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Why is stem cell research not being funded?

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posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 04:54 PM
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Why are we not funding the research of stems cells in the United States? The potential to end disease and human suffering seems to be endless. Here is just another reason why we should be researching stem cells.

Stem-cell treatment helps restore eye-sight

[edit on 15-6-2008 by harvib]




posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 05:10 PM
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It's a politically and religiously sensitive issue. Currently embryonic stem cells are considered living entities by the religious community. And scientific research would require that a certain number of embryo's to die. Which according (to the religious community) is abortion.

So, the GOP (republic party), being at the mercy of the religious community, are not willing to cross that line.

To appease the religous community, George W. Bush has decreed that federal funds will not be provided for embryonic stem cell research.




posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 05:11 PM
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Because of moral issues,they claim the unborn or maybe even cell has the ability to feel like a normal human if experimented with.I dont have any stand on it.

[edit on 15-6-2008 by alienstar]



posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 05:16 PM
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Scientific research gets stifled or underfunded due to 4 reasons.

Religious superstition.

The research is based on flawed logic.

Someone who stands to lose a great deal of money if the research pans out pays to keep it from happening.

The tech isn't quite there to conduct the research.

In this case, it's the first. People see an embryo as a living being, which results in them letting passion rule reason, which results in no research being done. Never mind if the results from it could save millions of lives.

[edit on 6/15/2008 by tebyen]



posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 05:20 PM
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It's always been my understanding that embryonic stem cell research does not require the death of the embryo. If I have misunderstood i can see the debate clearer but it is my belief that an embryo does not have to die for the use of stem cell. Somebody please correct me if I am wrong.

Also as far as killing a cell. We may want to consider making anti-bacterial soap, antibiotics, and white blood cells illegal.



posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 05:21 PM
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umm, we do. Ive been working stem cell projects for about 18 months now. It all just depends on where the stem cells come from that causes the issues. Human embryonic stem cells are not used, because of the religious 'arguments' regarding 'where does a human life start' etc. In my opinion, science and religion really dont mix, especially on points such as this.

However, stem cells can be derived from a number of adult as well as embryonic sources- you just dont hear about the adult stem cell work that is ongoing, because the religious folks cant make up bad press about it...

[edit on 15-6-2008 by johnDoe21]



posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 05:26 PM
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That's good to hear JohnDoe! Any idea why the misinformation then as to why statements are made in the media stating that stems cells are not being funded. I even recall Bush saying that he would never allow the funding of stem cells. I don't believe he specified if he was refering to embryonic stem cells.

Also is there a significant difference between embryonic stem cells vs other types?



posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 06:06 PM
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Because the goals of government-backed Big Pharma are not to cure disease or end suffering, but to CONTROL the disease with expensive drugs and therapies, making a ton of money. Cures for cancer have been found, but they are under constant attack by the FDA and their so-called scientists.



posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 06:16 PM
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Originally posted by harvib
That's good to hear JohnDoe! Any idea why the misinformation then as to why statements are made in the media stating that stems cells are not being funded. I even recall Bush saying that he would never allow the funding of stem cells. I don't believe he specified if he was refering to embryonic stem cells.

Also is there a significant difference between embryonic stem cells vs other types?



simple answer- the fact that the government relies so heavily on religios groups for funding and votes, it makes concessions that are highly damaging to the scientific community and that are costing lives. For the purposes of reelection etc.

i cant wait until we have an atheistic, completely rational, scientifically minded president... instead of one corrupted by an almighty.

As far as i know, the 'law' applies only to embryonic stem cells. Work with other stem cell types isnt covered, but 'we' dont go around calling them stem cells, they are 'endodermal proginator' cells (same thing, different name). Not that this is what makes it ok to use them, it just keeps the 'religo's' off the case.

To confuse things even more, the State of California has given the go ahead for work on EHS cells (embryonic human stem cells) in anticipation of the federal govewrnment releasing funds for such projects in the later half of 2008. this funding is so controlled, that equipment that we use for other cell work in the lab cannot be used- we have had to biuy in a load of new equipment, exactly the same as what we already have, but they have 'approved for EHS' green stickers on them. This is done for full financial accountability, and to prevent EHS being used in equipment that 'groups' opposed to this research have effectively bought for the lab through grants.

Such a massive waste of resources, for what is, effectively, religious propoganda against the use of 'dead souls' for research. Its deplorable that scientists are having to make sucj sacrifices for the sake of religion- the debate has stalled reaerch about 5 years, and we are well behind what we could have been capable of had we not needed to plead the case.

However, the religion oriented ban on EHS did make it necessary to look at other sources, and now we have a whole range of stem cell sources we can use in place of embryos.

Embryonic Stem cells are cells that have undergone NO prior differentiation or specialisation, but they contain all the genetic information required to progress down any developmental path. Adult stem cells are somewhat different in that they are slightly differentiated (eg a skin stem cell would 'prefer' to become skin) but they still retains the means to become anything else. The trick over the past 5 years has been to convince them, in culture, that they would prefer not to become a skin cell, but to become say, a liver cell, or a pancreatic b-cell (are you listening all you T1 diabetics...hint!)... ypou do this by reprogramming AWAY the specialisation, making it revert back into a state more akin to the embryonic stem cell. you can then tell it to become anything else you want, through coordinated culturing, exposing it to conditions similar to that found in the liver will make it differentiate into liver cells for example.

So, effectively, with a little prodding, the 2 types (adult, embryonic) are pretty much the same thing. Not exactly the same, but same enough to cover each others roles...

the information above is as i understand it as of today. With a higher level degree, 8 years in cell based scientific research, 18 months in stem cell work
i leave it up to you to believe or not as much as you like.

thanks for reading



posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 06:26 PM
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Originally posted by thetruth777
Because the goals of government-backed Big Pharma are not to cure disease or end suffering, but to CONTROL the disease with expensive drugs and therapies, making a ton of money. Cures for cancer have been found, but they are under constant attack by the FDA and their so-called scientists.


I agree with this, but this is a problem in the current set-up that allows huge businesses to control such an impportant market. Why dont we have some sort of paradigm shift in the thinking behind funding strategies for academic research. Increase the funding for basic level scientists, increase the working conditions to STOP the brain drain to industry... have a system whereby universities can profit directly for their achievements.

The only reason im still doing htis science is because i am SO excited about what we are going to come up with in the next 5-10 years. Stuff that is currently sci-fi level. I kid you not. We are doing things that 5 years ago looked to be 25 years in the future. Its certainly not for money- a medium levelpposition in the local burger flippers gets the same salary as i do. but its about the love of discovery abd the idea of helping others that drives me.

oh, and on a related note, the Constant Garderner is my favourite movie. Everyone with an interest in this sort of debate REALLY needs to see it. I loved it and hated it exactly because it is as true a depiction of the way these things work as we are ever going to see publicily.



posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 06:27 PM
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The main point is that a human is not a stem cell.
Lets not get them confused here people,
were not researching on humans its only a stem cell.



posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 06:38 PM
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To me Johndoe it sounds like the debate is baseless as far as the religous side is concerned. I am also curious as to how such a self proclaimed religous man such as Bush has a moral issue with harming cells in an effort to fight the terrors of disease but has no issue on sending kids in military uniforms to the slaughter in the name of fighting terror. Maybe somebody should let those in power know that a human beings are composed of cells. Maybe we would see the same compasion that we are showing toward embryonic stem cells. But I seem to be derailing my own thread...


I am curious as to how the opposing point of view justifies it self.

Keep up the great work Johndoe



posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 06:49 PM
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Like most debates, the people on each side paint with a very broad brush indeed, as this thread testifies.


I'm a religious person, deeply interested in scientific advancement. I don't have any problem with the IDEA of stem cell research, and don't know any religious person who does. Actiing like all religious people are against all research is simply demonizing your opponents. lovely.

The problem with embryonic stem cell research is not that an embryo equals a human (it doesn't in my, or in most faithers' book). The problem is that in america, everything is a business. Which mean that someone will try to find a way of selling human embryos for research, and thus creating a market for teen mothers to sell their foetuses to be killed for profit.

Just like with the abortion issues, the media frames all religious and ethical concerns as the "far-right fringe." For many of us, abortion is immoral, but not as bad as murder.

What I, and a lot of other people object to, is not the ending of unborn human life in any circumstance; it is the tremendous profit$ to be made by turning people and their "DNA products" into another commodity.

Don't believe that's what stem cell researchers do? Check out this BBC article: Ukraine babies may have been murdered for their stem cells. If someone can refute the article, then please post better information. please.

If the cells were harvested as a BY-PRODUCT of the embryo's termination, it would be acceptable, just like any organ donation.

The problem is that some researchers have a Frankensteinian disregard for human life and its non-commercial value.

all the best.

(edit for spelling)
.

[edit on 15-6-2008 by dr_strangecraft]



posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 07:06 PM
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sorry i want to point out i agree with this-


Originally posted by thetruth777
Because the goals of government-backed Big Pharma are not to cure disease or end suffering, but to CONTROL the disease with expensive drugs and therapies, making a ton of money.


i DO NOT however agree with this part-


Originally posted by thetruth777
Cures for cancer have been found, but they are under constant attack by the FDA and their so-called scientists.


There is a reason 'laymen' shouldnt go around espousing stuff like this. People DIE becuase they listen to this and dont seek proper professional help. And the reason the FDA etc are against a lot of this stuff, is that, as soon as you incorporate standard scientific principles and rigourous controlled testing, no-one of these things hold any water.


[edit on 15-6-2008 by johnDoe21]

[edit on 15-6-2008 by johnDoe21]



posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 07:12 PM
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I understand your points and for the most part in agree. However I am confused by a few statements. First off it is my understanding (or possible misunderstanding) that an embryo does not need to be killed in order to obtain embryonic stem cells. I hope Johndoe may be able to clarify if need be.

Also there is an underground market for organs but I think few people would argue that organ donation should be done away with.

[edit on 15-6-2008 by harvib]



posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 07:26 PM
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Originally posted by dr_strangecraft
Like most debates, the people on each side paint with a very broad brush indeed, as this thread testifies.


I'm a religious person, deeply interested in scientific advancement. I don't have any problem with the IDEA of stem cell research, and don't know any religious person who does. Actiing like all religious people are against all research is simply demonizing your opponents. lovely.

The problem with embryonic stem cell research is not that an embryo equals a human (it doesn't in my, or in most faithers' book). The problem is that in america, everything is a business. Which mean that someone will try to find a way of selling human embryos for research, and thus creating a market for teen mothers to sell their foetuses to be killed for profit.

Just like with the abortion issues, the media frames all religious and ethical concerns as the "far-right fringe." For many of us, abortion is immoral, but not as bad as murder.

What I, and a lot of other people object to, is not the ending of unborn human life in any circumstance; it is the tremendous profit$ to be made by turning people and their "DNA products" into another commodity.

Don't believe that's what stem cell researchers do? Check out this BBC article: Ukraine babies may have been murdered for their stem cells. If someone can refute the article, then please post better information. please.

If the cells were harvested as a BY-PRODUCT of the embryo's termination, it would be acceptable, just like any organ donation.

The problem is that some researchers have a Frankensteinian disregard for human life and its non-commercial value.

all the best.

(edit for spelling)
.

[edit on 15-6-2008 by dr_strangecraft]


Some very good points, but id like to point out that my personal experience with a subset of religious protesters is that is very is much a right to life issue. In the past, i have been attacked physically by several protesters at a conference for scientists working on stem cells, and most of them had banners that were to do with anti-abortion and calling me a baby-killer. This however, is a minority group, and im glad that there are sensible, thinking religious people who canmake posts like that above. Thanks for that.

It was never proved that those fetuses were used for stem cell sources- the article itself says the 'may' have been. However, your main argument is correct in that there is a real risk of this becoming a commodities market with the result that tissues of questionable origin being bought and used- however, the ban on research we have faced for the past half decade has already impeeded progress- is it not better to let well-meaning scientist progress with the work using 100% verified tissue form safe sources and have Ethics protocols develop ALONGSIDE the research, so we dont lose more time?

The profit thing IS something i worry about, as does every one of my collegues- but we use transparent material (tracked from donor to bench) and feel justified that the work we are doing is 100% legit. We are just waiting for Ethics to catch up. However, given recent results with reprogramming of adult stem cells and THEIR potential, we all hope this point will become moot very soon anyway. With this technology, no embryos needed- just a patients own skin, muscle, liver *whatever* tissue is required.

Exciting times up ahead!



posted on Jun, 15 2008 @ 07:33 PM
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Originally posted by harvib
I understand the your points and for the most part am in agreement. However I am confused by a few statements. First off it is my understanding (or possible misunderstanding) that an embryo does not need to be killed in order to obtain embryonic stem cells. I hope Johndoe may be able to clarify if need be.

Also there is an underground market for organs but I think few people would argue that organ donation should be done away with.


Currently, it is not possible to collect ES cells from an embryo and have that embryo survive. Doing the collection means you have just depleted the embryo of the cells it requires to continue in its development, so it is, unfortunately, lethal.

However, the *only* source of tissue for ES cell isolation right now is from fetuses collected/donated from abortion clinics- this process is 100% transparent and no money changes hands, either directly or through closed channels (bribes, back-handers, etc. The whole idea of making this a 'pay-for' commodity is repugnant to me, personally)


as for organs, i think it should be compulsary, if the organs are good enough to go, they should be used. All religious beliefs aside. The amount of people dying needlessly because of an organ shortfall due to these 'wasted' organs is shocking.



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 08:00 AM
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Thanks Johndoe for the info.


Originally posted by johnDoe21

However, the *only* source of tissue for ES cell isolation right now is from fetuses collected/donated from abortion clinics- this process is 100% transparent and no money changes hands, either directly or through closed channels (bribes, back-handers, etc. The whole idea of making this a 'pay-for' commodity is repugnant to me, personally)



I'm not negating anything you just said. But the mere fact that money didn't change hands doesn't necesarrily mean that pressure isn't applied, and "quid pro quo" arrangements never occur. The US Congress is the archetypal example of such "cashless" arrangements, that definitely benefit someone, which is why there are so many lobbyists.

With millions of dollars in potential patents on the line, plus the academic and research reputations of institutions and researchers hanging in the balance, it's hard to believe that researchers don't have an interest in seeing abortions becoming even more frequent, and that there's a steady supply of genetic material for them to work with.



as for organs, i think it should be compulsary, if the organs are good enough to go, they should be used. All religious beliefs aside. The amount of people dying needlessly because of an organ shortfall due to these 'wasted' organs is shocking.


On the other hand, every totalitarian regime oppresses its victims in the name of "over-riding need." Personal property is one of the fundamental concepts of a free society. Indeed, the 4th amendment of the US Constitution specifically names "the right of the people to be secure in their persons . . ." as a fundamental human right.

You are obviously a thoughtful person who is passionate because of the possibilities this research holds for the human race. I for one don't want to denigrate that potential in the slightest. But as someone who has worked with researchers who were ruthless in persuit of their own careers, it is bothers me how easiliy individual humans are crushed under the "needs" of big corporations, big research institutions, and big profits.



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 12:26 PM
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With millions of dollars in potential patents on the line, plus the academic and research reputations of institutions and researchers hanging in the balance, it's hard to believe that researchers don't have an interest in seeing abortions becoming even more frequent, and that there's a steady supply of genetic material for them to work with.


It sounds like with the research of dedicated individuals, such as JohnDoe, adult stem cells will soon be a very viable option.




On the other hand, every totalitarian regime oppresses its victims in the name of "over-riding need." Personal property is one of the fundamental concepts of a free society. Indeed, the 4th amendment of the US Constitution specifically names "the right of the people to be secure in their persons . . ." as a fundamental human right.


I do agree completely with this statement. I may not always agree with peoples religious beliefs but as much as I expect their beliefs not to impede on mine, I can't expect my beliefs to impede on theirs.



posted on Jun, 16 2008 @ 03:23 PM
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Originally posted by johnDoe21
sorry i want to point out i agree with this-


Originally posted by thetruth777
Because the goals of government-backed Big Pharma are not to cure disease or end suffering, but to CONTROL the disease with expensive drugs and therapies, making a ton of money.


i DO NOT however agree with this part-


Originally posted by thetruth777
Cures for cancer have been found, but they are under constant attack by the FDA and their so-called scientists.


There is a reason 'laymen' shouldnt go around espousing stuff like this. People DIE becuase they listen to this and dont seek proper professional help. And the reason the FDA etc are against a lot of this stuff, is that, as soon as you incorporate standard scientific principles and rigourous controlled testing, no-one of these things hold any water.


[edit on 15-6-2008 by johnDoe21]

[edit on 15-6-2008 by johnDoe21]



Did you actually click on the link you just quoted? Did you even read the info on the sites I linked to? "Proper professional help" is indeed offered at the Oasis of Hope Hospital, located in Mexico. Why Mexico? Because their alternative methods are so effective they are BANNED by the FDA in the United States. Actually read the links before debunking them!




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