Condemns “Lesbophobia”
U.S. Attacks Egypt Over Homosexual Rights at UN
Abortion Activists Claim New “Right” to Maternal Health
UN Leadership in Disarray as Scientific Dispute Shatters Consensus on Maternal Health
Researchers Asked to Hide Scientific Debate over Maternal Deaths
Women Deliver 2 Conference Calls for Billions More for Abortion
Top Abortion Law Firm Says Government Funded Abortion is a Human Right
New Global Study Shows Maternal Mortality Significantly Lower Than Previously Thought/Policy Implications Worry Abortion Advocates
UN Judge Says Pope Should be Prosecuted at International Criminal Court
UN Report Calls for Doubling Investment on "Modern Family Planning" Including Abortion
UN Aging Report Warns of Dire Effects of Fertility Decline
Chilean Maternal Mortality Study Undercuts Pro-Abortion Claims
New UN Human Rights Treaty on Aging Promoted, Questioned
Top Legal Scholar Warns Abortion Issue Can Divide a Nation
Top Abortion Provider Cashes in on Haiti Crisis, Pro-Life Medics Respond
Other Friday Faxes

Six Problems with “Women Deliver:” Why the UN Should Not Change MDG 5
Rights By Stealth: The Role of UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies in the Campaign for an International Right to Abortion
CEDAW Reality Check"
C-Fam Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (Catholic and Human Special Interests coverage; Independent of the American Government; Based in New York, and Washington D.C. in the United States)
"Susan Yoshihara, Ph.D.
Vice President for Research / Director, International Organizations Research Group

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